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Thursday, May 11, 2017
USC Shoah Foundation is saddened to learn of the passing of Holocaust survivor Curt Lowens, a wartime hero who became a well-known character actor when he moved to the United States. He was 91. Born Curt Lowenstein on Nov. 17, 1925 in Germany, Lowen and his family had planned to emigrate to the United States as World War II was starting, but they were stopped from leaving the Netherlands when the Germans invaded that country. He was briefly deported to the Westerbork concentration camp in 1943, but he was released because of his father’s business connections.
Thursday, September 7, 2017
USC Shoah Foundation mourns the death of Georg Citrom, Holocaust survivor and longtime friend of the Institute. Citrom was born in Oradea, Romania, in 1931. His father was a teacher in the local Jewish school and he had one older sister, Suzy. His family practiced modern Orthodox Judaism and he loved visiting his grandparents at their house in the countryside.
Monday, November 2, 2015
We are sad to learn of the passing of Thomas Blatt, a Holocaust survivor who was one of the few people to survive an escape from the Sobibor death camp in 1943. He was 88.Born April 15, 1927, in Lublin, Poland, Blatt also served as a witness at the 2009 trial of the camp guard John Demjanjuk.
Friday, October 14, 2016
USC Shoah Foundation is sorry to learn of the death of Andrzej Wajda, Poland’s preeminent filmmaker and the director of the 2002 USC Shoah Foundation documentary Pamiętam (I Remember). Wajda died October 9, 2016, at age 90. Wajda survived World War II in Nazi-occupied Poland with his mother and brother after his father, a captain in the Polish infantry, was killed in the Katyn massacre. He joined the Polish resistance at 16 and served in the Polish Home Army until the end of the war.
Monday, August 31, 2015
The memorial service for Yevnige Salibian, one of the last remaining survivors of the 1915 Armenian Genocide, was held today in Mission HIlls, Calif. Salibian died August 29, 2015, at 101 years old.A force of nature well into her hundreds, Salibian gave testimony about her childhood experiences to USC Shoah Foundation in 2014.
Thursday, September 14, 2017
We are sad to learn of the passing of Kurt Messerschmidt, Holocaust survivor, educator and beloved cantor. He was 102. Messerschmidt was born Jan. 2, 1915 in Weneuchen, Germany, but moved to Berlin in 1918 and excelled as a linguistics scholar, gymnast and musician. He was well-respected and a leader among his classmates and teachers, but was unable to attend college because of anti-Jewish measures implemented by the Nazis.
Monday, December 11, 2017
We at USC Shoah Foundation are saddened to hear of the passing of our beloved friend, Holocaust survivor and renowned artist Alice Lok Cahana, who passed away on November 28 at age 88. Through her internationally acclaimed artwork, writings, and public speaking, Alice put forth a message to the world that both memorialized those who perished during the Holocaust and celebrated the strength of the human spirit.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
USC Shoah Foundation is saddened to learn of the passing of Erna Viterbi, philanthropist and longtime supporter of USC Shoah Foundation.Erna Finci Viterbi, a descendant of Sephardic Jews, was born in Sarajevo but fled Yugoslavia with her family during World War II. They were deported to the Parma region of Italy and interned in the village Gramignazzo di Sissa, but were saved from deportation to the extermination camps by the townspeople. Erna and her family were able to escape to Switzerland for the rest of the war. In 1950, they moved to California.
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
USC Shoah Foundation is saddened to learn of the passing of Johnny Strange, a record-holding adventurer and supporter of USC Shoah Foundation.
Thursday, November 5, 2015
USC Shoah Foundation is sorry to learn of the passing of Aleksander Laks, the first Holocaust survivor to give his testimony to USC Shoah Foundation in Brazil and a special friend of the Institute. Laks passed away July 21 at age 88.Laks survived the Lodz Ghetto, Auschwitz and a death march as a teenager. He immigrated to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and became a leader of the survivor community there as president of the Sherit Hapleita (Holocaust survivors’ organization).
Monday, July 25, 2016
We are sad to learn of the passing of Helen Colin, a Holocaust survivor who had the distinction of being the first survivor to speak on camera after being liberated from the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Holocaust survivor testimony is what sparked Rachel Deblinger’s interest in studying American postwar Holocaust memory. For her dissertation, she researched other groups for whom testimony was equally eye-opening: American Jews and Jewish communal organizations in the aftermath of World War II.
Monday, March 24, 2014
Heather Dune Macadam is fighting to bring the story of 999 girls to life.Macadam is currently fundraising to make a documentary film called First Transport to Auschwitz: The Story of 999 Girls. The deadline for her Kickstarter campaign is Mon., March 31; click here to make a donation.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Rwandan filmmaker Eric Kabera will travel from Hillywood (Rwanda’s burgeoning film industry named after the country’s famously hilly landscape) to Hollywood to help judge this year’s Student Voices Short Film Contest.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
USC Libraries presented its first-ever Research Award last month to a student who turned to the Visual History Archive to research transitional justice in South Africa and Rwanda.Nitya Ramanathan, a junior international relations major, took first place for her paper How do We Put Ourselves Back Together? An Analytical Comparison between Transitional Justice in Rwanda and South Africa, written for Professor Wolf Gruner’s Comparative Genocide course.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Peter Berczi began working as a librarian at Budapest's Central European University in 2009 –the same year that CEU became a Visual History Archive Access site. But more and more, he says, he thinks this coincidence was meant to be. Berczi helps professors at CEU find testimonies to use in their courses and conducts sessions to teach their students how to use the archive. He also conducts Visual History Archive trainings for local secondary educators as part of the Teaching with Testimony in the 21st Century professional development program.
Thursday, April 27, 2017
For the past semester and a half, Nic Chavez has spent one day out of every month at USC Shoah Foundation’s home at USC’s Leavey Library, discussing with his fellow Junior Interns at the Institute what attitudes breed hatred and intolerance, and how derivatives can be quelled.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Each week, we will profile a scholar who will present his or her research at the Center for Advanced Genocide Research's upcoming conference Digital Approaches to Genocide Studies, Oct. 23-24, 2017.
Monday, April 10, 2017
Robert Ackles has slogged up the 405 from San Diego to Los Angeles once a month, every month, for almost two years. He’s sat through the heat and the desperate freeway traffic for one reason, and one reason alone: to visit USC Shoah Foundation’s home at USC’s Leavey Library as a Junior Intern. Part of a small group of young students, Ackles meets periodically to discuss and analyze such topics as hatred, prejudice, intolerance and how to stop both using positive moral guidance and active participation in society.
Monday, May 1, 2017
Now several months into her USC Shoah Foundation Junior Internship, Mackenzie Westman, junior at Eagle Rock High School Highly Gifted Magnet, has come to understand how you can counter all of the elements that can fuel hate. The monthly meetings at the Institute, and concurrent viewings of testimony from USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive, have been paramount in shaping her perception.
Friday, April 11, 2014
Aegis Trust’s Paul Rukesha helped lead the USC Shoah Foundation mission to Rwanda last week, and reports that the mission was, a very meaningful and productive visit for all involved.
Friday, June 13, 2014
New University of Southern California graduate Bijou Nguyen focused on the testimonies of one of the least well-known groups persecuted during the Holocaust for her USC Libraries Award second-place research paper The Paradoxical Treatment of Male Homosexual Prisoners During the Holocaust.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
They started in October – making the trip to USC Shoah Foundation’s home at USC’s Leavey Library once a month, every month to meet, either virtually or physically, and study what attitudes breed hatred and intolerance, how they can spread positive moral authority and how to use the weight of testimony from the Visual History Archive to become active participants in civil society.
Thursday, January 8, 2015
As School Library Media Specialist at Clark Mills Elementary School in Manalapan, New Jersey, Gail Murray introduces not just one class each year but many to USC Shoah Foundation testimony in order to supplement their learning about the Holocaust.Murray wanted to complement the fourth- and fifth grade units on the Holocaust with age-appropriate content in the library, so she researched possible websites, literature and videos that would enhance what they are learning in their classrooms. She said she felt that she “hit gold” when she found USC Shoah Foundation and IWitness.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Professor Roy Schwartzman is proof that you don’t need to be a historian to make full use of the Visual History Archive in teaching and research.
Thursday, July 23, 2015
Lire en françaisTess Gagnage has embarked on a fascinating study of Polish persecution of Jews before and during the Holocaust through the lens of French-language survivor testimony in the Visual History Archive.Gagnage is a master’s candidate in contemporary history at ENS Lyon, which became the first Visual History Archive full access site in France in 2014. Through the Institute’s French liaison Emmanuel Debono, Gagnage learned of the Visual History Archive and decided to conduct her own study of the testimonies.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Since October, once a month, every month, a group of grade school students have met either virtually or physically at the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education’s home at USC’s Leavey Library. These students are USC Shoah Foundation’s newest crop of Junior Interns, there to study what attitudes breed hatred and intolerance, how they can spread positive moral authority and be an active participant in civil society using the weight of testimony from the Visual History Archive.
Monday, May 11, 2015
The second annual Greenberg Research Fellowship has been awarded to Julia Werner, a PhD candidate in history at Humboldt University, Berlin, who will combine testimony with her study of photography of occupied Poland during World War II.
Thursday, June 5, 2014
USC Shoah Foundation’s work in France is led by historian Emmanuel Debono, who says it’s exciting to be involved in such a worldwide effort to teach and preserve history.
Monday, August 19, 2013
Gregory Irwin ’14, an international relations major with a minor in screenwriting, has been an intern at USC Shoah Foundation since his sophomore year. He was inspired to get involved by the stories his grandmothers have told him about their experiences during the Holocaust.

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