Magazine article MultiMedia Schools

Survivors: Testimonies of the Holocaust

Magazine article MultiMedia Schools

Survivors: Testimonies of the Holocaust

Article excerpt

Company: Knowledge Adventure, 19840 Pioneer Avenue, Torrance, CA 90503; 310/793-0600; Fax: 310/ 793-0601; http://www.Knowledge Adventure.com

Price: $50.00-School version for the Power Macintosh and Windows 95/98. Includes two copies of the software (a total of 4 CD-ROMs) and teacher support materials.

$120.00-Lab packs for five users

$325-Site License for 15 users Audience: Reviewer recommends 8th-12th grade.

Format: Two CD-ROMs: multimedia, archival film, photos, video, text.

System Requirements: Windows version requires 16 MB RAM, 35 MB free hard disk space, 100 MHz Pentium or faster, Windows 98/95, 6x CDROM drive or faster, 16-bit video, and 16-bit sound card. Macintosh version requires a Power Macintosh, 16 MB RAM, 35 MB free hard disk space, 100 MHz processor or faster, 6x CD-ROM or faster, system 7.5.1 or higher, and a color monitor capable of thousands of colors. Note that an Internet connection is needed for some features. Description: Survivors: Testimonies of the Holocaust is a multimedia program that provides glimpses into prewar life, the fight for survival while interned in a concentration camp, the aftermath of the war, and the effects of internment on four survivors.

Reviewer Comments: Installation: I installed the program on a Gateway 2000 with a Pentium 200 MHz processor, 32 MB RAM, 12x/16x CD-ROM drive, running Windows 95. The installation was very easy. However, when I installed the program on a Power Mac 6100/60 AV with 40 MB RAM and Mac OS 8.1, I had quite a bit of trouble. The installation was successful, but the program wouldn't open without freezing up the computer. Installation: B

Content/Features: Survivors: Testimonies of the Holocaust is a two-disc set that presents the oral histories of two men and two women who, as children, lived through the Holocaust. The program was produced by the Shoah Visual History Foundation, the international organization co-founded by filmmaker Steven Spielberg to preserve stories of the Holocaust to establish a basis for tolerance education for future generations. The four moving personal accounts are accompanied by archival photos and film footage that present an intimate picture of lives affected by war and a glimpse into many of the historical and political events from the end of World War I through the end of World War II. The program is narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio and Winona Ryder, two stars whose presence probably will create interest in the CD for some students. The narrations help to relate a specific individual's story with the general events of each year of the war. The students I worked with in a special program seemed to take a great deal of interest in learning about the events that precipitated the experiences of the survivors. When the testimonies focused on Kristallnacht, for example, the students were anxious to link to that concept in the index to find out more about it.

The personal accounts are linked to interactive maps and timelines of World War II that provide the opportunity to follow the survivors' path through Europe. The timeline allows access to brief information about political and social events occurring in the United States, the Pacific and European theaters of war, and other parts of the world. The written information and archival photos are well presented if somewhat sketchy. Newspaper headlines appear mentioning major events, but the news stories themselves are not included.

The program makes it easy for students to understand new terms and research topics related to the Holocaust. One nice feature is the collection of picture captions and short definitions that appear in a box at the bottom of the screen when a topic is selected. Additional explanation is available through highlighted words linked to an extensive glossary. Related references also are suggested in the glossary. Content/Features Rating: A

Ease of Use: The CD-ROMs have understandable icons, and the movement from link to link is very easy. …

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