The historian Annette Wieviorka, author of The era of the witness (Fayard, 1998), has long worked on the social and political recognition of the survivors of the Shoah, as well as about the place of their stories in the writing of history. These testimonials are, for her, a prerequisite to the knowledge of the facts. But their juxtaposition is not the story, ” she explains.

It is customary to say that the victims of the Holocaust, for a long time, have kept silent. Has you read, it understands that this is not quite right…

The survivors wanted to talk about it. They even knew what Robert Antelme calls a ” hemorrhage of expression “. But, in their families – when they had not entirely disappeared – or in the company, nobody wanted to hear their story. Many have coated their memories on paper, in the form of notes, or a story, an important number of which was published after the war. But they usually do not have found readers.

how does the trial of Eichmann in 1961, this “Nuremberg of the jewish people” as he is called by David Ben Gurion, said it marked a turning point in the recognition of the testimony ?

While the prosecution at Nuremberg [trials commenced in 1945 and 1946 by the allied powers against the main leaders of the Third Reich] was attached to produce written documents, the trial of Eichmann is based on two pillars, the documents and the testimonies. The prosecutor of israel Gideon Hausner brought to the bar as many survivors as possible, each in charge of a fragment of the story.

These testimonials to produce a real catharsis in the israeli population. This trial marks the advent of the witness, become the bearer of history and memory. For the first time to a broad audience is product an account of the genocide of the jews be separated from other aspects of the crime-nazi.