We are at a turning point in Holocaust education, and not only because many survivors are no longer doing in-person events. What will it be like when there are no longer any Holocaust survivors left to share their stories in real time?
“No one / bears witness for the / witness,” writes Paul Celan in “Ashglory” (here translated by Pierre Joris). I returned to this poem again and again when, in 2017, I held the role of writing partner for the Sustaining Memories Project, a program created by the Azrieli Foundation’s Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program in partnership with the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University.
A story about shoes: It was Holocaust Education Week, 2019, and I accompanied Judy Cohen, the 91-year-old survivor whose memoir I was then immersed in — shifting passages, recasting sentences, checking dates and historical data — to a talk she was giving at York University.