Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date

December 2009

Creation Date


Publisher Information

Florida Holocaust Museum in conjunction with University of South Florida Tampa Library and Holocaust & Genocide Studies Center


Asaba (Nigeria), Civil War, 1967-1970, Crimes against humanity, Ethnic conflict, Massacres, Nwanze, Emmanuel A. C.


Oral history interview with Emmanuel A. C. Nwanze, the former vice-chancellor of the University of Benin and a survivor of anti-Igbo violence leading up to and during the Nigerian Civil War. When the war began in 1967, Nwanze was living in Benin City with his aunt. The Biafrans captured the city that summer and occupied it for about a month, during which time there was increasing anti-Igbo and anti-Biafran sentiment. When the federal troops took the city on September 22, many Igbo residents fled, but Nwanze and his aunt did not have a car and could not leave. Their house had been vandalized, and they hid for a time in the incinerator pit. That night, a neighbor found them and tried to hide them in his house, but they were caught. Nwanze spent several weeks in a refugee camp in Ibadan before being transferred to prison in Warri, from which he was released in December 1967. All of his family in Asaba had survived the October 7 massacre, and Nwanze was accepted into the University of Ibadan and was there through the end of the war. In this interview, he also offers some possible reasons for the conflict.

Physical Information

1 sound file (44 min.) : digital, MP3 file + 1 transcript (14 p.)