Using Pod Casts of Holocaust Survivors to Teach about the Holocaust
Maryann McLoughlin, Ph.D. Stockton College’s Holocaust Resource Center Assistant Supervisor Writing and Literature Professor at Stockton
Pod Cast • http://titania.stockton.edu/holocaust Fanny Lesser
What is a Pod Cast? Definition and Tools of the Trade
Definition: Pod Cast • From PC Magazine • iPOD + broadCAST = pod cast • “an audio broadcast that has been converted to an mp3 file or other audio file format for playback in a digital music player or computer” • Many are “syndicated” so you can “subscribe” and automatically receive new episodes
Definition:Enhanced Pod Cast • Pod Cast = Audio • Enhanced Podcast = Visual Images + Audio • http://titania.stockton.edu/china
What are the basic steps to making a pod cast and the required pod casting tools?
Tools of Pod Casting • Step One: Hardware to Make Recording • Digital Recorder • iPod (can buy an accessory to turn your iPod into a digital recorder) • Computer (most computers have a built in microphone and recorder) • iRiver MP3 recorder • Marantz, etc. Width: 4.5 in. (113 mm) Height: 1.9 in. (47 mm)Depth: 7.2 in. (183.5 mm)Weight: 1.1 lbs. (0.5 kg)
Tools of Pod Casting • Step Two: Software to Edit Recording • Mac: Garage Band • PC & Mac: Audacity
Tools of Pod Casting • Step Three: Software to Listen to Your Recording • iTunes • Real Player, etc.
Tools of Pod Casting • Step Four: Hardware and Software to Post Your Pod Cast • Required: Internet Access & a Computer • Required: A “home” for your pod cast • Webpage • Blog • WebCT • iTunes
How did my pod casts originate? • We can adapt technology to appeal to today’s students. Think of the reality shows that students listen to. Sometimes they don’t know what is real and what is a fictionalized adaptation. • Pod casts bring Holocaust history alive and put faces on the six million.
Richard Stockton College of NJHolocaust Resource Center • In May 1987 President Vera King Farris established the Holocaust Resource Center at Stockton State College. From its inception the Holocaust Resource Center has been a joint project of the college and the Jewish Federation of Atlantic and Cape May Counties.The center began by recording video oral histories of Holocaust survivors.
Minor in Holocaust and Genocide Studies • The Coordinator of this minor is Dr. Carol Rittner with a faculty of 13 plus the Ida E. King Distinguished Visiting Professor. • In the academic year fall 2007—fall 2008, approximately 600 undergraduate students enrolled in Holocaust and Genocide Studies classes. We offer an average of 9 courses a semester. • I teach in this program as well as in the Masters of Art in Holocaust and Genocide Studies.
Master of Artsin Holocaust & Genocide StudiesMaster of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies (MAHG) • The Chair of the MAHG Program is Dr. Carol Rittner with a faculty of eight. • The MAHG Program is committed to the teaching of the study of the Holocaust and other genocides and to teaching the lessons that can be derived from such study. The goal of the MAHG Program is to learn about the past for the sake of the future.
Holocaust Resource Center • I have guided Holocaust survivors in a project titled Writing as Witness. Since its inception in 2003, fourteen memoirs have been published, some of them with teacher’s guides. • An off-shoot of these the oral history project and memoirs are these pod casts that I learned to create last summer in a Tech Academy sponsored and funded by Stockton’s Office of the Provost, Dr. David Carr. I have been recording and creating these pod casts since August 2007. Many of these pod casts are 15 minutes long—a reasonable time for people’s attention span. • Because of my work with Holocaust survivors and their memoirs, I know their stories and know on what part of their stories I want them to focus.
Why did I want to create these pod casts? • Aging Holocaust survivor population; many are in their late 80s and early 90s. • Many are ill and/or frail. • Increasingly difficult for them to come to the classroom to speak to students. • We have had a number of deaths in our community in the past year—seven Holocaust survivors have died in just the past year. Indeed, Fanny Lesser, the woman you initially listened to died on February 13. • These pod casts are one way that students can hear these Holocaust survivors.
Audience for Pod Casts • Students in my Women and Genocide, Literature of Genocide and Upheaval, Music and the Holocaust, and MAHG Literature of the Holocaust • Students in other Holocaust and Genocide courses—undergraduates and graduates, and not only students at Stockton College.
Responses from my students • Reading about the Holocaust is one thing, but when you listen to the actual voice of a survivor on a pod cast, one who actually experienced the Holocaust, it felt so much more real. It was chilling. —Laura • Listening to Rosalie describe the deaths of her family members was very emotional. . . . . Listening to these pod casts of the personal experiences of Holocaust survivors has enriched my understanding. —Meggen
I have never heard an actual account of an Auschwitz prisoner, so I felt lucky to hear Rosalie. –Katrina • I found this pod cast to be unique from the other ones that we have listened to because she talks about the time after liberation. I had never thought about survivors’ perceptions after liberation. Lesser talks about people who even after liberation hid food under their mattresses to save for the next day. —Dana • It amazed me how much different I felt when I heard the stories come from a person who had experienced the Holocaust. Just to hear the sound of her voice, the devastation in it when she talked left an impact. The pod cast made the stories come to life to hear some one speak them rather than reading them. —Keri
To hear a survivor’s story first-hand brings new depths. The anguish and pain is in the stories and makes it more like your grandmother’s story as opposed to text book knowledge. • —Tianna • This is a remarkable pod cast. It is so much more real to a person hearing the survivor’s voice and not just reading their stories. It truly is heart-breaking hearing her voice tremble. —Kat • First of all, I would like to say I like being able to hear the pod casts of these survivors, so thank you for making them available to us. . . . . This was a good learning experience for me and I greatly look forward to listening to the rest of the survivors share their stories. —Regina
I like hearing Mr. Goldfarb’s story rather than reading it. The pod cast is much more personal. It is not just words written, for when he is upset, you can hear him being upset. It is interesting to hear an actual survivor tell his story, even the digressions. It makes it as if you are there in the room, like a fly on the wall. It is a comfortable setting with him just talking as if he is among friends. I liked hearing the back story anyway. I just generally like hearing people talk about their past history. I especially like hearing people who talk about the Holocaust because there aren’t that many people left to talk about this. The digressions help you understand more about who he is. He is not just a survivor. He lived before the Holocaust, and after. I could have listened for longer. Any survivor that tells his or her story is of value. Anything the survivor has to say about the Holocaust is worthy of hearing. –Theresa
Follow Up after Pod Casts • This semester I brought Rosalie Simon in to talk with my class. The class had first listened to her pod cast. When she came in, the class asked her questions that the pod cast had left them with. • I had planned to bring in Fanny Lesser also but she died on February 13th.
Response after Rosalie Simon’s Class Visit • I wanted to say that it was such a nice experience having Rosalie in class today. I think it makes it more real for everyone, being able to see her reactions in her facial expression and hear the inflection of her voice when answering the questions that we had. It was nice to see that she had a sense of humor about her, and how even though you could tell that it was a sensitive subject for her and that she was mildly bitter about some things, she still has a very kind heart.—Kathleen
Other Uses for Pod Casts • Information—review or pre-view of lessons • Blogging • Posting a poem and having students respond • Have students post their own poems on a blog and comment on their peers’ poems.
Questions? Pod casting Projects: http://titania.stockton.edu/holocaust http://titania.stockton.edu/china
Conclusion • Pod casts are a valuable resource whether teaching about the Holocaust or some other subject. • I encourage you to learn to make pod casts for your courses. • I invite you to access my pod casts if you are teaching about the Holocaust.