Holocaust Memories (02:50)
Robyn Thaler Hickey's grandmother was a survivor of the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp. Everyone in her family has a different version of the story and she travels to Celle, Germany near the camp to try to find answers. Memories change as they are retold, which has created a shifting oral history of the Holocaust.
Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp (06:03)
Almost nothing remains from the Bergen-Belsen camp and the memorial tells its story through interview. Hickey’s grandmother Sala Lustiger lied about knowing how to sew and was sent to work at multiple camps before being put on a death march to Bergen-Belsen in 1945.
Holocaust Testimonials (03:45)
Survivor interviews and testimonials give a living voice and image to Holocaust history. Hickey's grandmother never spoke on camera and only told her small details at a time. She was among the 10,000 people moved to Bergen-Belsen after others fell into Allied territory.
Bergen-Belsen Liberation (05:26)
British forces liberated Bergen-Belsen in April 1945. The typhoid in the camp was so bad that the British buried the bodies in mass graves and burnt down all the buildings. Hickey's grandmother carried her sister, Masza's, body to a corner of one of the mass graves so she would know where it was.
Displaced Persons Camps (05:50)
American and British soldiers established DP camps for liberated Jews who could not or did not want to return home. Though it is rarely covered in Holocaust history, the DP camps helped recreate a rebirth of Jewish culture. Bergen-Belsen was the largest with 12,000 people and lasted for five years.
The Bergen-Belsen DP camp had strong self-organization and many groups had Zionist ideas and wanted a Jewish state. The ideas eventually lead to the United Nations turning the Jewish community in Palestine into the state of Israel. Nearly 700,000 Jews moved there within three years.
Sala's Journey (06:29)
Hickey's grandmother left the DP camp and moved to Munich, but frequently visited her friends in the camp. She returned in 1950 to give birth to Hickey's mother, even though she was living with her husband in Paris. Hickey's mother was one of the last babies born at the camp's hospital.
The Second Generation (04:00)
For children of Holocaust survivors their parents were either incredibly opened about it or it was never spoken about. Most parents shielded their children from their darkest memories.
Agents of Memory (06:05)
Memories of the Holocaust are shaped by personal experience and cultural context. "The Diary of Anne Frank" is usually the only Holocaust literature students read, but the diary stops before she is taken to a concentration camp. Many teachers point to Art Spiegelman's graphic novel "Maus" as the way to help students understand the Holocaust.
Holocaust Stories in the Classroom (06:16)
Many historians are worried the Holocaust is becoming oversimplified, so it is easier to teach in the classroom. Advocacy group 3GNY is working with the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors to teach them to effectively tell their stories so the human element is not lost.
Holocaust Museums and Memorials (02:27)
Holocaust museums throughout the world each bring a different context and perspective to the history. Memorials, such as the one at Bergen-Belsen, simply try to tell the history of what happened at a certain place but does not cover the whole story.
Holocaust and the Arts (07:49)
Many educators believe the arts will help people connect to the Holocaust after survivors are gone. The arts can give a better idea of the experiences than historical texts. Some historians worry that the amount of art about the Holocaust is altering people's understanding of the true events.
Teaching the Holocaust (04:03)
Some teachers help students see parallels between the Holocaust and modern events, so they can better understand its importance. Some Holocaust scholars feel that it is a unique event and cannot be compared to other genocides.
The Future of Holocaust Memory (03:54)
Studying the Holocaust is important to understanding the nature of global society and human behavior. Many people believe learning about it is the only way to prevent it from happening again.
Credits: Memory After Belsen: The Future of Holocaust Memory (02:57)
Credits: Memory After Belsen: The Future of Holocaust Memory
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