Intern Insight: Isabel Tamoj

Article about Isabel Tamoj in the volunteers' magazine "Volunteer Voice" of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Isabel Tamoj is from Bad Honnef, Germany, and graduated from high school there in 2011. She is currently a Museum intern and will remain on board until late August 2012.

Her internship in the Holocaust Survivors and Victims Resource Center (HSVRC), is being sponsored by Germany's Action Reconciliation Service for Peace (ARSP). Since 1958, thousands of young ARSP volunteers have worked in Europe, Israel and the United States in order to seek greater international understanding by facing the legacy of Nazi history. Every year, around 180 ARSP volunteers in 13 different countries work on a variety of educational, historical, political, and social projects.

"I applied to Action Reconciliation because I am very interested in history and other cultures," says Isabel, "but also because I feel a certain responsibility as a German to not only learn about the Holocaust, but also to teach others about it to make sure that those horrible events and the victims won't be forgotten."

In the HSVRC, Isabel is currently working for the data management branch where she helps to make archival data accessible to the public. She also surveys and catalogs documents, helps to cover the HSVRC public space in the Wexner Center, and has been working on the World Memory Project. The HSVRC mission is to ensure that the individual experiences of survivors and victims of the Holocaust and Nazi-era persecution are collected, preserved and disseminated for future generations. Their database centralizes information from the Museum's collections. It includes millions of personal records that document the fates of individuals during the Holocaust.

"I also completed Tour Guide Training for the Permanent Exhibition," says Isabel," and will be able to give tours during the busy season.

In her spare time, Isabel enjoys literature and sports, especially basketball. She also likes to travel and going to the movies. Following her internship, Isabel plans to attend a university in Berlin to study history and political science.

"Working here has given me a whole new perspective," says Isabel. "Because I believe that there is a very strong link between Germany’s past and the German identity, volunteering at the Museum has not only taught me a lot about history, but also about myself. I am very grateful for this unique opportunity."