How are Holocaust survivors’ life stories informed by other narratives with which they are familiar? Among the thousands of interviews conducted by the Shoah Foundation Institute’s Visual History Archive between 1994 and 1999, there are several dozens in which survivors discuss the film Schindler’s List. These include Jews rescued by Oskar Schindler, some of whom were later involved in the making of Steven Spielberg’s popular feature of 1993. In the course of relating their life histories, survivors mention the film both in regards to their own story of surviving the Holocaust and as they reflect on the differences between experience of the past and its narration. In the process, surprising connections between memory and popular culture emerge. Jeffrey Shandler is a professor in the department of Jewish Studies at Rutgers University and a leading authority on Jewish culture past and present. His works include the groundbreaking monograph While America Watches: Televising the Holocaust; Jews, God, and Videotape: Religion and Media in America; and, most recently, Holocaust Memory in the Digital Age: Survivors’ Stories and New Media Practices.
Sponsor: Holocaust Living History Workshop supported by the UC San Diego Library and Jewish Studies