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
Aristides de Sousa Mendes was a Portuguese diplomat stationed in Bordeaux in the late 1930s who issued tens of thousands of visas to Jewish families, in direct violation of anti-Jewish laws instituted by Portugal’s fascist government at the time. For this act of resistance, Sousa Mendes faced trials and conviction, leaving him to live out the rest of his life in poverty and disgrace, and his 15 children scattered all over Europe and the U.S.
As the sun sets on the Danube River, I felt the need to pinch myself. I am really here in Budapest? It doesn’t feel so far away from my home in Los Angeles. But looking at the architecture and the castle in the distance, I fall in love with the romance of this old European city.
I see two pictures of America. One that is open, free, respectful, fun-loving. The other which is divisive, fearful, angry, and violent. These two Americas have much that sets them apart, but they share missing elements, because neither America is integrated, fair, multicultural, embracing, or color-blind. Not in practice anyhow.
At its physical core, USC Shoah Foundation is an impressive bank of computers and programs that bring the testimony of genocide survivors to people around the world.
June 20th is recognized by the United Nations as International Refugee Day to raise awareness of the plight of the refugees around the world. In the Visual History Archive, the testimonies of genocide survivors include their personal experiences as refugees. As of now, the world is facing the biggest refugee crisis since World War II. To shed light on the current and past refugee crisis explore 10 interesting facts about the refugee experience.
“Oskar Schindler saved my life but Steven Spielberg gave me a voice,” Holocaust survivor Celina Biniaz.
Bertram Schaffner’s story is a unique one because of the multiple roles he played as a gay German American during the period that saw the rise of Nazi Germany and World War II.
The young Nazi approached 13-year-old Szulem Czygielmamn as he walked on the sidewalk of Lubartowska Street in Lublin, Poland, and shoved him off the sidewalk. Szulem was lucky; Jews had died for less.
You never know what you will find in the Visual History Archive. You hear stories of survival, death, life, hope and even friendship amidst the chaos of genocide. Sidney Shafner and Marcel Levy have remained friends for over 70 years – since the liberation of the concentration camp Dachau.
In just a few days, I’ll be graduating with my bachelors in International Relations from USC. As I sit here writing this piece, I have a chance to reflect on these three years of fundamental personal and academic growth, and in particular, on my incredibly rewarding intern experience at USC Shoah Foundation.
A few weeks ago, a student I was interviewing for a profile I was writing on him for USC Shoah Foundation’s website said something interesting: “Growing up Jewish, the Holocaust is pretty much always there.”
As the son of two survivors of the Shoah and the husband of a daughter of two survivors, identifying as the Next Generation has been the essence of w
Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Yom HaShoah as it’s known in Hebrew, commemorates and honors the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. This year, people around the world will remember the victims of the Holocaust May 4-5, 2016.
News of the deadly bombs that ripped apart the Brussels airport terminal last month sent a shockwave through me. I know that line, that place. I have stood in that spot. The “what if” scenario is not what troubles me most, however.
Passover, Bergen-Belsen, 1945. These two thoughts do not belong together: Bergen-Belsen, the epitome of captivity; Passover, the celebration of freedom from slavery.
As the indexer for USC Shoah Foundation’s Armenian Genocide Testimony Collection, I have to listen carefully to hundreds of testimonies assigning keywords to each minute so that these stories will be accessible in the Visual History Archive. Now just in time for the 101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide we will be integrating an additional 155 indexed testimonies into the Archive. I thought this would be a fitting time to highlight some of the most interesting aspects of the 245 testimonies that will be available in the Visual History Archive Online.
This month – National Poetry Month in the U.S. – is a great time to explore just how powerful words can be. When it comes to understanding difficult moments in history, poetry and writing can help students process and express their own thoughts about the world.
To help introduce your students to the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda explore testimonies and activities in IWitness.
While the average USC student was dragging themselves out of bed to make it to their first class after Spring Break, I was--rather jet-lagged--sitting in an 800 year old room cloaked in paintings of old intellectuals and world renowned writers in a tiny corridor of Hertford College at Oxford University, wondering how on Earth I could be so lucky to miss a week of school to hang out at one of the oldest, most prestigious centers of learning in the history of Western Civilization.
April is Genocide Awareness Month, a time to reflect on atrocities of the past while ensuring that we avoid acts of mass murder in the future. The urgency of this mandate was highlighted just weeks ago when the U.S. House of Representatives and the State Department officially recognized that ISIS is committing genocide in the Middle East.
This year I focused on eyewitness testimony to the Holocaust and it changed the experience for my students and for me.
I attended the event “Melodies of Auschwitz” at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington D.C. on Thursday, March 10, 2016, hosted by PNC Bank to recognize USC Shoah Foundation for its work in genocide education and preserving testimony of genocides around the world. The event was educational and meaningful, bringing together PNC clients, employees, and all other guests into a conversation about the importance of preserving testimony and what USC Shoah Foundation is all about.
The question “How do you teach this stuff?” is what brought me to USC Shoah Foundation in 2010 to begin my training and work as a Master Teacher. I was beginning to understand that survivor testimony is the formative center of Holocaust education, that once a student begins to see Holocaust education content through the lens of testimony, the education and the student begin to change in ways that are profound.
Never forget. Never again. These are common phrases used in Holocaust and genocide education. These are important statements especially when they evoke the real reason to study, learn, and teach about genocide.
For Women’s History Month, bring the unique voices of women who survived or stood up against some of the worst atrocities of the 20th century into your classroom. Facing History is partnering with USC Shoah Foundation to help educators access more than
Every once in a while, I have a moment when seemingly disconnected ideas collide in peculiar relief, bringing clarity and making sense – admittedly sometimes only to me. I had one of those days recently when I was looking at the calendar and realized that International Women’s Day on March 8 was approaching.
Happy Digital Learning Day! Led by Alliance for Excellent Education, the day is an effort to engage students and empower educators through effective use of digital tools. Educators, schools and organizations around the world will be sharing the power of using digital resources in the classroom.
How do we begin to remember the millions of victims of the biggest genocide in human history? How do we echo the gravity of the world’s loss to students? How do we work to create a meaningful moment that memorializes humankind’s greatest tragedy?
The multidisciplinary Holocaust Geographies Collaborative research group returned to USC Shoah Foundation and shared their plans for an exciting new project harnessing the power of t