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History 122 - The Holocaust: Primary Sources: Documents, Testimonies

What Are Primary Sources?

"Primary sources are original records created at the time historical events occurred or well after events in the form of memoirs and oral histories. Primary sources may include letters, manuscripts, diaries, journals, newspapers, speeches, interviews, memoirs, documents produced by government agencies such as Congress or the Office of the President, photographs, audio recordings, moving pictures or video recordings, research data, and objects or artifacts such as works of art or ancient roads, buildings, tools, and weapons. These sources serve as the raw material to interpret the past, and when they are used along with previous interpretations by historians, they provide the resources necessary for historical research."
(American Library Association, Reference and User Services, History Section)

Nuremberg Trials

Collections of Primary Source Documents

Be aware that many primary sources about the Holocaust are not in English! Some of the items listed here are reliable translations, though. Some of these are actual book! Click on the individual title to find its location.

Testimonies

The USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archives was created in 1994 to preserve the audio-visual histories of survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust.  It is one of the largest video digital libraries in the world.  A subset of the archive, including 1600 testimonies, is available on the public internet.  Click on the logo to connect to the public archive.  The first time you use it, you will have to create a user name and a password.  

How to Search the Visual History Archive: 

First select a collection on the left and enter keywords in the search box.  Select  "All Words".  You are now searching those keywords in the transcript of the testimonies.

After you enter your search, and click the Search button, you can then limit the results in various ways:

The top one Video Viewable Now will limit the results to those testimonies you can actually view on the open web. All of these should be in English!