Soon no-one will be left alive who witnessed the Holocaust first-hand. Even today, there are only a few survivors of the Nazi regime left who are able to speak about their own experiences or tell the stories of people who were murdered in the Holocaust. What remains is literary testimony and numerous videos of interviews with survivors – raising the question of how we want to deal with this legacy in the future.
Reason enough to explore the history of the contemporary witness accounts, the complex relationship between contemporary witnesses and interviewers, the medium and society. Here the focus was on the memory of the Shoah as it has come down to us in interviews and films of public appearances by contemporary witnesses. It has become a narrative wrested from a trauma and yet at the same time the product of relationships and interests that depend on the respective context: in politics and society, in court or in school classrooms, in research, on television or in the cinema. The exhibition End of Testimony? questioned the “fabricated” nature of the interviews with contemporary witnesses and their social role since 1945.