Contributors

Contributors

James Arkin

I joined this project because I was eager to tell the important stories of people who experienced one of the most horrific events in history. These stories need and deserve to be told and this was a unique opportunity to not only to do some of the most meaningful reporting of my life, but to do it in partnership with an excellent group of German students. It has, without a doubt, been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.”

James Arkin is a graduate student studying magazine writing at the Medill School of Journalism. He also studied newspaper journalism and political science at Northwestern University as an undergraduate. His focus is in covering national politics and he has previously interned at the Center for Public Integrity, Politico, BuzzFeed, the Washington Post, the New York Daily News and other outlets. James (born in 1990) originally hails from Columbus, Ohio.

Steffen Burkhardt

I developed the idea and concept of The Memory Archives, because it is relevant to discuss global migration in the context of hate and racism. I thank the families who share their very private stories and thoughts here in public. One of our interview partners, Steve Safran, mentioned the lesson of the Holocaust hasn’t been learned. I agree and hope this project will contribute to avoid that failure in terms of refugees who are asking for our help today.”

Steffen Burkhardt is a Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at HAW Hamburg in Germany. As Founder and Director of the International Media Center (IMC), Steffen has designed and facilitated several capability building initiatives and international exchange programs for leading journalists from all continents, in order to strengthen human rights, press freedom and understanding between cultures.

Tyler Daswick

I came to this project knowing that it would lend some serious perspective, but that perspective really surprised me in the end. This is a story that’s still being told — it’s not over. Louisa and I will remember our experience with Adina Sella for a very long time, and I’m thankful that we were able to share a small piece of the larger picture.”

Tyler Daswick (born in 1993) is studying to earn his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Creative Writing at Northwestern University. He grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, where he learned to love storytelling. His writing covers everything from movies to sports to stories about cowboys and banditos.

Anne H. Evans

I took a class on the Holocaust during my undergraduate studies at Centre College, so I felt like this project with IMC was a unique opportunity to both build on my previous studies and to help others tell their stories. The stories of survivors and their families are incredibly important, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to help preserve their stories. I was confident that The Memory Archives project would be amazing, but it has completely and wonderfully surpassed all of my expectations.”

Anne H. Evans (born in 1990 in Kentucky) is studying documentary filmmaking at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She is interested in covering social justice and environmental issues, particularly in developing countries.

Stephan Garnett

I asked to join the staff of the Memory Archive the moment I heard about it. I wanted to learn more about the Holocaust from personal perspectives, but I think what all of us who have worked on this project have to come realize is this: that even the deepest human suffering will never prevail over the magnificence of human compassion and forgiveness.”

Stephan Garnett has nearly 40 years of experience in news and feature writing and media production. He has been an investigative reporter, an urban police and crime reporter, a magazine feature writer, a radio essayist, and a documentary researcher, script writer and co-producer. He is a former part-time college English composition, literature and speech teacher who is now a full-time journalism instructor at the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing at Northwestern University.

Anna-Lena Fischer

The project was a great experience, especially because it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. There are so many interesting people with fascinating, yet sad family stories. By asking them to tell their story, their memories will be preserved forever. I am deeply touched by their different ways of dealing with their fate.”

Anna-Lena Fischer (born in 1990 in Hamburg) is a graduate student at Information, Media, Library at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences. She likes to use different media to tell the big and the small stories of life. She is especially interested in video because it gives her the opportunity to play with the combination of picture and audio. She worked on this project because she wanted to know how people who survived the Holocaust feel, to preserve the historical memories by saving personal stories and to strengthen the international relationship between the sister cities of Hamburg and Chicago.

Sara Gilgore

The Holocaust is deeply engrained in my religious, cultural and personal history. I am honored to have had the opportunity to meet a first-generation survivor, and help to share her story in a meaningful way. This project’s mission epitomizes the type of work that has inspired me to pursue a career as a journalist, and contributing to it – and working as a part of this team – has been a phenomenal experience.”

Sara Gilgore (born in 1990) is a graduate student in Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, specializing in nonfiction narrative magazine writing and reporting across multimedia platforms. After growing up in the Washington, D.C. area, she received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and Spanish from Bucknell University. Upon completing her master’s in August 2014, she hopes to focus on long-form storytelling in journalism.

Markus Günther

These two weeks were exhaustive, but I wouldn’t want to miss them. This project wasn’t just fun like traveling and meeting new people, it contributed to the re-examination of the Holocaust. It has been a meaningful and valuable experience, and I’m deeply grateful that I had the opportunity to participate.”

Markus Günther (born 1987 in Berlin, Germany) is a student of Hamburg University of Applied Sciences’ master’s program “Information, Media, Library.” During his studies, he specialized in search engine research. At the moment, Markus is preparing his master’s thesis.

Lena Janz

When I read the description of this project a few months ago, I was totally sure that I wanted to be a part of it, because I was interested in the history of the Holocaust. But what I experienced in Chicago and Hamburg was so much more than a usual international study program: It was so impressive to listen to the survivors in order to keep their stories forever. I do have the feeling that we did an important step in the struggle against forgetting.”

Lena Janz (born 1989 in Mettingen), lives in Hamburg. She is completing her master’s in “Information, Media, Library” at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences.

Jesse Kirsch

This has been the greatest journalistic experience of my life. Learning about the horrors of the Holocaust was an integral part of my cultural identity throughout childhood. Now, I am sharing stories, documenting the atrocities and working to connect the perspectives of different cultures — all on a global stage.”

Jesse Kirsch (born in 1995), a New Jersey native, has been working as a documentarian and broadcast journalist for several years. He is part of the Medill School of Journalism Class of 2017 at Northwestern University, where he is also studying international affairs. His work covers topics such as diplomacy, immigration, science and sports.  Jesse is an avid traveler and is honored to be a member of the International Media Center’s Memory Archive.

Marie Manu

I believe that merging of creativity along with emotions is key to capturing an audience’s attention. This project was a unique chance to bring to light a special perspective of the historically important, tragic and emotionally charged story of the Holocaust to future generations. Not only did everybody learn a lot, but we all contributed to a very important subject, and through wonderful teamwork the project resulted in great friendships.”

Marie Manu (born in 1988 in Lyon, France) studies information and media sciences at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences. She practices her passion for intercultural communication, photography, filming and editing in her current marketing job, as well as in several international online media projects.

Theresa Mayer

As a German, I am fortunate and blessed to get to actually interview a first generation Holocaust survivor and tell her story in a modern and memorable way. The Memory Archives is an excellent example of a meaningful and valuable project regarding digital storytelling.”

Theresa Mayer (born 1987 in Mainz, Germany) is a master’s program student of Information and Media at the Hamburg University of Applied Science, specializing in media and marketing sciences. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and economics in Berlin and is planning to start a career in areas like market research, PR and marketing studies after receiving her master’s degree in August 2014.

Shyla Nott

The Memory Archives project has given me the rare opportunity to see and feel what Hamburg and Germany were like during the 1930s and ’40s. This two-week experience has been so much more than simply setting up an interview and producing a story. It has awakened my sense of culture and history and I’m grateful to our German hosts who have made the international collaboration such a positive one. Dankeschön!”

Shyla Nott (born in 1991) grew up in Illinois. She is a master’s candidate at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism with a specialization in interactive publishing. She holds degrees in journalism and international studies from the University of Iowa, where she contributed as a metro reporter for Daily Iowan TV and video producer for The Hawkeye Network. After her graduation in August, Shyla is moving to Columbus, Ohio, with plans to work in digital journalism and ​media communications.

Mariana Paunova

With this project, we set off on a journey over two continents in search of the personal stories behind the Holocaust. During our work, I learned the inspiring stories of people who survived the horrors of that time and met different cultures. I also found friends.”

Mariana Paunova (born 1989 in Sofia, Bulgaria) found her passion for visual communication and graphic design during her studies in publishing. Her main interests are history, books and calligraphy.

Lisa Malin Petersen

It’s important to speak about the Holocaust and to preserve these stories for following generations. It was a great opportunity to feel history and not just read about it. These stories reinforce even more, that all of these horrible things occurred.”

Lisa Malin Petersen (born 1989 on the island of Amrum, Germany) is studying for a master’s degree in Information, Media and Library at the University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg, Germany. She has completed internships at a children’s library, and at Gruner & Jahr, one of the biggest publishing houses in Europe. It’s important for her to make information accessible to everyone.

Meike Röttjer

In order to share the important memories on this site, everybody worked on the stories with so much passion. I was honored to be part of this amazing exchange program. We learned so much from each other and the incredible people we interviewed.”

Meike Röttjer (born in 1987 in Neumünster) is a master’s student at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences. She focuses on new publishing solutions for the Internet as well as on cultural exchange projects. She is passionate about traveling and learning about different cultural backgrounds.

Jan Schacht

It’s all about perspectives. Great painters used to compose their pieces by crafting them from different angles, so that the first impression lingers with its audience, no matter where they stand. In projects like these, it is utterly important to capture the thoughts of survivors from all perspectives. That way, we are not only learning about them, but also about ourselves as an intercultural group of students.”

Jan Schacht (born 1985 in Zürich, Switzerland) is a German media and information student who is focusing on social media management. He worked for Apple as well as NBC and studied abroad in the United States on a Fulbright scholarship. His core areas of interest are intercultural communication, Web technologies and travel. He is about to carry out a research project dealing with social media branding in Auckland, New Zealand.

Kalina Silverman

I’ve learned more than ever that cross-cultural issues are meant to be fixed at the individual level. By both sharing experiences with people from vastly different backgrounds, and producing human stories that go beyond politics, economics, etc., we reach understanding and build global intimacy. That is what has made this project such a powerful experience!”

Kalina Silverman (born in 1994) is a California native studying broadcast journalism and business institutions at Northwestern University. Her passion resides in creating cross-cultural and global understanding through multimedia storytelling and community building. At Northwestern, she co-founded and is now president of MIXED (the mixed race student coalition). Recent travels have taken her throughout Ecuador as well as parts of Asia and the Middle East, serving in cultural exchange initiatives, and capturing stories/experiences through photos, writings, and documentary briefs. She is now thrilled to be in Germany working on the Memory Archives.

Michael Smith

Holocaust survivors’ experiences are an element of history that textbooks can’t properly show. The stories we produced tried to ensure future generations don’t forget the atrocities that happened to millions of people in Nazi Germany.”

Michael Smith (born in 1990 in Utah) is a journalist based in the United States. A native of Salt Lake City, he has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Utah and a master’s degree from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism.

Louisa Wittenbecher

Being part of this project was a great opportunity to combine stories of the past with techniques of the present to make the past unforgettable. Also, working with the American students was inspiring and gave me some thoughtful insight for my future projects.”

Louisa Wittenbecher (born in 1990 in Flensburg, Germany) is studying “Media, Information and Library” at the University of Applied Sciences of Hamburg to get her master’s degree. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in “Media-,Sports- and Event management” and did several internships in different marketing and event departments. For her future, she imagines herself working at the marketing department of an international media company.

Kjerstin Wood

This project has opened my eyes to the ongoing trauma that transfers from Holocaust survivors to their descendants, and the need to truly ‘never forget’ so that we can prevent continuations of discrimination and genocide of people based on race, gender, sexual orientation or religion.”

Kjerstin Wood (born in 1991) is a native of Seattle, Washington, USA. With both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in journalism, she loves helping people tell their stories, particularly with non-dominant groups that have fewer opportunities to be heard in society. She was drawn to the topic of Holocaust survivors after visiting Auschwitz while studying abroad in summer of 2011.

Shu Zhang

What I love about this project is how it examines the Holocaust by individual narratives. Through ten stories told in various media, it closely connects Hamburg with Chicago, Germany and the U.S.”

Shu Zhang (born in 1990 in Qingdao, China) is pursuing her graduate degree at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, specializing in business reporting and magazine writing.