Aliza Liberman

Dimensions in Testimony: Interactive Biography in Spanish

Aliza Liberman’s upbringing in Panama is inextricably tied to the Holocaust: it’s where her Polish-Jewish grandfather, a survivor, immigrated to after World War II. This deep connection to the Holocaust is the main reason Liberman chose to support the Institute’s Dimensions in Testimony (DiT) program, which enables people to engage with a prerecorded video image of a genocide survivor by asking him or her questions and hearing the survivor’s answers in real time.

Long after the last survivor has left us, this growing collection of interactive biographies will preserve the ability to engage with Holocaust survivors for generations to come. To date, the Institute has recorded 19 interactive biographies. Most are in English, but one is in Mandarin and another is in Hebrew. With Liberman’s support, the Institute has begun collecting DiT testimonies of survivors in Spanish. One interview has already been conducted with a Holocaust survivor in Argentina and more are planned.

These interactive biographies have the potential to be powerful teaching tools for millions of Spanish-language speakers in Latin America, Africa and Europe. Liberman said she wanted to enable students and the general public to have the experience of interacting with a survivor. “I was concerned that the future generations were not going to be as connected as we are,” she said. “Those of us who are the children and grandchildren of survivors had this up close because of our relatives. Young people don’t have so much of that.”

“We have so many countries around the world that speak Spanish,” Liberman added. “It’s wonderful that those millions of people will be able to go to museums and get the benefit of interacting with survivors.”