Since 2000, Centropa has interviewed nearly 1,400 elderly Jews still living in the 15 countries between the Baltic and the Aegean (from Estonia and Russia to Greece and Turkey).The project does not use video nor focus primarily on the Holocaust. Instead, it collects and digitizes family snapshots—tens of thousands of them. Between six to twenty hours is spent with each respondent, asking them to paint a picture of the world they grew up in—as well as the world they rebuilt for their families after the war (dutifully recording everything the respondents wish to share about the Shoah).
The interviews in Jewish Witness to a European Century are audio taped, transcribed, translated and entered into a searchable, keyworded database accessible on the project website. Most of the stories are in English, although separate websites and search facilities in German and in Hungarian are also provided.
To make this treasure available, Centropa has developed curricula for Jewish and non-sectarian schools, synagogues and community groups throughout Europe and recently for schools in the USA.
Centropa is spreading its educational programs of short films created from photos contained in the interactive Library of Rescued Memories, and online study guides to high schools in Europe and in the USA.
Centropa’s newest effort, Border Jumping, facilitates interaction between European and American young people. This online program will enable students in Jewish schools, congregational schools and youth clubs worldwide to upload old family photographs, include data about their families’ origins and communicate with others who have similar backgrounds.