October 25, 2013
The full series of trailers of the video oral histories recorded by the Institute for Oral History for the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission Texas Liberators oral history project are now available online. Eventually, the transcripts of interviews with all nineteen participants, who were liberators of German concentration camps at the end of World War II, will also be published.
Institute director Stephen Sloan was the principal investigator and interviewer for this two-year grant. Robert DeBoard assisted in identifying and contacting veteran liberators living in Texas, recorded the videos, and assisted with the transcript processing. Steven Sielaff served as video editor for the project creating the trailer clips and preserving the video.
The interviews are framed through a life history approach, beginning with information on the liberator's family and childhood, providing a background of major influences in the veteran's development. The next phase of the interview focuses on the veteran's military recruitment, training, specialization, and deployment. Considerable time was spent during the interviews reviewing the narrators' experiences during the war leading up to their role in liberating the concentration camps. At the heart of the interviews are their experiences as a liberator, with the interviewer drawing out extra detail in sometimes emotional stories. The interviewer then explores their experiences during the remainder of World War II and the story of their post-war life. Each narrator spent time reflecting on the significance and meaning of their role as liberator.
View the clips at https://thgc.texas.gov/resources-for-education/resource/oral-histories
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