About Us

Elisabeth Pozzi-Thanner, Founder
Expert Colleagues and Associates
Advisory Board
Our Filmmakers

 

 


Elizabeth Pozzi-Thanner

Elisabeth Pozzi-Thanner
Founder
Oral History Productions USA - Europe

Elisabeth Pozzi-Thanner is an independent oral historian, based in New York City and Vienna. She conducts oral history interviews, develops and manages oral history projects and creates personal histories on audio, video and in print.

Elisabeth has conducted hundreds of oral history interviews with people from all walks of life: From a Nobel Prize winner to peasant refugees, from homemakers and mothers to war veterans and victims of terror, from retired blue-collar workers to business women, teachers, artists and many more.

Born and raised in Austria, Elisabeth first worked for the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, ORF, in Austria, Germany and Italy. For SOS Kinderdorf e.V., Germany, and SOS Children's Villages International, she developed international press relations, and later helped create educational services for children and youth at risk in Italy. During her years in Rome, Italy, she also started a social service program for elderly war refugees and immigrants from Austria and Germany. To this day she works as an independent consultant for international foundations and non-profits.

University and Museum Projects:
In her work as an oral historian Elisabeth has listened to hundreds of life stories, many emerging from traumatic experiences.

She conducted well over 100 interviews for Steven Spielberg's “Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation” and interviewed dozens of World War II veterans for the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City. Elisabeth is currently an interviewer for the “September 11, 2001 Narrative and Memory Project” at Columbia University’s Oral History Research Office and teaches workshops for the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress.

She was appointed Regional Project Director in USA and Canada for the “Mauthausen Survivors Documentation Project,” at the University of Vienna, researching, collecting and processing Holocaust testimonies about the Mauthausen concentration camp.

Currently she is consultant at large to the “Henri Nouwen Oral History Project” at the Henri Nouwen Institute in Toronto, Canada, responsible for project design, interviewer training and quality assurance.

Individual projects:
Elisabeth also creates life histories (video, audio and printed) for private individuals and families, organizations and local communities, and has acted as a consultant for several film and TV documentaries and independent research projects.

Special interests:
Elisabeth and her team are interested in life stories from any background, any belief system, any social group. They believe that there is no such thing as an un-interesting life story. With their work, they intend to encourage voices of individuals who otherwise might not be heard.

They listen to personal stories of migration, ethnicity and identity, explore post-war and post-genocide memories from around the world, and focus on human rights issues and the empowerment of individuals whose voices tend to be left out of mainstream narratives.

In their studies and research for universities, they are interested in the inter-subjective developments of individual and collective memory, long-term effects of trauma, vicarious and trans-generational transmission of trauma, and research of memory and the mind.

Elisabeth participates in a yearly dialogue of “Sons and daughters of Austrian perpetrators, victims, bystanders and resisters of the Third Reich”, (initiated by Prof. Dan Bar-On, Ben Gurion University, Israel, and Samson Munn, M.D., Boston). She is a member of the international dialogue project “One by One” and lecturer for the “Facing History and Ourselves” Foundation.

Memberships:
Elisabeth is a member of the
Oral History Association (OHA), The International Oral History Association (IOHA), Oral History in the Mid-Atlantic Region (OHMAR), and the Association of Personal Historians (APH).

Working languages:
Elisabeth speaks English, German and Italian and understands French, Spanish, Portuguese and Yiddish.

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Sara Ghitis, Atlanta, GA
Oral Histories - Life Stories
SGHITIS@aol.com

Sara Ghitis has been dedicated to preserving the life stories of individuals, families, communities and organizations for more than 10 years. Drawing from a background in counseling psychology and journalism, she has conducted numerous oral history interviews, workshops, seminars and presentations nationally and internationally.
Among others, she has conducted interviews for Steven Spielberg's Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, Los Angeles, and the Mauthausen Survivors Documentation Project, University of Vienna, Austria. Sara serves as a trainer and interviewer for the Legacy Project at The Breman Museum in Atlanta.
Languages: English, Spanish and Yiddish.

 

Zepporah Glass, Los Angeles, CA
“Video Life Stories”
Zglass28@aol.com

Zepporah Glass, an oral historian based in California, has conducted more than 130 video and audio interviews for The Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, Los Angeles, The New York Museum of Jewish Heritage, New York, the Mauthausen Survivors Documentation Project, University of Vienna, Austria and is currently an interviewer and lead speaker for the Jewish Partisans Educational Foundation, San Francisco. She received a BA from the University of California, Berkeley and completed a graduate program at the American Film Institute’s Center for Advanced Film Studies. She is a fluent Yiddish speaker and a board member of YiddishkaytLA, a cultural and arts organization in Los Angeles, CA. Ms.Glass, daughter of Holocaust survivors, is a member of Second Generation Los Angeles.
Languages: English, Yiddish.

   

Ursula Auclair, New York City
Autobiography and Support Groups for seniors in New York City
Usch@verizon.net

Ursula Auclair, RCSW, has been in geriatric practice for 15 years, coordinating friendly visiting programs, working in nursing homes and researching. She graduated from The Gestalt Therapy Institute in 1988 and received her MSW from New York University. For the past 5 years Ursula Auclair has facilitated Autobiography and Support Groups for seniors in Manhattan and the Bronx. Such groups provide an excellent opportunity and safe environment for people over 65 who want to exercise their brains and laughing muscles and replenish the circle of friends without loss of control over their independence.

 
   

Joella Werlin, Portland, OR
“Familore”
JWerlin@familore.com

Joella Werlin, a former ABC-affiliate TV producer and Emmy award nominee, with degrees in history and social anthropology, specializes in producing personal, family, professional and family business histories and “Legacy Planning,” a range of services to pass on one’s heritage and values to future generations.
Familore services include life stories recorded on audiotape or videotape; professional and personal memoirs in book form; legacy documents, such as legacy letters or ethical wills, obituaries, and memorial service content; video portraits as well as Familore workshops and presentations.

   

Mim Eisenberg, Roswell, GA
WordCraft, Inc.
www.wordcraftservices.com
mim@wordcraftservices.com

Mim Eisenberg has specialized in transcription of oral history interviews since 1992, when she began working with Columbia University’s Oral History Research Office. In addition to collaborating with Elisabeth Pozzi-Thanner on interviews for the Mauthausen Survivors Documentation Project, Mim has built up her business locally and nationwide to include such distinguished clients as Yale University's Oral History-American Music, UC-Berkeley's Regional Oral History Organization, Georgia State University, State University of West Georgia, the U.S. Forest Service, and the National Park Service.
Mim also does editing and proofreading of manuscripts, newsletters, and websites.

   

Anita Hecht, MSSW, Madison, Wisconsin
Life History Services, LLC
anita@lifehistoryservices.com
www.lifehistoryservices.com
—serving North America, Latin America and Europe—

Since 1995, Anita Hecht has conducted more than 200 oral histories for elders, their families, businesses, foundations, and organizations. She holds degrees in history and clinical social work, is a licensed psychotherapist, and began her personal history business, Life History Services, in 1995.
She first began recording oral histories with Steven Spielberg's Visual History Foundation of the Holocaust, in English, Spanish and German. Since then, she has helped individuals, families, businesses, organizations and others gather and preserve their history in professional print, audio and video formats. In addition to her work as a interviewer, producer, and consultant. Anita Hecht offers public lectures and training in oral history interviewing, production skills, life review and reminiscence work, and autobiographical writing.

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Dr. Efrat Ben-Ze’ev, an anthropologist, teaches at the Ruppin Academic Centre and is a Fellow of the Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Her work focuses on Palestinian and Israeli constructions of the past, and specifically that of 1948.

Gloria Jacobs, New York, writer and editor, has been the executive director of Ms Magazine and senior editor of New York Woman. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Mother Jones, Working Mother, Seven Days and Ms. She is the author, with Barbara Ehrenreich and Elizabeth Hess, of Remaking Love: The Feminization of Sex.

Dr. Gerda Lederer, Ph.D., New York, engaged in cross-cultural research on authoritarianism, dogmatism, anti-semitism and political protest behavior. She currently teaches social psychology and sociology at New School University, New York and was a Paul Lazarsfeld visiting Professor at the University of Vienna in 2002.

Dr. Albert Lichtblau, Salzburg, Austria, a historian and political scientist, conducted research projects exploring historic living conditions in Vienna and Budapest, the history of protest, and subsequently specialized in the history of minorities, anti-semitism research and the history of Jews. He currently teaches at the Institute for History at the University of Salzburg.

Dr. Alexander von Plato a historian, is the director of the Institute for History and Biography at the Open University of Hagen, Germany, co-editor of the Journal “Bios – Zeitschrift für Biographieforschung und Oral History” and co-founder of the International Oral History Association. He published books, articles and films on contemporary, especially mentality history of Germany in the 20th century, on National Socialism, as well as methodology of Oral History.

Michael Riordon, Ontario, Canada, a writer/documentary-maker, independent oral historian and teacher, works in a range of media, including books and articles, film, video and radio documentaries, plays for stage, radio and the street. His primary goal is to recover voices and stories of people that tend to be left out of the mainstream narrative.

Jessica Wiederhorn, New York, an anthropologist, Founder and Director of “The Narrative Trust”, a consortium of oral historians, documentary filmmakers and multi-media specialists; former Associate Director of the Oral History Research Office at Columbia University; former Manager of Academic Affairs at The Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, Los Angeles.

Ruth Wolman, a psychologist, writer and oral historian, is based in Boston and Los Angeles.  Her book Crossing Over: An Oral History of Refugees from Hitler's Reich, gives voice to a group of Austrian and German Jews who fled their homes "in time" and resettled in Los Angeles.

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Our Filmmakers

lo-fi pictures
www.lofipictures.com

Josh Apter is both a filmmaker and editor. His first feature, Kaaterskill Falls, which he co-directed with Peter Olsen, was nominated for two independent spirit awards, Best Feature under $500,000 (The John Cassavetes Award) and Best Debut Performance, for which the entire cast was nominated as an ensemble.

Peter Olsen has served as director of photography on over twenty films, including documentaries, shorts, and seven features. He recently wrapped principle photography on the digital sci-fi anthology Robot Stories, directed by Greg Pak.
Peter brings an invaluable distinction to the projects he shoots since he himself is a writer and director. His debut feature, Kaaterskill Falls (co-directed with Josh Apter) received the Critic's Jury Prize for Best Feature at the 2001 IFP/West Los Angeles Film Festival and was recently nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards.
pb.olsen@verizon.net

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Hannah Arendt:   Stories reveal the meaning, without committing the error of  defining it.