Witness To History Project

Witness to History Project
Jackie Drobny and Ilse Lindemeyer, 2012

The Witness To History Project is designed to further the message and lessons of the Holocaust through direct interaction between students and Holocaust survivors. Participants adopt a survivor by learning their unique account by listening to them tell their story, asking questions, and then re-telling the story to others. Ultimately, the participant will have the lifelong job of educating others about the Holocaust by sharing this personal narrative, an imperative task now that our survivors are aging and in failing health.

This program serves as a Bar/Bat Mitzvah Project, class project, or a community service project for young people who are interested in learning more about the Holocaust. Students who have acting, teaching, or film-making aspirations are encouraged to participate.

There is no charge for students or adults to participate in this project. However we depend on donations to keep us going and to spread the lessons of the Holocaust. There is a recommended donation of $125 which covers staff time and the materials produced to make this the best possible project and experience for you or for someone you wish to engage in a project. Please make the contribution payable to HAMEC.

Choose a Phase:

There are three different phases of the project. Please read about them below and determine which phase best fits you.

Phase 1:

Recommended for middle school students in grades 6-8 or for those preparing for their Bar/Bat MitzvahThe minimum requirements are:

  • Participate in one presentation by a Holocaust survivor
  • Review an audio or videotape of the survivor’s testimony
  • Write a biography (6-8 double spaced pages) about the survivor, including a paragraph explaining why it is important for you to continue to share this story with others.
  • Utilize the historical background information provided by the Holocaust Awareness Museum
  • Present the biography to a member of the Holocaust Awareness Museum to verify testimonial and historical accuracy
  • Present the story to a suggested number of 50 people and confirmed by a teacher’s or leader’s signature

Phase 2:

Recommended for high school students grade 9-12. The minimum requirements are:

  • Participate in one presentation by a Holocaust survivor
  • Review an audio or videotape of the survivor’s testimony
  • Write a biography (10-12 double spaced pages) about the survivor, including a paragraph explaining why it is important for you to continue to share this story with others
  • Utilize and include the historical details provided by the Holocaust Awareness Museum
  • Present the biography to a member of the Holocaust Awareness Museum to verify testimonial and historical accuracy
  • While presenting, using previously developed PowerPoint presentations about that specific survivor. These are provided by the Holocaust Awareness Museum for biographical guides, visual aids, and audio aids during the presentation
  • Present the story to a suggested number of 50 people and confirmed by a teacher’s or leader’s signature

Phase 3:

Recommended for college students and adults. The minimum requirements are:

  • Participate in one presentation by a Holocaust survivor
  • Review an audio or videotape of the survivor’s testimony
  • Write a biography (15-20 double spaced pages) about the survivor, including a paragraph explaining why it is important for you to continue to share this story with others
  • Utilize and include the historical details provided by the Holocaust Awareness Museum
  • Present the biography to a member of the Holocaust Awareness Museum to verify testimonial and historical accuracy
  • While presenting, utilize previously developed PowerPoint presentations about that specific survivor as well as video and audio clips of the survivor. These are provided by the Holocaust Awareness Museum for biographical guides, visual aids, and audio aids during the presentation
  • Present the story to a suggested number of 75 people and confirmed by a teacher’s or leader’s signature

We will do our best to work with participants who have additional goals to meet.
Please keep in mind that this project will take some time, generally several weeks, to complete.

Request a Witness to History Project

The story of one family, not statistics

Survivor, Abington Friends School

“Hearing one person tell their story gave a completely different perspective to what happened. It wasn’t about statistics or about a nation as a whole, but one person who lost his family and home.”

Abington Friends School

Respect

Survivor, Mastery Charter School

“Your story reminds us to respect all people no matter what their differences may be.”

Student from Mastery Charter School

Unique Educational Experience:

Survivor, McPerhson Unified School District

“They feel like they have a connection with him even though they don’t know him.”

Teacher from McPherson School, KS

Letter to Survivor, Joe Kahn

Survivor, Downingtown High School

“Thank you so much for sharing your life story… [Your presentation] was one of the best days of my life. I promise you that you will never be forgotten. Even when I am older, I will tell my children about that amazing day you visited my class. I cannot express my gratitude toward you. Thank you so, so much.”

Student from Downingtown High School East