Romek’s recording was made in 1998 for the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation (now USC Shoah Foundation), an oral history project inspired by director Stephen Spielberg’s experiences in Poland while filming Schindler’s List, as he explains here:
It is now one of 53,000 recordings from 56 countries, in 33 languages including sign language. All are digitised, catalogued by keywords, available to researchers and educators worldwide, and widely used for education and training. Testimonies recorded in the UK are held by Royal Holloway University of London Click here
In 1997, I read that the project in the UK was recruiting volunteer interviewers and wanted to be involved – my own parents were survivors from Poland. After rigorous training by Foundation staff, we visited each survivor for a pre-interview meeting, and then, a few days later, went back with a professional camera operator to film the interview. (The original Beta tapes lasted half an hour; this interview ran to 12 or 13 tapes, with no breaks.)
Romek had heard about the project through a close mutual friend, who, knowing his history, introduced us. So, I first met him informally, and he then asked for me to conduct his interview.
Watch a short clip of Romek’s interview
This interview by Chris Mohr was recorded for the Shoah Foundation Archive. The six and a half hours of recording was filmed in one continuous session. This is an edited version of five hours duration and copied onto four DVDs. The interview echoes the lives of many Jewish families who unlike my own were totally wiped out… no one was left to recollect their lives.