Phillip Maisel Testimonies Project

Language of Description
1980 - 2019
Level of Description
  • English
  • German
  • Yiddish
  • Latin

Extent and Medium

The JHC has over 1300 video testimonies as well as over 200 audio testimonies in its collection.


If you would like to give your testimony or know of someone who is interested in giving a testimony, please contact Phillip Maisel on (03) 9528 1985 or email:

Scope and Content

The JHC video testimonies and audio testimonies provide eyewitness accounts of the horrors of the Holocaust, as well as glimpses into the vibrancy of pre-war Jewish life in Europe. The collection is widely used by researchers and students of oral history, the Holocaust and a variety of other disciplines. The testimonies’ project began in the 1980s as the Melbourne Oral History Project, established by Sandra Cowan and Jenny Wajsenberg and later co-ordinated by the late Anne Bernhaut. They conducted over 200 audio recordings of Holocaust survivors. In the early 1990s, with the purchase of a video camera, the Video Testimonies’ Project was launched. Holocaust survivor, Phillip Maisel, began volunteering and immediately recognised the enormity of the challenge, given the passage of time and the ageing of survivors, so he made it his passion and goal to interview as many survivors as possible. He has dedicated himself tirelessly to the task. The 1300 testimonies collected are a testament to his energy and perseverance. Phillip was awarded an OAM in recognition of his efforts. More recently he has turned his focus to the ongoing challenge of digitising the collection and has taught himself to work in a digital environment. Future challenges include improving the testimonies’ database, as well as indexing the collection to make it more accessible for researchers.

Archivist Note

Description made by Adina Babeş based on Institution website and finding aids.

Rules and Conventions

EHRI Guidelines for Description v.1.0