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Bearing Witness: Testimonies of Holocaust Survivors--21st Annual Exhibit Commemorating Yom HaShoah (May 2, 2011): Survivor Testimony - Adults

Diaries, memoirs, & documented stories of Holocaust survivors from the collections of the James P. Adams Library. Accounts by or collected from adults, teenagers, and young children as well as sources for research and objects for reflection are included.

Items displayed in Exhibit Cases

“Historical accounts of tragedies are both moving and necessary.  We must know the truth of what happens; causes, effects, the impacts, whatever “meaning” there is to be gleaned from reflection and analysis. 


But an overview, regardless of its excellence, must be reinforced by a microview—

          What happened in the details?....


Jews were betrayed by neighbors, robbed, beaten, removed from their sources of work, deported, starved, tortured, murdered—and still some survived.”

      Harry James Cargas, Professor of English emeritus, Webster University

          Internationally known scholar of Holocaust literature

 [from the Foreword of Sisters in Sorrow: voices of care in the Holocaust]

Additional Adult Survivor Accounts

"I did not intend, nor would I have been able, to do a historian's work, that is, exhaustively examine the sources.  I have almost exclusively confined myself to the National Socialist Lagers (camps) because I had direct experience only of these; I also have had copious indirect experience of them through books read, stories listened to, and encounters with the readers of my first two books.  Besides, up to the moment of this writing, and notwithstanding the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the shame of the Gulags, the useless and bloody Vietnam War, the Cambodian self-genocide, the desaparecidos of Argentina, and the many atrocious and stupid wars we have seen since, the Nazi concentration camp system still remains a unicum, both in its extent and its quality.  At no other place or time has one seen a phenomenon so unexpected and so complex: never have so many human lives been extinguished in so short a time, and with so lucid a combination of technological ingenuity, fanaticism, and cruelty."  From The Drowned and the Saved by Primo Levi (p21).

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