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Salzburg Univeristy first to gain access to Holocaust archive

Experts at Salzburg University have become the first in Austria to gain access to the Visual History Archive of the Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education of the University of Southern California (USC).

Students, teachers and researchers at the university as well as other researchers have access to the Visual History Archive where they can view the 52,000 video interviews and testimonies with the survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust.

The Visual History Archive is the world's largest historical video archive and contains around 120,000 hours of film material.

The videos are audio visual records of the survivors of the Holocaust under National Socialism.

Salzburger Historiker Albert Lichtblau who has himself carried out interviews with survivors was instrumental in organising the access for Salzburg Univeristy to the archive project initiated by Hollywood mogul Steven Spielberg.

He said: "At the start of the 90s he was working on 'Schindlers List' and came into contact with many surviors.

"He realised there were so many with a story to tell, and started work on gathering those stories - that's how the project came into being."

The interviews include stories of people like Marko Feingold, the 98-year-old president of the Isreali Cultural Society in Salzburg - who was imprisoned in Auschwitz.

He said: "In the courtyard was a wall where they were shootings on a daily basis."

Feingold is one of the 52,000 people from 56 countries that have given a testimony in 32 different languages.

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