Sample Interview Questions
Remember not all of these will be appropriate for everyone. The last two questions for the survivors and liberators are important to ask.
- Describe what your life was like growing up before the war.
- Can you tell us what the Jewish community was like?
- Did you play a sport?
- What did you do for fun with your friends?
- How old were you when you first heard the name Hitler?
- How did things change when the Germans invaded?
- What was it like when Hitler came to power?
- Did you have non – Jewish friends before the Holocaust and how did they react to the changes?
- Describe what it was like to leave your home with almost no possessions.
- What was it like to be in hiding?
- What was daily life like in the ghetto /concentration camp?
- Do you have a tattooed number? How did you feel when you lost your identity and became a number?
- What kind of activities did you do there?
- What interesting /moving story would you like to share with us?
- How/ why did you join the resistance / partisans?
- Can you describe liberation day?
- What happened to you after you were liberated?
- Did other members of your family survive?
- How did you come to Israel or America?
- Do you have any mementos/ pictures of your family to show us?
- Did the Holocaust affect your belief in Hashem?
- In what ways does the Holocaust affect your life today?
- What kind of message would you like to pass on to young people and to future generations?
World War II veterans
- In what ways did your life change when World War II began?
- Why did you decide to join the army and how old were you
- Where were you during the war?
- What was your unit’s function in the army?
- Can you tell us about your activities as a soldier?
- Did you have any kind of Jewish life in the army?
- Describe what you saw and felt when you liberated a concentration camp
- Do you have any mementos of this period to show us?
- How did this affect your life?
- What kind of message would you like to pass on to young people?