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).

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

The Quesnel RCMP Detachment is one of seven northern police buildings which can now connect directly to Prince George for daily bail hearings. (Observer File Photo)
Bail hearings going virtual in B.C.’s north

A court pilot project will see virtual courtroom cameras set up in seven RCMP detatchments

FILE – Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to sign a memorandum on rights and title with B.C. and Ottawa, but elected chiefs are demanding it be called off over lack of consultation. (Thom Barker photo)
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get provincial funding for land, title rights

Government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, B.C. and First Nations.

The fence option chosen for the 461 Quatsino Boulevard development is the red lines that border the site plan. The fence will be roughly six feet high with the exception of the fence bordering Cranberry Street which will be eight feet high. (Boni Maddison Architects photo)
Fence to be erected between housing project and Kitimat homeowners

Residents of the Cranberry Street area are finally getting the fence they want

Rising demand for police to perform well-being checks and field calls for people struggling with domestic violence cases is driving the city to formulate a ‘situation table’ to connect vulnerable people with the services they need. (News Bulletin file photo)
Situation Table comes to Kitimat to support vulnerable people

Situation Tables identify and help vulnerable people in need.

The property on which a residential school (pictured) that was torn down years ago in Lower Post is to be the location of a cultural centre. (Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre photo)
Lower Post residential school building to be demolished, replaced with cultural centre

Project to be funded by federal and provincial governments, Daylu Dena Council

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Local carpenter Tyler Bohn embarked on a quest to create the East Sooke Treehouse, after seeing people build similar structures on a Discovery Channel show. (East Sooke Treehouse Facebook photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. carpenter builds fort inspired by TV’s ‘Treehouse Masters’

The whimsical structure features a wooden walking path, a loft, kitchen – and is now listed on Airbnb

The Attorney General’s Ministry says certain disputes may now be resolved through either a tribunal or the court system, pending its appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court decision that reduced the tribunal’s jurisdiction. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Court of Appeal grants partial stay in ruling on B.C. auto injuries

B.C. trial lawyers challenged legislation brought in to cap minor injury awards and move smaller court disputes to the Civil Resolution Tribunal

Most Read