It has been nearly 28 years since former Staten Island resident and renowned Jewish artist, Emil Jacoby, sat down for roughly a four-hour interview as part of USC Shoah Foundation Institute's testimony series.
In an interview that took place on December 18, 1995, Emil Jacoby shared intimate details about his incredible journey from growing up in Czechoslovakia, to surviving the Holocaust, and eventually being able to paint, draw, and sketch unforgettable memories that haunted him for years. Not only did Emil Jacoby recount these personal and heartfelt life experiences, but thankfully they were captured in video as well.
The interview with USC Shoah Foundation Institute remains a special addition to our growing online archive where Staten Island Holocaust Center continues to compile these moments in history with Emil Jacoby, and other Holocaust survivors across the world. According to the USC Shoah Foundation Institute:
In 1994, after the filming of Schindler’s List, Steven Spielberg founded the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation with the aim of videotaping 50,000 first-person accounts by Holocaust survivors and witnesses.
The massive global documentation effort began with the first interview on April 18, 1994. The foundation trained 2,300 interviewer candidates in 24 countries, hired 1,000 videographers, and recruited more than 100 regional coordinators and staff in 34 countries to organize the interviewing process in their respective regions.
Between 1994 and 2000, interviews with Holocaust survivors and witnesses took place in 56 countries and were conducted in 32 languages. The interviewing methodology was developed in consultation with Holocaust historians, psychologists, and experts in the field of oral history. The life history format of the interview meant interviewees discussed their lives before, during, and after the Holocaust. The organization’s trainings, interviewer guidelines, and videographer guidelines ensured that the interviews would be conducted with a consistent approach.
Thank you to the USC Shoah Foundation Institution for including Emil Jacoby in their prestigious interview series.