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Traumatic histories – when family research becomes difficult

What do we do when we come across details that unsettle or disturb us?


Family research can often unearth unexpected or upsetting information. What do we do when we come across details that unsettle or disturb us? Elise Bath has worked at The Wiener Holocaust Library for over 6 years, researching the experiences of individual victims of Nazi persecution, usually on behalf of their families. Join her as she discusses some of the challenges of carrying out research into such a potentially traumatic material, as well as practical tips for dealing with difficult and upsetting family histories.

Can't make this time? Book anyway as this talk will be recorded and available to watch for 2 weeks. 

Elise BathAbout the speaker: Elise Bath is the ITS Archive Team Manager at The Wiener Holocaust Library, where she has worked since October 2016. She holds an MLitt which analysed gendered experiences in concentration camp memoirs, and an MA in Museum Studies, both from Newcastle University. She is the author of ‘Fertility in the Camps: An Exploration of Female Fertility as Reported in Concentration Camp Memoirs’, German Life and Letters 72:4 (2019) and has a forthcoming article on the continued marginalisation of Roma and Sinti in the post-war period. Her particular areas of interest are subjectivity in Holocaust research, and ethical engagement with family research and “difficult” histories.


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