3: Testimony excerpt of Dr. Adolf Avraham Berman at the Eichmann Trial, Jerusalem, May 3, 1961.
During the televised trial of Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann, testimonies of Holocaust survivors played a large role. Jewish resistance fighter and Israeli politician Dr. Adolf Berman introduced his testimony through the display of a Holocaust object: a pair of children’s shoes. The shoes act as a historical trace and, for the court audience, they aid in the formation of a previously unheld memory. For a transcript of the English translation of the testimony, click here.
Suggested Activity: Ask students to comment on Dr. Berman’s choice to present a pair of shoes during his testimony. What do the shoes evoke? In what way are shoes a compelling vessel for memory? Why might he have chosen to bring and show the pair of shoes, rather than to simply describe them? Ask students to compare the meaning of the pair of shoes in Berman’s testimony to the meaning of the pair of shoes in Keret’s story. Why might shoes be a recurring and even quintessential Holocaust artifact?
Source: Eichmann Trial, session 26, “Testimony of Dr. Adolf Avraham Berman,” accessed at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of The Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archives of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn1001556.