For Phillip Maisel the stories of holocaust survivors are like watching lava bubbling up from deep inside. A burning trauma they need to release.
“Testimony is a process where people expose their inner life to the public and my aim as the interviewer is to get all the facts as close to the truth.”
For the past 25 years, the tech-savvy 94-year-old has been recording the stories of survivors in his own makeshift studio at the Melbourne Holocaust Centre. He’s helped by a small band of volunteers.
“If people survived, it was a miracle,” he said.
“When I want to convince people to give a testimony, I just tell them ‘You had the privilege to survive the Holocaust, you should talk for those that can’t do it anymore’.”
He’s recorded 1,600 testimonies. The longest runs for 10 hours.
“The fact that I was in the holocaust somehow makes it a bit easier. I can understand them and they can understand me.”
“When I’m interviewing I’m a machine. I am listening and recording it, but when I go home and start to think about it then yes, I feel pain.”
Read the full article by Sarah Farnsworth at ABC News.
Watch the video from the Australia Wide program: