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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Hear the Voices: The Need for Personal Narratives in Holocaust Studies


Personal narratives can teach us much about aspects of people’s lives that do not enter the documents that historians prefer. In the case of Holocaust survivors, the written documents were often created by outsiders who had their own agendas and prejudices. To ignore the survivors’ memoirs and oral histories would be to create history based on sources no more credible. In some instances, there would be no other documents at all. To ignore the survivors’ testimonies in those cases would be to let their history go untold.

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