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Prague NGO offers access to US archive of Holocaust testimonies

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Prague, Jan 31 (CTK) – The Czech NGO Ziva Pamet (Living Memory) on Wednesday presented the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies of the Yale University Library to which it has received access.

The U.S. archive contains more than 12,000 hours of video recordings of interviews and testimonies of nearly 4,5000 survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust in 22 languages including Czech, Living Memory head Pavel Voves told CTK.

He said there are 17 interviews in Czech and 163 in Slovak in the archive.

Over 3,000 video recordings are in English. The first recordings date from 1979. The interviews present the stories of former inmates of the concentration camps, victims of Nazi persecutions, those who lived in hiding, witnesses, resistance fighters and soldiers fighting the Nazi armed forces.

“The stories of Holocaust survivors are an important source of our history,” Voves said.

Living Memory has access to the archive based on an agreement that it signed with the Yale University Library. Several of the video recordings are available on its website. Researchers, teachers and other people interested may access the archive through a computer in the NGO’s office in the centre of Prague.

Living Memory was founded in 2003 by people from the Office for the victims of Nazism of the Czech-German Fund for Future. It focuses on the heritage of people persecuted by totalitarian regimes, gathers data and documents. It created an Internet platform on forced labour with recorded testimonies and deals with the Roma Holocaust.

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