Posts are contributed by individual authors. The opinions are solely the authors’ and are not necessarily a reflection of the views of USC Shoah Foundation.
Blog: Through Testimony
Blog Posts by Dan Leshem
December 1, 2013
Shortly after I saw Schindler’s List for the first time, I had an argument with my father about the value of such Hollywood blockbusters for teaching people about the Holocaust. We debated the following question: If Schindler’s List was the only source of information for people about the Holocaust would it perhaps be better if they did not see it at all? That is, is Schindler’s List better than nothing if what it shows is all you know about what happened to nearly six million Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe? My dad said (or shouted) yes, but I was unconvinced.
About Dan Leshem
Dan Leshem is Associate Director for Research Director of the USC Shoah Foundation–The Institute for Visual History and Education. Dr. Leshem holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature & Jewish Studies from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. His dissertation, The Language of Suffering: Writing and Reading the Holocaust argued for the necessity of ethical approaches to interpreting Holocaust testimony. While at Emory, he also served as Program Manager of the Holocaust Denial on Trial (HDOT) website, which strives to educate scholars and the general public of the risks of denial and other forms of hate speech.
Dr. Leshem joined the staff of the USC Shoah Foundation in September 2010, at which time he was also appointed Adjunct Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature. At the Institute, he works with faculty, students, and researchers at USC and across the world to help them develop courses, scholarly publications, and educational resources that utilize the Institute’s testimonies. He develops and organizes the Institute’s yearly academic event calendar that includes lectures, film screenings, panel discussions and conferences. He also heads the Institute’s yearly Student Voices Film Competition.