Institute News

Holocaust survivor testimony at USC’s German studies event

USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education was among the participating organizations at an open house for the USC-Max Kade Institute, home of the university’s German Studies and European Studies programs. The open house took place on April 12, 2013.

Guests watched testimony at a computer station connected via Wi-Fi to the Foundation’s Visual History Archive, which is available at USC and more than 40 other institutions around the world.

“More than 5,400 people born in prewar Germany gave testimony, and there are more than 900 German-language testimonies and more than 600 recorded in Germany,” said Dr. Dan Leshem, Associate Director of Research for the Foundation. “The open house was the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of the Visual History Archive among students and scholars of German and European studies, and we’re grateful to the Max Kade Institute for allowing us to participate.”

“The Max Kade Foundation's mission is to promote German studies and cross-cultural understanding between German speaking countries and the United States,” said Britta Bothe, associate professor of German at USC and organizer of the open house. “It is of course impossible to gain any deep insights into another culture without knowledge of the language and the history of the country, and the latter—the realm of history—is the context in which the USC Shoah Foundation’s work is so important and ought to be featured at a German Studies event such as the Max Kade Open House. We were delighted that the USC Shoah Foundation—along with other organizations dedicated to the twentieth century history of Germany, such as the LA Museum of the Holocaust, the Feuchtwanger Archive, and the Wende Museum—agreed to participate. All these organizations also allow students a glimpse into the intimate ties between German-speaking countries and the US during that period; in particular, between Germany and Los Angeles as a destination for German exiles who left Nazi Germany.”

Learn more about the Visual History Archive’s relevance to German studies