Research fellow from Tel Aviv University lectures at the Institute
Wed, 09/21/2011 - 12:00am

Hannah Pollin-Galay discusses how culture and language inform Holocaust testimony

From left: Karen Jungblut, Director of Research and Documentation; Stephen D. Smith, Executive Director; Hannah Pollin-Galay; Dan Leshem, Associate Director of Academics & Research; Kim Simon, Managing DirectorOn September 20, Hannah Pollin-Galay, the USC Shoah Foundation Institute's first research fellow, gave a lecture at the Institute on the influence that culture and language can have on a survivor's testimony.

Pollin-Galay holds a BA from Columbia University and an MA from Tel Aviv University, where she is currently pursuing a PhD in history. Focusing on Jewish survivors from Lithuania as a case study group, she compares testimonies delivered in English, Hebrew, and Yiddish that were recorded in North America, Israel, and contemporary Lithuania. Pollin-Galay hopes to discover what is culturally dependent and what is universal in Holocaust memory, in part by taking note of similarities and differences between eyewitness accounts.

Prior to applying for a fellowship with the Institute, Pollin-Galay wrote “Testimonies in Yiddish:  Language, Culture & Testimony," which appeared in the Spring 2011 issue of PastForward, the Institute's digest.

The Institute recently inaugurated a research fellowship program for scholars who wish to utilize the Visual History Archive. Selected fellows are invited to work in residence at the Institute for up to one month.  Click here to learn more about scholarship and research at the Institute