Holocaust survivor and Vancouver resident David Schaffer meets American-Israeli graphic artist Miriam Libicki for the first time at Emily Carr University in Vancouver on Jan. 2. Schaffer is one of four Holocaust survivors participating in a University of Victoria-led project to illuminate survivors’ stories with graphic novels. (Courtesy of Mike Morash).

University of Victoria tells stories of Holocaust survivors with graphic novels

International storytelling initiative launched first meetings this winter

A University of Victoria (UVic) project is turning the stories of Holocaust survivors into graphic novels.

The international initiative connects graphic novelists from around the world with four Holocaust survivors living in the Netherlands, Israel and Canada.

In a media release, UVic says the project aims to “teach new generations about racism, anti-Semitism, human rights and social justice while illuminating one of the darkest times in human history.”

READ ALSO: UVic students walk out in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en First Nation Charlotte Schaillié, a Holocaust historian and chair of UVic’s Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies, leads the project, which launched its first meetings this winter.

“Given the advanced age of our survivors, our project takes on an immediate urgency,” Schaillié says in a statement. “What makes the survivors’ participation especially meaningful is that all of them continue to be human rights and social justice activists into their 80s and 90s. They are role models for how we can integrate learning about the Shoah into broader questions of human rights protection.”

The graphic artists include American-Israeli Miriam Libicki – who currently resides in Vancouver – Germany’s Barbara Yelin and Israel’s Gilad Sliktar. The artists will produce three original works of arts, that once completed, will be accompanied by instructional material and teachers’ guides for use in schools around the world.

David Schaffer, a Holocaust survivor living in Vancouver, met with one of the artists Jan.2. Schaffer was deported from Romania by cattle car to a location on the border of current day Moldova and Ukraine, where he and his family “suffered starvation and inhumane living conditions.”

“The the most important thing is to share the story with the general population so they realize what happened and to avoid it happening again,” Schaffer said. “It’s very simple. History has a habit of repeating itself.”

READ ALSO: Student protestors blockade UVic administrative building, fight for fossil fuel divestment

The project is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and has partners around the world, including the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam and Winnipeg’s Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

UVic offers one of Canada’s only masters streams in Holocaust Studies as well as the I-witness Holocaust Field School.

The graphic novels are expected to be available digitally in 2022.



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ArtHolocaustUniversity of Victoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sweet 16 for Vernon Panthers

Led by three seniors, Lady Cats qualify for 16-team B.C. finals for 16th straight year

Starbucks closes shop in Vernon

Seattle-based coffee giant says last cup of joe served is part of regular business

Vernon pool to see price increase, hours cut

Additional lifeguard requirements behind changes to be made to Vernon Aquatic Centre

Former manager returns to Record City to drop debut

Steve Marc will perform at Record City Thursday, Feb. 27, 7-10 p.m.

Vernon rhythmic gymnast enjoying powerful season

Halle Moger, 16, has won nine gold medals at three early-season events

VIDEO: Feds warned agricultural sector near ‘tipping point’ due to blockades

Canadian Federation of Agriculture points to lack of propane and feed due to Coastal GasLink dispute

UPDATE: RCMP officers converge on rail blockade near Chase

Protest held in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en First Nation regarding RCMP, LNG pipeline

Seven arrested at blocked rail line in northern B.C., police say

But a Gitxsan hereditary chief says 14 were arrested, as fight over natural gas pipeline continues

Hospital parking fees needed, but changes to payment system possible, health minister says

B.C. health minister Adrian Dix says hospital parking doesn’t need to be so stressful

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Man accused of attacking Penticton doctor has charges stayed by court

Charges against Gregory Nield for alleged attack on a psychiatrist at PRH stayed by Crown

Do you talk to your spouse about money? 42% of Canadians don’t, poll suggests

Politics, sex, religion top list of taboo subjects for Canadians

IHOP to host seventh annual National Pancake Day

IHOP will be offering free short-stack pancakes in support of BC Children’s Hospital on Tuesday

Most Read