Laurel Fox Vlock
Laurel Fox Vlock grew up in New Haven, Connecticut. A family trip to Europe in the summer of 1937 exposed her to the beauty and culture of Germany as well as to German antisemitism. As a television journalist she produced many interviews for Channel 8 in New Haven including a documentary about the Yom Hashoah observance in 1978. Realizing the power of survivor testimony, Laurel Vlock initiated a meeting with Dr. Dori Laub, a child survivor and psychiatrist. It resulted in a taping session in Dr. Laub’s office that marked the beginning of the Holocaust Survivors Film Project. Mrs. Vlock died in July 2000. She actively sponsored the project and taped for it and continued her support when it came to Yale. She participated in 187 taping sessions and produced several edited programs based on the testimonies including the Emmy award winning, “Forever Yesterday.”
Dori Laub was born in Czernowitz, Romania in 1937. With his parents, he was deported to Transnistria in 1942. His father disappeared during a German raid prior to liberation by the Soviets and he and his mother were reunited with his grandparents who had survived in Czernowitz. He emigrated to Israel in 1950 where he attended medical school. Dr. Laub became a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst and settled in New Haven where he was affiliated with the Yale Medical School. Together with Laurel Vlock he began videotaping survivor testimony in 1979 which led to the founding of the Holocaust Survivors Film Project and eventually the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies. He participated in 139 taping sessions, actively trained interviewers in affiliate projects, and wrote extensively about survivor testimony. Dr. Laub died in 2018 after a brief illness.
William Rosenberg was born in Czestochowa, Poland in 1929. The only survivor of his family of seven children, he was incarcerated in seven concentration camps. He was one of three survivors of his extended family of ninety-six. He died in November 1996. As president of the New Haven Farband and the New Haven survivors fellowship group, Willy was instrumental in the founding of the Holocaust Survivors Film Project (HSFP). A meeting and press conference in his home garnered important public support and attention. He was a tireless advocate for the HSFP and later for the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies. He chaired successful fundraising events for the Video Archive. His private and public efforts contributed to significant achievements for the Video Archive.
Born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1929, Geoffrey Hartman was placed on a Kindertransport to England in 1939. He spent the war years on the estate of James Rothschild in Waddeston with nineteen other boys. Reunited with his mother in the United States in 1945, he attended Queens College and earned his Ph.D. at Yale where he taught for almost forty years before retiring as Sterling Professor of English and Comparative Literature. Professor Hartman became acquainted with the Holocaust Survivors Film Project through his wife’s participation and recognized the research and educational value of the testimonies. With the support of Yale’s president, A. Bartlett Giamatti, almost 200 testimonies were deposited at the Sterling Memorial Library in 1981. Professor Hartman died in 2016. As faculty adviser and project director for the Fortunoff Archive, Professor Hartman was actively involved in its growth and wrote extensively about the Archive and its work.