Nebraska Holocaust Survivor & WWII Veteran Network and Educational Portal
The Nebraska Holocaust Survivor & WWII Veteran Network and Educational Portal project
will establish a dynamic, public platform to centralize access to the history of Nebraska
Holocaust survivors and WWII liberators of Nazi camps through a curated collection of digital stories.
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[00:00:00.780]Hi, and welcome to our
presentation about our research,
[00:00:03.690]the Nebraska Stories of
Humanity: Holocaust Survivors,
[00:00:06.390]and World War II Veterans.
[00:00:08.190]We are honored to take this opportunity
to share with you our work today.
[00:00:11.690]My name is Aila Ganic, and I'm
a junior political science major at the
[00:00:15.080]University. I was born and
raised in Lincoln, Nebraska.
[00:00:18.440]And following graduation,
[00:00:19.700]I'm hoping to attend law school
in order to work in public policy,
[00:00:23.120]civil rights law or environmental law.
[00:00:25.520]I was introduced to this UCARE project
through my position at the Teaching,
[00:00:29.210]Learning and Teacher Education office.
[00:00:32.420]Hi, my name is Ethan Tylski,
and I'm a junior history major.
[00:00:35.630]I was born in Wichita, Kansas, but
grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. Mrs.
[00:00:39.210]Dotan asked me to participate in her
research after I was a student in her
[00:00:42.590]School and Society Education
course. After I graduate,
[00:00:45.800]I hope to either join the Peace Corps
or the AmeriCorps. Upon my return to
[00:00:49.700]Nebraska, I think I will either go into
law or continue further into history in
[00:00:55.340]There are five primary goals that this
research hopes to achieve. Creating a hub
[00:01:00.140]for firsthand experiences,
[00:01:02.090]creating a centralized space
where stories can be accessed,
[00:01:05.420]sharing stories of Nebraska
[00:01:06.770]Holocaust survivors and World
War II veterans, establishing
a dynamic platform to
[00:01:11.720]grow over time, and the one that
pertains most to Ethan and I as students,
[00:01:16.160]the last goal is utilizing student
research skills from our disciplinary
[00:01:20.210]scholarship to advance and impact
the material for public use.
[00:01:25.760]Our project also meets the NU
2025 strategic research aim of using
[00:01:30.290]interdisciplinary skills. We
also have multiple stakeholders,
[00:01:33.890]including several community
organizations and University departments.
[00:01:38.870]Digital humanities bring along
a unique form of methodology.
[00:01:42.770]So the digital humanities provide the
space to formulate a collaboration of
[00:01:46.670]cross disciplinary study to bring social
science research material to a new
[00:01:51.080]level through digital resources.
[00:01:53.600]So bearing witness through
digital access allows the user
[00:01:56.780]the privilege of hearing how injustice
and hate affected one individual,
[00:02:01.580]yet provides a broader awareness
of the historic tragedy.
[00:02:05.240]So teamwork has been crucial in our
methodology as we have been collaborating
[00:02:09.260]very close with the UNL
Center for Digital Humanities.
[00:02:13.940]So we use various tools to
collect and share material.
[00:02:17.810]In order to keep track of
the materials we collect,
[00:02:20.600]we assign a specific name
that correlates to the person
[00:02:23.540]It is connected to, save documents in Box
and track the documents through Google
[00:02:28.130]Sheets. Once documents are
saved to Box and Google Sheets,
[00:02:33.200]Ethan and I use Github to share our
coding work with others and do the
[00:02:37.760]actual transcribing and encoding
through the Oxygen XML editor.
[00:02:42.230]Various types of documents require
different coding of metadata,
[00:02:45.950]so this part of the process
requires lots of precision.
[00:02:49.760]The specific Holocaust survivor
I'm researching is Bea Karp.
[00:02:54.170]My overall goal for this
research is identifying how
to share Bea's story in a way
[00:02:58.790]that is accurate and highlights
the influence she had on
our Nebraska community.
[00:03:03.520]So I've been compiling all stories,
documents, books, videos, images,
[00:03:07.810]that detail Bea's life
[00:03:09.400]through resources provided by the
University of Nebraska Lincoln,
[00:03:13.150]various newspapers and other
databases of historical material.
[00:03:17.740]I've been recording and saving this
material in Google Sheets and Box in order
[00:03:22.060]to keep an account of all
aggregated documents and images.
[00:03:26.050]I've been coding the
metadata and transcribing this
material through the use of
[00:03:29.650]Github and Oxygen. And on the right here,
[00:03:32.080]you can see one of these emigration forms
and these are the kinds of historical
[00:03:36.250]documents that I've been
trying to find and save.
[00:03:39.730]And then I've also been transcribing Bea's
testimonies, and she has given many of
[00:03:44.260]them while she has been
living in the United States.
[00:03:48.000]Clarence Williams was one
of the liberators in the
Dachau concentration camp
[00:03:51.570]that I am researching for
my part of the project.
[00:03:54.210]Clarence Williams was a combat medic in
the 122nd Medical Battalion of the
[00:03:58.380]famous 42nd Rainbow Division in World
War II. Williams left behind a plethora
[00:04:03.300]of primary documents for us to analyze.
Not only are all of his war letters
[00:04:08.370]but he also took incredible photographs
of his wartime experience that have
[00:04:11.670]never been seen before. The bulk of my
research includes transcribing documents,
[00:04:15.750]such as letters, and coding their
contents in XML and cataloging important
[00:04:20.280]places, people, and groups that
Clarence encountered. Mrs.
[00:04:23.520]Dotan and I have also recently gotten into
contact with Clarence's son, Tom,
[00:04:27.570]who is willing to meet with us and
discuss his father's legacy in greater
[00:04:30.660]detail. And there he
is right on the right.
[00:04:36.300]Although our research is finally taking
shape in the form of an unofficial
[00:04:39.390]website, we still have
a lot of work to do.
[00:04:41.790]We are now in the early
stages of developing the
searchable database that will
[00:04:45.270]include all of the primary sources
[00:04:47.010]we have collected, a map to trace the
journey of our featured individuals, and a
[00:04:51.210]network analysis page that will allow
our website viewers to trace connections
[00:04:54.810]between individuals, places, and events.
[00:04:57.450]The goal of our project is to make the
history of the Holocaust more accessible,
[00:05:01.020]meaningful, and relevant to Nebraskans
by highlighting personal narratives.
[00:05:05.190]We hope that by making this resource,
[00:05:07.110]we will be creating an invaluable asset
for educators, students, local leaders,
[00:05:12.060]to better understand the ramifications
of the Holocaust and the importance of
[00:05:15.690]preventing future genocide.
[00:05:17.490]We still have quite a ways to go
before our project is complete,
[00:05:20.370]but it has been incredibly exciting to
watch our research finally take shape.
[00:05:25.170]First and foremost,
[00:05:26.070]we would like to thank the University of
Nebraska for the opportunity to conduct
[00:05:30.270]providing us with a generous grant for
all of our work and being flexible
[00:05:33.360]during these challenging times. We
would also like to thank Laura Weakly,
[00:05:37.170]the Encoding Specialist at the Center for
Digital Research in the Humanities for
[00:05:40.710]patiently training us interns
[00:05:42.090]how doing encode metadata and always being
available for any of our questions.
[00:05:46.380]We would be remiss not to
thank the families of the
survivors who have been more
[00:05:49.590]than happy to tell their relatives'
stories and help us obtain important
[00:05:53.160]documents, photos, and
videos for our research.
[00:05:56.520]Thank you also to the
project PI Dr. Ari Kohen,
[00:05:59.390]Director of the Norman and Bernice
Harris Center for Judaic Studies at the
[00:06:02.660]University of Nebraska Lincoln for
sponsoring our research. Lastly,
[00:06:07.130]we would also like to thank our advisor,
[00:06:08.750]Beth Dotan, Doctoral Candidate and
Research Assistant, in particular,
[00:06:12.710]who invited us to work on her project
and gave us this incredible opportunity
[00:06:16.280]to put our skills and love of history
and the social sciences to good use.
[00:06:20.120]I think Aila and I both agree that
this has been one of the most fulfilling
[00:06:23.240]things we have done during our
time here at the University.
[00:06:27.460]What makes this project so special is how
vital it is to our Nebraska community.
[00:06:32.590]As Bea herself said,
[00:06:34.390]"I tell this story in memory of my
parents and the 6 million Jews that died.
[00:06:38.980]I don't want the world to forget. It's a
lesson to the future and the future is
[00:06:43.180]in your hands. And it's up to you to
make sure nothing like that will ever
[00:06:49.270]It's up to us to keep Bea's story alive
and ensure Holocaust education is
[00:06:53.830]accessible to all individuals.
[00:06:56.590]Thank you so much for giving us
a platform to share our research.
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