»Speaking in Spite of Everything« – Biographical Interviews


Between 2007 and 2014, the Foundation Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe conducted more than 70 video interviews: survivors of Nazi persecution spoke about their fate, their families and their paths of life, their hopes and fears. In this way, they left an archive to future generations, which is characterized by the need to pass on their memories and for which they have set themselves a difficult task: to speak in spite of everything. The carefully indexed interviews are shown in the Holocaust Memorial exhibition and on the Internet. The catalogue contains short biographies of the interviewees and information about the video archive.

The interviews, in which survivors from the Jewish communities of Breslau, Czernowitz, Kaunas, Königsberg, Krakow, Lemberg, Lodz, Prague, Bratislava and Riga tell their life stories, were conducted by the Foundation itself or by other institutions: In the video archive of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, part of the important Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale University is publicly presented. In addition, interviews from the »Archive of Remembrance«, a cooperation project of the Moses Mendelssohn Center Potsdam, as well as interviews from the Documentation and Cultural Center of German Sinti and Roma in Heidelberg and other collections are included in the collection.

All interviews are recorded in a database and can be selected at computer terminals. The interviews are presented there uncut and in full length. Through the various search options, the detailed evaluations and the presentation of transcriptions, translations, tables of contents and topics, CVs and short biographies, passages from the interviews lasting several hours can be targeted. As a result, the video archive database provides unique insights into this increasingly important historical source for the future.

The interview project was supported by the Federal Cultural Foundation.


»Sprechen trotz allem« Das Videoarchiv der Stiftung Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas, Berlin 2014,
Hrsg.: Stiftung Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas
ISBN: 978-3-942240-14-7
Price: € 10,00 plus shipping costs

Available in German at the Information Centre (Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe), in bookshops and at info[at]stiftung-denkmal.de