Audio-Visual Projects 2003-2007 unlockingaudio

First hand accounts of the Holocaust

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day and to mark the occasion the British Library’s JISC funded Archival Sound Recordings project has added a new tool for Holocaust research and education, available online.

Here are some of the details of the collection by the project manager, Peter Findlay (more can be read on the Sound recordings blog):

Jewish Survivors of the Holocaust documents the moving testimonies of Jewish immigrants to Britain, many of whom survived Nazi concentration camps. Over 440 hours of life story recordings explore 66 personal experiences of persecution across war-torn Europe and the impact of the Holocaust, covering:

  • Anti-Semitism before the Second World War
  • Ghettos and concentration camps
  • Resistance and liberation
  • Searching for family in the aftermath
  • Building a new life in Britain
  • The legacy of the Holocaust

The Jewish Survivors of the Holocaust resource will also support primary and secondary education, supplementing the study materials and lesson plans provided by the British Library’s Learning team’s Voices of the Holocaust package.

The testimonies now available are drawn from a major oral history programme The Living Memory of the Jewish Community which between 1987 and 2000 gathered 186 audio life story interviews with Jewish survivors of the Holocaust and their children. It was initiated by National Life Stories based in the British Library’s oral history section and funded by a number of organisations including the Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation, the John S Cohen Foundation and the Porjes Charitable Trust.

The collection joins a growing range of oral history recordings on Archival Sound Recordings, which makes selections of music, spoken word, and environmental sounds from the British Library Sound Archive available online. Recordings can be accessed from British Library reading rooms and are available for free to licensed UK higher and further education institutions. In addition, over 2000 recordings, including Jewish Survivors of the Holocaust, are available to the public via the website.

UK higher and further education librarians can email ( to request a free licence.

Ginevra House

Engagement Officer

Higher Education Team

The British Library

+44 (0)20 7412 7245

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