Join us this Wednesday 9th September at 8pm, for the last in the Matters of Artefact series where we will be exploring one of the most important items held in our collection. 

Holocaust survivor Victoria Vincent endured what no one should endure. But she also knew that she needed to document what she had witnessed — regardless of the risk.

Victoria assisted in the Italian Resistance and was arrested by the Gestapo in 1943 and held in the San Vittore prison, Milan for 6 months. Later, in May 1944, Victoria was deported to Auschwitz where she remained for 8 months. She spent the next 4 months moving from camp to camp, exhausted and near-death before she was liberated by the Russian forces in April 1945.

In her last days at Auschwitz, Victoria, on a small scrap of paper, documented her movements prior to arriving in Auschwitz. She included detailed descriptions of the acts that she had seen taking place in the camp. This act of documentation was done at great peril. Aware of the risk Victoria continued to add to this paper, documenting events as both an eye witness and survivor.

This item has become the central object featured in our travelling exhibition, The Eye as Witness. This exhibition has been designed, in partnership with the University of Nottingham, to encourage audiences to question and challenge the role of the perpetrator in photography. Through whose eyes and voices do we see and learn about the events of the Holocaust?

Victoria’s note demonstrates, to this day, the importance of victim and survivor testimony of the Holocaust.

Victoria’s son David Vincent will join us to speak on behalf of his mother and explore the depth of her courage. What did it take for someone to possess the foresight to scribble on a piece of paper and to evidence? Victoria’s note demonstrates, to this day, the importance of victim and survivor testimony of the Holocaust.

We will also be joined by Professor Maiken Umbach. Professor Umbach is a lecturer of Modern History at the University of Nottingham and Principal Investigator for the AHRC funded project ‘Photography as Political Practice in National Socialism’.  Her research predominately explores the opportunities and pitfalls of using photography to understand, commemorate and teach about the Holocaust and the Nazi regime. 

Please join us LIVE on Wednesday 9th September at 8pm BST.

If you missed the live event, watch the recording here: