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Intern Showcase: Soham Chakraborty

The KHC provides a unique service to QCC students by providing both paid/unpaid internships. These internships provide opportunities for students across the disciplines interested in fighting intolerance and discrimination. We invite you to read about one student’s unique experience working on the Jacket from Dachau exhibition.

My name is Soham Chakraborty and I am a Computer Information Systems student at QCC, graduating Fall 2017. I am originally from India, grew up near Cleveland, Ohio, and lived in North Carolina for several years. I consider myself fortunate to have such a diverse background with exposure to different social environments, which has given me a great appreciation for the importance of shared heritage and cultural awareness. I have been in the melting pot that is New York City for two years. My time here has been marked by enriching cultural experiences, not the least of which took place during my internship at the Kupferberg Holocaust Center.

I became a Tech Fee Intern at the KHC in November of 2016. At the time, I barely knew anything about the Center and its offerings, but I dove headfirst into the Jacket from Dachau exhibition and Ben Peres’s life. I was quickly immersed in the details of the Peres family’s history, getting an up close and personal look at their persecution, their journey to freedom, and subsequent reparations efforts. I was tasked with creating an easily accessible online archive of the documents and images in the Jacket from Dachau exhibition. I started from scratch with a list of over 300 documents including letters, payments, and certificates, and their corresponding digital representations. I discovered a tool called, a project by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, which I implemented to build a database of our documents. enabled me to organize our content according to current library archival standards and make it readily available to users. I created the Jacket from Dachau Archive website, an indexed collection of the documents, images, and videos that comprise the exhibition.

My work on this exhibition gave me a very personal window into the lives of Ben Peres and his family, including all the discrimination and impediments they faced. It allowed me to better understand the enormous impact of the Holocaust and its lasting tolls on the lives of so many people, whether directly or indirectly. I am honored to have had the chance to contribute to this ambitious project and to help preserve the legacy of the survivors of the Holocaust. I look forward to continuing my work at the KHC this summer on its upcoming exhibition about the village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon.