Primary Voices

Visit Primary Voices to explore excerpts from the VHEC's Holocaust testimony collection accompanied by guided lessons and activities.

As the community of Holocaust survivors shrinks, their recorded testimonies become all the more central to the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre's work as a teaching museum. The VHEC strives to create opportunities for students to interact with Holocaust survivor's accounts of persecution, loss and survival. In order to advance that mission, the VHEC launched a web-based pedagogical resource, Primary Voices: Teaching Through Holocaust Survivor Testimony, funded by the Government of Canada (Citizenship and Immigration Canada).

Primary Voices provides access to excerpts of testimonies in the VHEC's collections, along with associated activities, and prompts for discussion and reflection for high-school students. Through the site, educators and students can engage with Holocaust testimony in a lesson, for a larger unit or as part of an independent research project.

The lessons provided on Primary Voices are clustered into themes that are linked to testimonies in the VHEC's collection as well as topics of particular relevance to the history of the Holocaust and the British Columbia provincial curriculum. Each theme is divided into three sets of lessons—Now, Next and Beyond—to facilitate student engagement with the testimonies to foster inquiry-based, personalized and technology-enhanced approaches central to twenty-first century learning techniques.