Dori Laub, Psychoanalysis and Testimony – Invoking Presence Out of Absence

International Conference (in English)


Thursday, March 14, 19:00 h - the lecture can also be joined via Zoom. Register here

Friday, March 15, 13:00 - 17:00 h

Library of Psychoanalysis at the Sigmund Freud Museum


Registration required: To attend, please register below.

A cooperation between the Sigmund Freud Museum, the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies, and Yale’s Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies



(Please click the respective name for biographies)

Thursday, March 14

19 h: Lecture

„Translating the Jewish Freud: Psychoanalysis in Hebrew and Yiddish” by Naomi Seidman, moderated by Daniela Finzi and Stephen Naron

This lecture can also be joined via zoom - register here


Friday, March 15

13 h - 14:30 h: Lecture and Screening

“Dori Laub and the Fortunoff Video Archive: An Introduction” by Stephen Naron & Screening: The Listener, a film about the work and life of Dori Laub by Ohad Ofaz


15 h – 17 h: Panel Discussion

“Dori Laub, Psychoanalysis and Testimony”, a conversation with Françoise Davoine, Amit Pinchevski, and Sonja Knopp, moderated by Jeanne Wolff Bernstein


About the Conference

Surviving the Holocaust was the exception. To bear witness to the Holocaust also means to bear witness for those how did not survive, who cannot be heard any longer. Testimonies from Holocaust survivors are often the only access to the subjective dimensions of experience of this incommensurable event. Especially video testimonies emphasize this decidedly subjective character of an eyewitness report, since they retain – unlike written artifacts – the direct speech of the witnesses, their tones of voices, their pauses, and silences.

In 2024, one of the most important video documentation centers is celebrating 45 years of recording Holocaust testimony: In the spring of 1979, the Israeli American psychoanalyst and psychiatrist Dori Laub along with Laurel Vlock, a television producer, began videotaping Holocaust survivors in New Haven in what became the Holocaust Survivors Film Project (HSFP). In 1981, the HSFP tapes were deposited at Yale where they formed the initial collection of the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, today the longest sustained effort to record survivor testimony on video. Dori Laub, himself a Holocaust Survivor, participated in 134 testimony taping sessions for the HSFP and the Fortunoff Archive for Holocaust Testimonies which today comprises over 4,300 testimonies.

Using the 45th anniversary of the first videorecording of Holocaust survivors by Laub and Vlock in New Haven in 1979, this two-day conference brings together a group of international scholars, psychoanalysts, filmmakers and archivists to explore the role of eyewitness testimony and psychoanalysis in helping us to grasp this destruction and its unfathomable consequences on the human psyche, topics of psychoanalysis, as well as topics of Jewish history and culture, its destruction during the Holocaust.


About Dori Laub



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