Access to 52,000 testimonials of Holocaust survivors now available at Penn

The largest collection of Holocaust survivor testimonials on video is now publicly accessible at the University of Pennsylvania.

The archives of the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation Institute — created by filmmaker Steven Spielberg — includes interviews with those who survived World War II concentration camps and other 20th century genocides.

Anyone with Internet access can subscribe to small portions of the archives. However, complete access to all 52,000 testimonials is limited to institutions with dedicated computer servers that can handle the load.

The Shoah Foundation partnered with the University of Pennsylvania to make that kind of access possible to students and faculty, as well as members of the public who register with the university library.

The Penn library system has selected 3,000 videos to be immediately accessible in its server cache. Within 24 hours, it can pull any of the 52,000 testimonials. The public can access the archive at the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center and the Annenberg School for Communication Library.

“The narratives are a powerful — the most powerful — reminder for all of us that we should stand together against hatred and injustice of any kind, and work to prevent it from ever happening again,” said Penn president Amy Gutmann, whose own father escaped Nazi Germany.

There are 36 institutions around the world with complete access to these testimonials.

The University of Pennsylvania can provide private viewing rooms for users to watch them.

More information on the archive at Penn can be found here.

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