The Holocaust Educational Trust’s Testimony 360 tool is a pinch-me moment

I have been sharing my testimony for almost two decades – now it will live on

June 24, 2024 10:57

Holocaust survivors know well that when we stand before an audience and share our testimonies, we are regarded as a living witness to those incomparable atrocities. A symbol of living memory reminding those who listen that the Holocaust is not yet lost to the dusty pages of textbooks and the long passage of time but lived experience standing before them in flesh and bone. But as the years go on and Holocaust survivors succumb to their mortality, we begin to wonder more deeply about how our memory will go on ‘living’.

We urge students not just to listen, but to remember and their remembrance becomes characterised by the survivor they heard from. They remember a name, a voice, the person they met and, students have expressed to many on numerous occasions, that means far more to them than anything they have been taught. It’s these messages which continue to inspire me and give me strength to share my testimony even when the world around us feels resistant and volatile.

I have devoted myself to sharing my testimony whenever I can to honour my family, the six million Jewish men, women and children who were brutally murdered and to see out my duty to ensure that the Holocaust is never forgotten. As antisemitism continues to fester and spread with renewed energy and Jews suffered the worst attack since the Holocaust perpetrated by Hamas on 7th October, I feel my efforts will never be finished. I continue in the hope that if students learn where antisemitism can ultimately lead, they may be inspired to stand up to anti-Jewish hatred wherever they encounter it.

When I began sharing my testimony publicly in 2006, I never could have imagined the reception from students nor the ways in which the preservation of testimony would evolve.

Testimony requires to be heard, but I have often feared what will happen when I can no longer speak.

Now, with thanks to the Holocaust Educational Trust’s groundbreaking Testimony 360 project, my fears have been quietened.

In 2021, I spent 5 days in a studio answering over 1000 questions. Three years later, students can now ask me questions through their device and have a conversation with me from any classroom anywhere in the UK. Led by expert Trust Educators, students can also view sites important to me and my testimony through virtual reality headsets and study digitally rendered photographs in 360 degrees. It’s technology that I could never have imagined would one day exist to preserve my testimony and immortalise not just my memories, but my physical form.

Testimony 360 launched last week and watching this incredible project become accessible to students across the country is a pinch-me moment. The expertise and commitment that has been given to this project, which has been under development for several years, is indescribable and something I will never truly be able to express my gratitude for.

To know that my testimony will live on long beyond my lifetime, that students will continue to ‘meet’ me and remember the man they spoke to virtually is overwhelming. The hope that I have continued to hold onto for the preservation of Holocaust memory for generations to come has been realised, all thanks to the Holocaust Educational Trust.

I no longer need to wonder how or if my testimony will be remembered. It exists and will continue to exist in Testimony 360 for decades to come.

June 24, 2024 10:57

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