Early in the year 2000, work commenced on a New Zealand focused Holocaust website – its first phase was launched in 2012. As a result World Upside Down | www.worldupsidedown.co.nz became a one-stop website for New Zealand related Holocaust material and now complements the educational website of the Wellington Holocaust Centre.
The concept came together from initial discussions between a partner, Richard Carstens, of the UK-based architecture/design/media/technology group TownSquareGroup, the Auckland War Memorial Museum, members of the Oral History Project, and the Auckland Jewish Council. It was then produced by Richard Carstens in conjunction with editorial input from a second generation member, Oliver Hoffmann.
The Worldupsidedown project represents a deep-rooted desire to keep the memory of historical events alive and to show how history is reflected in the lives of those who settled in New Zealand after experiencing the Holocaust first hand, or escaping from Europe while it was still possible to do so. It shows that the story and shadow of the Holocaust touched New Zealand lives and, more importantly, that it is relevant to New Zealanders. It is not something that happened 'over there' to 'someone else'.
The project coordinators are deeply appreciative to all those who shared their stories. They acknowledge that it must have been painful and emotional for them to relive those times in their telling. They did it for the sake of future generations. The website includes video clips with stories from their lives, many of the interviews having been conducted over the years by the Oral History Group: Alfred Silberstein, Ben Steiner, Bob Narev, Clare Winter, Freda Narev, Hanka Pressburg, Hansi Silberstein, Helen Erdos, Jack Efrat, Judith Whippy, Judy Ward, Katalin Blair, Mimi Nathan, Olga Romer, Sol Filler, Steven Sedley.
The project coordinators also give thanks to the Auckland Jewish Council, the Raye Freedman Trust, Inge Woolf and the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand, Freda Narev, Claire Bruell, Debbie Knowles, Mike Regan, and Hannah Brodsky.
Image header (above): Worldupsidedown home page screenshot http://worldupsidedown.co.nz/?view=montage