Step 01: Professor’s Instructions
Please take a moment to watch these instructions from your Professor on the Oral History Project. You can also click on the above link to access the instructions.
Link to video:
Step 02: Select an Interview to Watch
Imagine you are a historian asked to interview Jewish survivors about their experiences of the Holocaust. Try to imagine you are an oral historian interviewing these individuals about their memories of surviving the concentration camps during World War II. Consider what kind of questions might have been asked, in order to get them to share their stories. Since there are thousands of Holocaust interviews in the Shoah Foundation archive, I have narrowed this down to four pre-selected interviews for you to choose from.
Please select ONE interview out of the pre-selected interviews to watch. You will use this video to complete the Post-Interview Essay in Step 03. *Note: Imagine you are the person interviewing these subjects. Take notes on what stories or interesting details they share in their interview. What are you reacting to?
Survivor: Paula Biren “Baluty” Paula Biren, who is from Poland, shares memories of attending a special high school within the Lodz ghetto and working for a Jewish women’s police force there, including one night in which she helped take in a peddler for likely deportation.
LINK TO VIDEO
Interview #02: Survivor:
Ada Lichtman “The Merry Flea” Ada Lichtman, from Poland, recalls how she was forced to clean dolls taken from Jewish children to prepare them for Germans to give to their own offspring.
LINK TO VIDEO: https://dcccd.yuja.com/V/Video?v=1396220&node=5170424&a=1904350417&autoplay=1
Survivor: Hanna Marton “Noah’s Ark” Hanna Marton remembers being part of a convoy of Hungarian Jews saved by Rezso Kasztner. Kasztner negotiated with Adolf Eichmann to secure safe passage for almost 1,700 Jews. After the war, he was both branded a collaborator and criticized for not warning others.
LINK TO VIDEO: https://dcccd.yuja.com/V/Video?v=1396202&node=5170378&a=973802811&autoplay=1
Interview #04: Survivor: Ruth Elias “The Hippocratic Oath” Ruth Elias was eight months pregnant when she ended up at Auschwitz. She soon gave birth with Dr. Josef Mengele dictating what would happen to her and her baby.
LINK TO VIDEO:
Step 03: Post Reflection Essay Directions:
After you have listened to the interview you selected, please complete the POST-INTERVIEW REFLECTION ESSAY.
Please answer the questions in essay format
Please type and double-space your report, using 12-point Times New Roman or Arial font only. Please carefully proofread your work and write in good, clear prose, using a more FORMAL register (scholarly) tone in your writing.
After conducting the interview, students will compose and submit a Reflection Paper that addresses the following:
1) Discuss the impact, change or effect that the interview had on your knowledge or understanding of the historical period experienced by the interviewee. Give specific examples.
2) Prior to the interview being conducted, what was your understanding of how scholars create historical narratives? Explain how your experience of watching the interview altered or influenced that understanding.
3) Describe what you have learned from the interview about how the contributions of one individual can impact the well-being of various communities such as a neighborhood, school, church, town/city, state, and/or nation. Explain how this project has impacted your understanding of the importance of becoming involved in order to make life better for you and those around you.
4) Identify examples from the interviewee’s experiences that illustrate challenging ethical decisions they faced and their efforts to find a solution. Discuss how you might deal with a similar situation and what impact you think this might have on the fundamental principles that guide you in life. Your analysis should follow MLA guidelines and meet the standards of a college-level writing assignment: Academic prose, correct spelling, and proper punctuation.
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