The Centre for Holocaust Education and Scholarship (CHES) at the Zelikovitz Centre for Jewish Studies at Carleton is documenting and preserving the testimonies of Ottawa Holocaust survivors to allow future generations to hear and see the people who experienced and witnessed the genocidal policies and crimes of the Nazis and their collaborators. The recordings and associated educational materials will form the basis of a special Ottawa-based Holocaust Memorial project and will become a public resource freely accessible on the CHES’s website.

History Master’s student Elise Bigley is championing this project with Mina Cohn, director of the Carleton Centre for Holocaust Education and Scholarships (CHES).  Bigley put together the video above that explains the project in more detail.

“I support this project as part of my involvement in the CHES and my research as a graduate student at Carleton,” says Bigley. “My thesis focuses on the internment of Jewish refugees in Canada during the Second World War. The oral history testimonies given by the Jewish refugees provide unique insight into this history that is not available in memoirs, autobiographies, or textbooks.”

“My connection to the CHES project is based on a desire to preserve these traumatic histories of genocide so that future generations can be educated on the steps to avoid racially-fuelled atrocities.”

Bigley also has experience working at the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre summarizing previously recorded Holocaust survivor testimonies.

The project is listed on Carleton’s Futurefunder website.

Check out coverage in the Ottawa Citizen.