Holocaust video testimonies

Al Filreis leads a discussion of video testimonies of Holocaust survivors

This informal discussion, led by Al Filreis, Class of 1942 Professor of English and Faculty Director of the Kelly Writers House, was held on March 22, 2000. It took up the vexed questions raised by video testimonies of Holocaust survivors. Can the story be told "well" in this medium--told to the "satisfaction" of the survivor witness and/or to the viewer who wants to understand the experience, the history and/or the contemporary feelings associated with reliving the pain? What conventional judgments about the success of the medium--ethical and aesthetic--are relevant, if any? If none are, then how are viewing the video testimonies helpful to us today? They seem to be very helpful indeed, but how?

The program was co-sponsored by the Kelly Writers House and the Penn Humanities Forum.