The Julia Vajda Collection: Testimonies of Hungarian survivors, 2004-2007

Language of Description
1 Jan 2004 - 1 Dec 2007
Level of Description
Record group
  • Hungarian
  • Latin

Extent and Medium

332 Audio Testemonies


Scope and Content

The collection contains interviews with survivors conducted by Dr. Júlia Vajda as part of the “Totalitarianism and Holocaust Project” of the University of Debrecen, Hungary, 2004-2007, and documentation regarding these interviews. There are 332 audio testimonies in the collection: 308 interviews with Jewish survivors and 24 with non-Jewish witnesses.Documentation regarding the interviews: - Completed questionnaires containing personal information regarding the survivor and information concerning the fate of the survivor's family in the Holocaust (There is a completed questionnaire for each testimony); - Personal documents;- Photographs. Interviewing method:The interviews were conducted according to the Fritz Schütze/Gabriele Rosenthal method which focuses on the narrative itself and its structure. The primary goal of this method is to arrive at a text that is not influenced by outside questions, in order to obtain a narrative whose structure can provide us with a comprehension of the text not only through the conscious memories, but also through the chain of associations that are revealed and the lingual and paralingual formations of the text (the non-verbal communication such as intonation, rate of speech and more). The opening question of the interview concentrates on the life story of the survivor, who knows that the focus of the interview is the Holocaust and he/she was chosen for this interview because he/she survived the Holocaust. Through this question, we are seeking to elicit information on how he/she survived the Holocaust and how he/she has carried on with his/her live after the events he/she experienced.After listening to the testimony (listening can sometimes take hours and rarely less than an hour) we ask questions regarding the events and experiences mentioned in the testimony, but not in detail. Posing the questions is similar to the start of the interview: we ask the survivor to keep on with his/her story. However, the experiences that appear in this later narrative are dependent on questions. Once the survivor has been asked about the experiences which were mentioned but not detailed, there is an opportunity to ask additional questions to clarify certain facts. The interview ends with completion of the questionnaire containing questions concerning information about the survivor's family, the loss of the family, family members who survived, as well as the family started by the survivor (after the war). The method is based on the conviction that, on the one hand, it highly facilitates the raising of subconscious and unconscious memories and, on the other hand, and it also helps in the healing process.

Existence and Location of Copies

  • YV archives

Archivist Note

JL according to the RG description in the YV system

Dates of Descriptions