Undergraduate Honors Thesis


Seven Letters: Impacts and Representation of The Holocaust Public Deposited

  • History is better understood and learned from when connected to personal experiences. The psychological impact on survivors is something rarely discussed in Holocaust documentaries, but is critical to understanding the trauma survivors face. The survivor guilt my family experienced caused enormous pain, and led to the withholding of information that could have been passed down for generations. Perhaps if their pain was better understood, they would have shared their experiences. If more people talked about this trauma, it could start healing beyond my own family. Too often only statistics are used in writing about the Holocaust and this detachment from emotional involvement makes it more difficult for people to empathize with victims. Without personal impact or emotional understanding, these horrific events could be repeated. If people do not empathize, they will not be motivated to prevent similar events in the future. I also want to use my paper to explore how technical decisions of this film as tools to reflect memory and history. I will reference films such as Flee, Persepolis, and Waltz with Bashir. I have also met with a producer of Flee in person, and will share some of the concepts we discussed revolving around the use of rotoscope animation in a nonfiction format.

    The purpose of my film, Seven Letters, is not only to preserve my family history, but also to showcase the humanity of victims of atrocities like the Holocaust. Many documentaries adopt an informative tone, solely focusing on the importance, reasons, or ongoing impacts of these events. These are important ideas, but the primary goal of my film will be to emphasize the personhood of the victims. I believe that highlighting the unique personalities of my family will cause the audience to see the people who endure these horrors as individuals rather than mere statistics. I want the audience to empathize with Holocaust survivors’ ongoing trauma after seeing this film.

Date Awarded
  • 2023-04-10
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Last Modified
  • 2023-04-21
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