When I was a child, my grandfather often told me about the Second World War. While he sat next to me, coloring or teaching me letters of the alphabet, he would sneak in a story about his days in the Soviet army.
In April 1994, the genocide of the Rwandan Tutsis officially began, even though the persecution and killing campaign had gone on for decades. In 100 days, close to 1 million women, children and men were slaughtered and tortured to death with machetes, metal sticks and knives.
As a writer fascinated by literary and political theory on history and memory, I watched students from Camino Nuevo High School interview Holocaust survivor Pinchas Gutter while I sat in awe witnessing the past and future intersect before my eyes.
In the spring of 2000, I agreed to become the president and chief executive officer of Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, the predecessor of USC Shoah Foundation - The Institute for Visual History and Education.
Pinchas Gutter sits in a red chair surrounded by bright green fabric under the glare of several thousand LED lights, 53 cameras capturing his every move. This is the world's first ever full-life history captured in true 3-D.
Over the last six weeks, I have had the unique opportunity to be the Senior Fellow at USC Shoah Foundation - The Institute for Visual History and Education. It’s been an honor for me to be here, especially since I led the Institute between 2000 and 2008.
I did not sleep well last night. It was not the kind of sleeplessness brought on by jet lag, stress or workload. It is best described as a kind of numbness that leaves one physically discharged, emotionally drained and deeply troubled.
I first learned about Helena Horowitz’s life history when I found her testimony as I searched through the archive in IWitness the Institute’s educational website featuring the testimonies of survivors and other witnesses to the Holocaust and other genoci
The word journey comes to the English language from the Old French jornee, meaning a day, or, by extension, a day’s labor or travel. This word, which we normally associate with something pleasant, takes on a different meaning when placed in conversation with the word Holocaust.
Let's just say I throw my smartphone over the wall into the Warsaw ghetto.
Along with it, I send instructions to make a video diary until the battery drains, then to wrap it in lots of newspaper before throwing it back.