Filming began today on Courage to Care’s most ambitious initiative to date – to create audio-visual recordings of 24 Holocaust survivors sharing their stories to form a testimony library.
“Most of our survivors are getting on in years, and we felt that there was a great need to have their stories recorded in the best way possible so that we can utilise them going forward,” said member of Courage to Care management committee Emanuel Szumer said.
“It’s very much about rescue stories. By accentuating the role of the bystander and how every situation can be changed by the bystander not just standing by, but by actually doing something.”
An educational program and travelling exhibition, Courage to Care aims to empower individuals to stand up against discrimination, and to promote conversations about social justice and bystander intervention. Holocaust survivors often recount their stories to program participants.
The survivor testimony project will highlight historical acts of courage in order to create an understanding of how every individual has the ability to stand up to racism and discrimination. It will also expose the moments that bystanders had the courage to intervene and show kindness to a Jewish person, often at great personal risk.
“This is important work to do because these are important stories to be told. It’s about ensuring that we don’t lose those stories, and this way, we will have their stories even when they are no longer with us,” said Szumer.
Through hearing these first-hand accounts, an emotional element is applied to the history and the issues become more relevant. Szumer added that it is important to have their testimonies recorded in an audio visual format because it is more “personal”.
“They could write their stories, but writing them down is different to having an audio-visual version. Future generations will be able to see a real person telling their story, and it will never be confused for fiction.”
Courage to Care is currently looking for sponsorship and recruiting volunteers. For more information, email [email protected].