Holocaust Education Mobile Application
As the number of living Holocaust survivors shrinks, the urgency to document their life stories increases. In 2012, the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel found that one Holocaust survivor died every hour in Israel. Over the past two decades, Steven Spielberg’s the Shoah Foundation has recorded over 52,000 survivor interviews of multiple genocides. In 2014, President Obama appointed a Special Envoy for US Holocaust Survivor Services tasked with providing a range of support services partly intended to empower survivors to share their stories.
The Center for Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Education of North Carolina is one among many local groups participating in this effort to preserve these crucial stories for future generations. Its Holocaust Speakers Bureau sends survivors to public schools and other public forums to maintain the living link as long as possible.
Students in Laura Lieber's first-year seminar course Jewish and German (RELIGION 89S) decided to bring these stories to one of the most important forums for today's young people—their mobile device. Two freshmen in the class, Matthew Kirshner and Scott Powell, collected and digitized interviews with survivors, artifacts and other archival material and wrapped them up in a mobile app. In this form, they should be pedagogically useful at the secondary school level for years to come.