Gathering the Voices exhibition shares voices of Holocaust survivors

15 January 2018

GCU's Dr Angela Shapiro is a Gathering the Voices founder

GCU's Dr Angela Shapiro is a Gathering the Voices founder

An exhibition about Gathering the Voices, a GCU partnership charity, will be shown at Glasgow City Chambers next week to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.

Gathering the Voices collects and preserves the testimonies of men and women who found sanctuary from Nazi-dominated Europe in Scotland.

GCU’s Dr Angela Shapiro is one of the founders of the charity, which records the moving stories of Holocaust survivors and Jewish people who fled their homes and re-established their lives in Scotland.

In partnership with GCU, the charity has been praised by the Scottish Parliament and, as well as being available online and in GCU’s Spoken Word repository, the moving oral histories have been selected by the British Library for inclusion in its digital archive so that they will exist in perpetuity.

Dr Shapiro, Senior Lecturer in GCU’s School of Engineering and Built Environment, said: “The idea for Gathering the Voices came from listening to the stories of our families who travelled from countries under Nazi occupation, including, like my mother-in-law Gretl Shapiro, on the Kindertransport. Like all the people we have interviewed, she wanted to be remembered as a productive member of Scottish society, rather than merely as a victim of persecution.

“We passionately believe that we need to preserve these first-hand accounts so that we can educate future generations. The testimonies show us that the survivors were ordinary people who coped with extraordinarily difficult circumstances. In spite of this, they remained positive individuals who went on to make significant contributions to our society and their accounts are relevant to the challenges and opportunities facing today’s refugees.”

The testimonies are being used, for example, for research and to educate school children about the atrocities of the Holocaust.

The exhibition is at Glasgow City Chambers from January 22 to 26.

And Interfaith Scotland’s annual Holocaust Memorial Day event is at GCU on January 24. The event will feature the acclaimed exhibition The Story of Rostov on Don, performances and reflections.