Doing the collage with my wife, daughter and son in law was a fascinating experience. Although I have seen some of the documents before, this project provided us with the opportunity to view them in a different light. We had an opportunity as a family to discuss these documents and photos, which made us appreciate them even more. For the first time, I had the opportunity to read a letter written from Germany in 1937 by my wife’s mother Marta (to whom this collage is dedicated) to her sisters in Palestine and Australia. The sense of resigned desperation and sadness yet at the same time a matter of fact optimism expressed in this letter was made palpable for all of us. Victor Majzner
The Human Element Project has recently completed a series of workshops at the Jewish Holocaust Centre in Melbourne, Australia.Holocaust survivors and their families gathered memorabilia from household cupboards, shoeboxes and family albums to meticulously design collages showcasing intensely personal narratives of destruction and survival. It is our hope that this project helps us move beyond the generalized platitude of “never forget,” to delve into intensely personal stories, honoring the survivor, their families and their journey.
Jewish Holocaust Centre in Melbourne, Australia
"It was as a great experience to work together with my brothers on the collages - to honor the lives of our mother & father, two survivors of the Holocaust. The centre was a buzz with guides, volunteers, staff & families reminiscing about the past & working together on this terrific project." Gita Ginger
Individual survivor participants, their stories and their families
"I congratulate you on creating such a clever, comforting, historical and creative project that is multilayered in its meaningfulness for those involved". Anatie Livant
What a wonderful and moving morning it was with my mother, Rosa Krakowski Holocaust survivor, together with my brother Morris Krakowski and Bev Simon and my daughter Natalie Siegel. Congratulations and Kol Hakavod to all involved in this project. Rhonda Lipschutz
Read about our project in the
JHC Centre News
The Human Element Project collaborates with the
"Thank you for the opportunity to take part in this fabulous project. Going through my parents photos, documents, letters and memorabilia over the last few days with my mother, Sara, opened up so much more precious dialogue of her pre war life in Poland, her painful but inspirational survival story and the resilience of her post war experience of immigration and establishing a family which now spans four generations. The collages concisely tell this story."
When I’m sitting here to have the interview I look around and see my children and grandchildren: to me it is a great achievement. I didn’t believe that I will live until my age at 86 and can still tell my stories. All of the survivors I’m sure are thinking the same. Cesia Goldberg
"The Human Element project was more than I had imagined. At first glance it seemed to be a regular art workshop, after a short while it became evident this was so much more. The Holocaust is a difficult subject still for so many survivors, but here they were surrounded by their sons daughters and grandchildren all contributing however they could to produce a collage of precious photos that told the story of their loved ones Holocaust journey. Thank you for your inspirational idea to create a mural of precious memories, you have created a pathway to healing survivors pain by validating their traumatic experience and at the same time allowing family members to show their love and respect". Viv Parry