Understanding Through Testimony Wins MAPDA

Understanding through Testimony, a program that humanises history by sharing the stories of 26 Melbourne-based Holocaust survivors on the specific phases of the Holocaust has won the Jewish Holocaust Centre (JHC) a prestigious Australian accolade.

The project was recognised in the Museums Australasia Multimedia & Publication Design Awards (MAPDA) held online in Canberra earlier this month, with the JHC receiving the award for Best Website Program.

Understanding through Testimony brings together testimony from the JHC’s collection in a unique format that allows students to learn about the human impact of the five phases of the Holocaust (The Rise of Nazism, Outbreak of the war, Ghettos, The Camps and Survival and Life after the war. The project was created during the 2020 COVID period to connect students with the experiences of Melbourne-based survivors while they were learning virtually.

JHC CEO and Museum Director Jayne Josem said, ‘We know that personal stories create meaning and connection with all learners – children and adults. Students truly value their encounters with Holocaust survivors, eyewitnesses to history. They learn about the Holocaust in textbooks, but it is completely different to hear directly from survivors what it was really like to live under a fascist, racist regime intent on their destruction. Listening to how these individuals responded in the moment, the students walk away with much deeper insights into this complex history.’

‘Creating this interactive program while working remotely in Melbourne, during the harshest lockdown, is a testament to the talent and drive of our team. I am so proud of everything we achieved during the pandemic.’

MAPDA judges described Understanding through Testimony as, ‘an excellent demonstration of how to use existing content and re-present it in a way that works for online use, and for teaching.’

‘The Understanding Through Testimony website is absolutely fantastic. This is perfectly suited to schools who want to teach the Holocaust in just a few lessons – short enough to easily fit into any lesson plan, well-curated and giving an excellent picture of a range of experiences, showing the development of the Holocaust over time.’ – Head of History Teacher.

You can check out the Understanding Through Testimony virtual learning interactive by heading clicking here.