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Where is My Story?

By Julian Silverman, 2005 0:00 minutes

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Julian, a social worker, describes the effect the Holocaust had on his family, in particular their inability to talk about their experiences. He now yearns for his family's stories, and to compensate he records the stories of others. Where is My Story? is a powerful introduction to the importance of storytelling and its links with identity.

Collection Our Stories

Why are stories important?

Julian presents many ideas in his digital story.

  • Outline the main messages or ideas that Julian conveys.

Julian describes the love and warmth in his family, but states: “I grew up with a sense that in my family due to the holocaust there were stories too horrible to be told.”

  • Are some stories too terrible to tell? Why might people think this?

When Julian says, “I knew not to ask, not to invoke the pain of retelling,” he reveals a sensitivity and respect that must be shown when asking people to tell their stories.

  • If there was a particular story that you wanted to hear from a family member, what might prevent you from asking about it?

Reporters and interviewers are often faced with the dilemma of becoming too intrusive in their search for information and recollections.

  • In creating an informative story, what methods might you employ to gather information in a sensitive manner?

Julian describes how he started recording the stories of Jewish people and those from other cultures around the world: “Their music, their memories are precious for what they tell us about how culture and history shapes us all.”

  • Julian has chosen specific music for his digital story. How does this choice in music reinforce his message? Consider mood, era and cultural aspects of the story.
  • Give examples of some music you like to listen to, and describe how it reflects something about your culture.

Julian speculates about a number of aspects of his childhood that may have influenced his choice of career.

  • Give an example of how your family history, a personal experience or a memory have helped to shape your outlook on life and possible career path.