About the Holocaust Testimony Collection

Dr. Robert Krell, survivor of the Holocaust and Founding President of the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, began a project to record Holocaust survivors in the late 1970s using audio-visual resources available from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia, where he was a faculty member. Dr. Krell forged a partnership with the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale University, which held many of his early recordings. Since the founding of the VHEC in 1994, its testimony project has continued to develop. 

Testimonies in the collection are eyewitness accounts of individual experiences of antisemitism, persecution, loss, violence, abuse, sexual assault and a multitude of other realities endured that may be upsetting or triggering. Some testimonies contain more graphic content than others. They are also stories of resilience, courage, serendipity and reflection. Visitors are encouraged to be aware of their emotional and physical responses when viewing material in the collection. Take breaks when needed. 

We recommend that video testimony be reviewed prior to screening before younger audiences. The VHEC has produced numerous resources to facilitate engagement with Holocaust material in a way that is appropriate for younger audiences, including Primary Voices, a website of teaching resources and video testimony clips specifically curated for students. Other tools intended for teachers working with grade 6 to 12 students can be found under Resources