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View Diary: A Promise to My Grandfather: A Follow Up (321 comments)

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  •  IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO AMPRATHER (none)
    I can certainly understand why you'd be reluctant to make a media circus of your meeting with BettyG. But there is another alternative, and one that's much more useful and valuable to the public and will be far more rewarding to the two of you.

    I strongly encourage you to bypass the media as your first contact, and instead, make your story known to staff members at one of these museums: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum or Yad Vashem, The Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Authority. In a museum setting, a number of positive things will most likely happen: your story will receive  respectful treatment by people who have knowledge and understanding of its context. You and BettyG may be able to be interviewed for oral history documentation. In accordance with museum ethics, your story will not be used in any way you haven't given explicit permission for. Your story would be shared for the larger purpose of education and prevention. In a museum, your story stands a much better chance of reaching and affecting individuals who are ready to hear, understand, and be positively moved by your story than you would on TV or in print. It will have lasting impact, since it will become part of the body of research used to construct exhibitions, write books, and develop programs --it will reach people over a much longer time period than would a feel-good spot on the nightly news. Museums will be able to connect you with resources, scholars, and others who have had similar experiences. No one will be making a profit from the story via advertising sold to support the medium.

    At Yad Vashem's site, you can write a page of testimony and download a survivor's registry form. At the USHMM, you can also register a survivor, and you can gather and share information about members of the liberating military units. I would encourage you to look around these websites, then pick up the phone and call the museums. Explain the broad outlines of your story. You may have to go through several people until you are put in touch with a curator or researcher; but ultimately, since you have such a remarkable experience to discuss, I am sure you will get the right person's attention. Best of luck.

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