Voices designed to speak to the next generation

The first stage towards the creation of an archive of stories of Scotland's Holocaust survivors has been completed after more than 18 months' work.

Gathering the Voices - a website that will ultimately feature interviews with, and recordings of, 100 people who came to Scotland during or after the war - went live this week.

It is the brainchild of Angela Shapiro, a Glasgow Caledonian University lecturer, who decided to collate the oral testimonies after the discovery of a taped interview, never broadcast, in which her late mother-in-law recalled her Holocaust experiences.

The project has primarily been funded by a Scottish Executive initiative, Sense Over Sectarianism, and is intended as an educational resource for Scottish schools.

To date, the stories of 17 people have been completed, including three professors and a couple who met and married after arriving as refugees. Mrs Shapiro and her team are aware that they are in a race against time.

As well as introducing young audiences to the scope of Nazi atrocities, there will also be emphasis on Jewish life before the war and immigration and integration afterwards.

"It's very much about the Scottish experience and contribution," Mrs Shapiro added. "My mother-in-law didn't want to be remembered as a victim and neither did the others. They contributed to society.

"We also want to inform modern-day asylum seekers in terrible circumstances that it is possible to make a life for yourself afterwards. It's an uplifting message."

Henry Wuga - who arrived in Britain in 1939 on the Kindertransport and settled in Glasgow - said it was crucial to ensure the past was not forgotten. "It's so important future generations learn how destructive hate can be."

    Last updated: 11:11am, January 30 2012