Stories of Victims & Survivors of the Holocaust in the former Soviet Union
Memory is a precious human gift and a significant Jewish value, but unless memories are recorded they will be forgotten. Since its inception, the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center has been engaged in recording oral histories of Holocaust survivors. Survivors’ memories of that genocide are indelibly planted in their minds and are evoked through thoughtful, probing, nonjudgmental questioning, and active and sympathetic listening. Each survivor oral history enriches and supports the historical record by adding a crucial component to the collective memory of the Shoah.
Survivor testimonies help to counter Holocaust denial—the effort to murder the victims a second time by obliterating the truth of their experiences. We must also still contend with those who minimize, distort, and downplay the Holocaust. Firsthand survivor accounts aid in dispelling such disinformation and misinformation. They also become an important aspect of family history. They provide vivid testimonials as to family roots and histories, and can lead to intergenerational discussion and genealogical exploration.*
Never Heard–Never Forget Volumes I & Volume II commemorate victims and survivors of the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied territories of the former Soviet Union (FSU). Volume II has over 135 newly published personal and family narratives of Chicago-area Holocaust survivors’ experiences, written in both English and Russian, with archival photos and documents. These compelling accounts were collected by volunteers, descendants of survivors, and CJE SeniorLife’s Holocaust Community Services.
Proceeds from both volumes of the book will go to Holocaust Community Services at CJE SeniorLife for assistance to Holocaust survivors from the FSU and to the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center for ongoing efforts to document and share the history of the Soviet Holocaust experience.
A new collection of narratives will be launched during our September 29, Commemoration: 81st Anniversary of Babiy Yar.
New! Volume II (2022) Volume I (2017)
Click on buttons below to download form to:
- Please save completed form to your computer and send as an attachment to NeverForgetBook@cje.net
- You can also complete attached form, print and mail with your payment to: Holocaust Community Services, 3003 West Touhy Ave., Chicago, IL 60645
- You may order a Volume I (2017) at https://illinois-holocaust-museum.myshopify.com/collections/books/products/never-heard-never-forget .
- Or purchase the book by visiting or calling: ILHMEC Legacy Shop at 9603 Woods Drive, Skokie, IL 60077, 847.967.4800.
- NHNF Volume I (2017)—$25 each
- NHNF Volume II (2022)—$36 each
- NHNF Volumes I & II bundle—$54
Proceeds from Volums I and II of the book will go to the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center for exhibits and programs on the Soviet Holocaust story and to Holocaust Community Services at CJE SeniorLife for assistance to Holocaust survivors from the FSU and for ongoing effort to document and preserve the history of the Soviet Holocaust experience.
For more information, email: NeverForgetBook@cje.net
*Foreword to Never Heard Never Forget: Stories of Victims and Survivors of the Holocaust in the Soviet Union
Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is thrilled to share the launch of the new online exhibition experience on The Holocaust in the Soviet Union.
The site is a first-of-its-kind online experience, for the Museum itself, and for sharing the little-known history of the Holocaust in the Soviet Union as told through the stories of Chicago-area survivors and their families. This new site includes an online exhibition, research page with access to the Museum’s full photo and object collection connected to the Holocaust in the Soviet Union; stories page developed in partnership with Holocaust Community Services highlighting individual stories of Chicago-area survivors and rescuers; and a page dedicated to secondary classroom educator and student activities.
This project was a remarkable interdepartmental and community effort, and the result is a truly elegant and powerful online experience.