Donate today. Change the future
To help continue the work of our testimonies department, please consider donating any amount – large or small – in honour of Phillip’s birthday, using the link below. Your generosity ensures we can continue to record survivor testimonies and make them available for education and research purposes.
As Phillip turns 100, join us in honouring the impact of the Phillip Maisel testimony collection.
‘This is my responsibility and my privilege: to be custodian of their memories, to be able to pass their stories on to the next generation – for me, this will be the greatest miracle of all.‘
Volunteering at the Melbourne Holocaust Museum for more than 30 years, Phillip has recorded survivor testimonies and preserved their voices. Each testimony of survival is a miracle in itself – earning Phillip the nickname the Keeper of Miracles.
In 2021, Phillip was interviewed by Dr. Stephen Smith MBE, former executive director of USC Shoah Foundation in Los Angeles, whose Visual History Archive holds 53,000 testimonies of eyewitnesses to the Holocaust and other genocides.
We invite you to join us in celebrating Phillip’s birthday with a special screening of that interview, and hear Phillip and Stephen discuss Phillip’s work, his legacy, and the lessons of survivor testimony.
Prof. Alistair Thomson
Alistair Thomson’s research and teaching explores the ways in which different kinds of life-story evidence can illuminate the past and its meanings in the present lives of individuals and society. His books have explored the histories and memories of war veterans, migrants, adult learners and post-WWII families, in Britain and Australia. As an internationally renowned oral historian, he writes about the theory and method of oral history and life history research, including research involving recorded and written memory, diaries and letters, and family photographs. He is currently President of Oral History Australia.
Dr Stephen Smith MBE
Dr. Stephen D. Smith served for twelve years as the executive director of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute, and is an adjunct Professor of Religion at the University of Southern California. Smith trained as a Christian theologian and is an author, educator and researcher interested in memory of the Holocaust, and the causes and consequences of human conflict. He founded the National Holocaust Centre and Museum in England and cofounded the Aegis Trust for the prevention of crimes against humanity and genocide. He was also the inaugural Chairman of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust in the UK, and the project director for the creation of the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre in Rwanda.
The Keeper of Miracles
Phillip’s deeply moving, healing and inspiring memoir shows us the cathartic power of storytelling and reminds us never to underestimate the impact of human kindness.
The Phillip Maisel Testimonies Project
The Melbourne Holocaust Museum began collecting audio testimonies of Holocaust survivors in the 1980s. In the early 1990s, with the purchase of a video camera, the Video Testimonies Project was launched. Phillip Maisel began volunteering for the project and immediately recognised the enormity of the challenge as a race against the passage of time and the ageing of survivors. He made it his goal to interview as many survivors as possible and dedicated himself tirelessly to the task. The over 1400 testimonies now in the MHM collection are a testament to his energy and perseverance.