The Speakers Bureau consists of about 25 active speakers – Holocaust survivors, liberators and descendants of survivors – who share their stories with students and community members throughout Washington State and the Pacific Northwest.
Speakers bring stories of the Holocaust to life, and encourage audiences to connect lessons of the past with contemporary issues like hate crimes, bullying and genocide that are so prevalent in today’s world. Hearing speakers give testimony helps students find their own voice, and teaches them to be responsible citizens in our community, our nation, and our world.
Here's what students had to say about hearing Speakers Bureau members last year:
"With your help...I was able to educate my fellow peers on the importance of remembering the Holocaust. Although it wasn't millions of people I sincerely believe we have at least affected one life."
"I think that you talking to people about the Holocaust and about kids being bullied will help prevent what has happened to the Jews in World War Two."
"I would like to thank you for coming to our school to tell our class your family's experience in the war... I learned a great lesson about how you should never be afraid to do what is right."
Was there a speaker in your community in 2017-18?
How early do I need to submit a request?
At least 3 weeks in advance of the requested date.
How much time does a speaker need?
Speakers usually request 60-90 minutes to share their stories and answer questions.
Can a speaker present multiple times in one day?
No. We encourage you to combine classes or groups.
How can I request a specific speaker?
We cannot guarantee that a specific person will be available for your class or group. Please be aware of limitations based on the age of speakers and health concerns. The Speakers Bureau is now proud to include children and grandchildren of survivors. Please be open to the possibility of hearing from one of these Continuing Generations speakers. With careful historical research, they use primary sources, artifacts, and family photographs to share the history and legacy of their families.
What is the cost of hosting a speaker?
The only fee for hosting a speaker is reimbursement of their travel expenses. Teachers will receive an invoice via email when a speaker is confirmed. Some speakers choose not to accept travel reimbursement, and this will be communicated by Center staff once the speaker is scheduled.
In any scenario, an honorarium for the speaker is suggested. Speakers frequently donate this to the Holocaust Center. In lieu of monetary thank you gifts to a speaker, please send thank you notes or an honorarium instead.
What if a speaker is unable to come to my class/school?
Many of our speakers are elderly and unable to travel distances. We can set up appointments for your group to hear from a speaker via Skype. It may also be possible to arrange a visit to the Holocaust Center in downtown Seattle for a speaker presentation there.
Additional Resources - Unable to host a speaker? Looking for resources to support your speaker visit?
- Survivor Voices: Online Video Testimonies - listen to clips of testimony from survivors in Washington State on our website.
- Stories of survivors who lived/are living in Washington State - one-page biographies available on our website.
Image above and at right: Survivor and speaker George Elbaum maintains a blog about his experiences speaking in schools.