Overview of the collection

The archive’s collection consists of over 4,400 testimonies that record the experiences of over 4,000 survivors, witnesses, bystanders and liberators of the Holocaust. Our testimonies are available for research and can be watched at over 70 access sites worldwide, including at the Fortunoff Archive’s office at Yale University.

Viewing a testimony on a television set
Archive Staff Members Joanne W. Rudof & Sandra Rosenstock, ca. 1987
Master tapes of testimonies from the collection

The Stories

The collection documents the impact of the Holocaust over a broad swath of Nazi-occupied Europe, with interviewees from nineteen countries. Our testimonies include survivors that are Jewish, Roma and Sinti, Jehovah Witnesses and political prisoners; resistors and rescuers; and liberators who served in the armed forces. Testimonies detail a wide range of experiences, including imprisonment in concentration camps, living in hiding, fighting with partisans or the resistance, rescuing and protecting those targeted by Nazi persecution, and escape to Allied or neutral countries.

Use of Testimonies

Researchers can visit either the Fortunoff Archive or our access sites to view testimonies from our collection. You do not need to be part of the Yale community or affiliated with an academic institution to use the majority of our testimonies. However, certain testimonies are restricted at the donor’s request. Detailed information about any restrictions will be present in either the catalog record or the Aviary record. The Fortunoff Archive is open by appointment to researchers outside the Yale community. To schedule an appointment or to otherwise learn more about viewing testimonies at the archive, please contact us. If you are a Yale affiliate, you can learn how to view testimonies throughout campus here. Our testimonies are not just available for research–we also release excerpts of them for use in publications, documentaries, films, podcasts, and other media. Licensing is required and limits on testimony usage may apply. We encourage you to contact us to learn more.

Researching viewing a testimony in the digital access system
Obtain Permission to Publish from the Archive
Obtain Permission to Publish from the Archive
Permission is required to publish quotations from testimonies in articles, conference papers, and other works.
Request Information about Licensing
Request Information about Licensing
Licensing from the Fortunoff Archive is required to use visual, video or audio excerpts from testimonies in podcasts, films or videos.