“Testimonies, particularly when they are produced as part of a larger cultural movement, express the discourse or discourses valued by society at the moment the witnesses, tell their stories as much as they render an individual experience.” (xii, Wievorka). Wievorka further states that certain kinds of testimony have not been recorded and certain groups of survivors have given testimony (p. 18).
With this quote and the reading in mind, compare and contrast some of the early testimonies. Some questions to consider in your discussion (you don’t have to answer all of them beyond the first about Wievorka’s statement):
Do you agree with Wievorka’s point raised above, and if so, how do the testimonies from this week reflect the context in which they were recorded? If you don’t agree with her statement, why not?
What has motivated survivors in different periods since the Holocaust to give testimony? Do you think the motivation of the survivor giving the testimony and the interviewer/recorder should inform how the testimony is read and interpreted? If some experiences and groups of survivors have been left out of the narrative of testimony, as Wievorka suggests, how do you think testimonies have shaped our understanding of the Holocaust?