Fortunoff Archive Publishes New Critical Editions of Survivor Testimonies

By Christy Bailey-Tomecek - August 3, 2022

We are excited to announce the publication of four new annotated editions of unedited testimonies as part of our Critical Editions Series.

The Critical Editions Series contextualizes Fortunoff Video Archive testimonies in their historical time and place. Each testimony in the series was chosen by one of our visiting scholars and fellows. Each scholar then produced an introductory essay about the chosen testimony, along with an annotated transcript that provides additional insight and background information.

The new additions bring the total number of testimonies in the series to twelve. They also expand the geographical horizons of the Critical Edition series, exploring testimonies from Ukraine, Poland, Romania, and the United States.

Below is a brief summary of each of the new Critical Editions:

  • In 2021, the Archive welcomed three Rosenberg senior scholars. The first, Wendy Lower, wrote about Eric "Isaac" Hauser and the history of the Holocaust in western Ukraine. Born in a small village near Lviv, Hauser's testimony offers a lens to explore the history of the 'double occupation' of the region - first by the Soviet Union and then by Nazi Germany. 
  • Our second senior scholar, Jonathan Petropoulos, wrote about the testimony of Sidney Bruskin, a son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, a Yale graduate, a member of the US Counterintelligence Corps that arrested French collaborators and Nazi war criminals, and a liberator of the Ebensee concentration camp.
  • Our third Rosenberg scholar, Rafał Wnuk, wrote his critical edition about the testimony of Henryk Prajs. This testimony examines the riveting wartime local history of Góra Kalwaria, Poland, a small town located on the west bank of the Vistula River, less than 30 kilometers south of Warsaw. Almost half of the population of Góra Kalwaria was Jewish in 1939.
  • Finally, former VWI/Fortunoff Fellow Julie Dawson's critical edition lifts up the testimony of Norbert Nadler. Born in Czernowitz, the capital of Bukovina, Romania in 1922, Nadler experienced the war as a young adult and survived the Moghilev-Podolsky ghetto. Dawson explores Nadler's testimony as means to cast light on this largely underexamined ghetto.

The Critical Editions Series is a living project and we plan to continue to expand the series with the publication of additional editions over the coming years.