Module 1: Oral History

The Evolution of Holocaust Testimony and Oral Histories

Oral History: Angela Orosz Richt

Angela Orosz Richt is a Holocaust survivor currently living in Montreal, Quebec. Originally from Hungary, Angela’s parents were deported to Auschwitz in 1943. Angela’s mother was three months pregnant when she was deported from Hungary and was subject to experimentation from Nazi doctor Josef Mengele at Auschwitz. Angela was born on December 21, 1944, in the Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Barrack C. In this clip, Angela reflects on the experience of giving testimony in a legal trial.

Questions for Reflection:

  • Why was Angela Orosz Richt reluctant to share her story at first, and why did she decide to do so?
  • How does she understand the idea of forgiveness in the context of the legal trials of Nazi war criminals?
  • What can we learn from how she expresses and describes her emotions in this interview?
  • What did Angela Orosz Richt gain from speaking?

Oral History: Josef Eisinger

In this clip, Josef Eisinger reflects on his decision to speak openly about his experiences during the Holocaust and his willingness to do so.

Questions for Reflection:

  • What influenced Joseph Eisinger to begin telling his story?
  • How is his own ability to remember intertwined with the larger political context?
  • What does he want to communicate through his recounting?

Oral History: Bryna Wallace

In this clip, Bryna Wallace discusses the importance of sharing her family’s experience during the Holocaust and the anxiety she faces, as a member of the second generation, in recounting her story.

Questions for Reflection:

  • For Bryna Wallace, what is the value of sharing the family’s Holocaust story?
  • As a member of the second generation, what is her anxiety about?
  • What are the challenges of engaging with these stories as a member of the second generation?

Oral History: Jan Grabowski

Jan Grabowski, a historian and Professor at the University of Ottawa, is a member of the second generation as his father was a Holocaust survivor. Jan Grabowski’s family survived the Holocaust hiding in Poland during the war. In this clip, he reflects on what it means to identify as a member of the second generation.

Questions for Reflection:

  • Why does Jan Grabowski resist the classification of being part of the second generation?
  • What does it mean for him to identify as being part of the second generation?


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Hear Our Voices Copyright © by Deidre Butler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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