Langara students pen the memoirs of local Holocaust survivors

Langara College

In Fall 2016, Langara launched Writing Lives: the Holocaust Survivor Memoir Project.

Writing Lives is a one-time two-semester project at Langara College, coordinated by English instructor Dr. Rachel Mines, in which second-year students are connected with local Holocaust survivors to interview them and write memoirs of their lives before, during and after the Holocaust. An interdisciplinary initiative, the project is a partnership between Langara’s English and History Departments, the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre and the Azrieli Foundation.

In the first semester, students learned about the Holocaust through reading literary and historical texts, and wrote a research paper on prewar European Jewish communities using the resources of the VHEC and Waldman libraries. In the spring, students studied practical strategies for interviewing survivors and have conducted and transcribed their interviews. The completed memoirs will be presented to interviewees at a closing ceremony on April 20. The students’ writing have also been published regularly as a series in the Jewish Independent.

The students have enjoyed the opportunity to learn and connect with the community in a meaningful way.

Read more about the project here.