Search

Displaying 1 - 30 of 54 results
Friday, August 5, 2016
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.
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
On January 25, 2019, the fifth- and sixth-graders of a school in Cottbus, Germany honored all those affected during the Holocaust by unveiling a Butterfly Project memorial to the 1.5 million children murdered during this dark moment in history. This first-ever initiative in Germany introduced a new, younger audience to real stories of local children.
Monday, June 15, 2015
What makes Gad Beck’s story so remarkable, however, was that not only was he a “Mischling” but he was also a gay teenager living in Nazi Berlin, the epicenter of a military power antagonistic to both Jews and gays.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
The other morning I checked the BBC News website like I always do only to discover that French film director Alain Resnais had passed away at the age of ninety-one. Resnais’s films frequently explored the relationship between memory, consciousness, and the imagination in a non-linear manner and his innovative method of filmmaking won him numerous awards and prestige throughout his prolific career.
Friday, January 24, 2014
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. This was the challenge placed in front of me by colleagues at UNESCO, when they requested that the USC Shoah Foundation prepare an exhibition for International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27 – the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp.
Thursday, March 5, 2015
We are hiding from the fact that subsequent to Haman, Hitler was successful in carrying out the genocide of the Jews and the survivors of the Holocaust are better examples than Mordechai or Esther.
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
As the first anniversary of my life-changing trip to Poland is upon me, I take time to reflect on the impact that trip has made on me both personally and professionally.  I have learned so much from my experiences as a teacher in USC Shoah Foundation’s and Discovery Education’s Auschwitz: The Past is Present program.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
The Holocaust collection in USC Shoah Foundation's Visual History Archive contains nearly 53,000 testimonies; however, only a mere six of those testimonies are from survivors who were persecuted by the Nazis for being gay: one in English, three in German, one in French, and one in Dutch. There are other gay survivors we have in the Archive, but they were persecuted by the Nazis for the greater sin of being Jewish; Gad Beck being one of them. The meager number says a lot about the history of the gay men who lived through the Nazi regime and who came out the other end willing and unafraid to speak about their lives.
Monday, November 9, 2015
In December 1995, USC Shoah Foundation, then called, Survivors of the Shoah Foundation, held a training session for interviewers in Buenos Aires; bringing together people from different countries of Latin America. The Foundation had just started to collect the survivors’ testimonies throughout the world and was about to start recording testimonies in Brazil.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Poland faces a horrible wave of extremism after the election of a new right-wing government. As an educator and Polish citizen, I am not only scared by this type of radical hatred, but it also reminds me of the past because the same organization that marches on the streets of Polish cities today, organized boycotts of Jewish institutions and forbade Jewish students from studying at Polish universities before WWII.
Thursday, February 12, 2015
I expected to feel an intimate and profound connection to Auschwitz after touring the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum for the first time late last month.After three consecutive days visiting and working at the museum, I was indeed moved. But the insight I was hoping for came from beyond the well-worn paths of tourists, from a source that hits close to home here at USC Shoah Foundation.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
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. It’s a complicated and mysterious process for those who don’t have advanced degrees. But beyond the connections of wires and microchips, there is something far more mysterious and complicated going on: the human connection that takes place between people from different times, different places and different backgrounds when they engage with testimony.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Auschwitz was one of five death camps established by the Nazis in Poland where Jews were taken to be murdered during the so-called “Final Solution,” a euphemism for the their genocide. We know it through the horrific photos of trains filled with Jews, of men being split from women, parents from children, of the uniformed Nazi wagging his finger, and of the brick chimneys billowing smoke. But there is a much more intimate story still to be heard.
Monday, April 9, 2018
It’s a story my grandfather never told me, something that I only heard and understood later, years after my mother recounted it. In 1943, after his first wife and children were killed, my grandfather, Sam Wasserman, participated in one of the only successful mass escapes from a Nazi extermination camp. He and hundreds of other prisoners, overwhelmed and killed several guards and escaped the Sobibor death camp in Poland. My grandfather eluded capture, joined a band of partisans fighting the Nazis, and shortly after surviving the war, met the woman who would become my grandmother.
Thursday, July 14, 2016
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.
Monday, March 31, 2014
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. My family and I were then living in Chicago, but the hectic pace of preparing to move to Los Angeles did not prevent my wife, Margee, and me from stealing away for a weekend to celebrate our 30th anniversary. We found an isolated beach and flew off, knowing that we would return to the inevitable chaos of moving to LA.
Friday, December 13, 2013
As I write this, I am standing alongside 30 of the last 200 survivors of the Nanjing Massacre, which began 76 years ago Friday. Sirens sound around this Chinese city as the last few eyewitnesses of a massacre gather. Starting Dec. 13, 1937, and lasting six weeks, as many as 300,000 civilians were murdered during the atrocities.
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
A person doesn’t visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland and come away unchanged, and I was no exception.The empty barracks, the barbed-wire fencing, the solemn exhibits, the telltale chimneys – all these vestiges left a strong impression. But what struck me most was the sheer vastness of the sprawling memorial to history’s most notorious death camp.Walking through Birkenau with my tour group, I gaped at the emptiness stretching for a mile in every direction – nothing but the crumbling remains of buildings half-buried in snow.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
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.
Friday, February 9, 2018
Even absent this current era of “alternative facts” and “fake news,” the new Polish law making it a crime to point out Poland’s complicity in the Holocaust would be alarming.  But that it is occurring in today’s climate of demagoguery, heightened nationalism and ethnic tension – an unholy trio that threatens to metastasize on a global scale – is a troubling development. Poland’s effort has come under attack by Israel and stewards of Holocaust memory.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Steven Spielberg was awarded this year's Records of Achievement Award by the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
Monday, September 17, 2018
My father was born and raised in Sighet, Romania, just down the road from the Elie Wiesel's simple blue childhood home. When the Nobel laureate's house was spray-painted with antisemitic slurs this summer, it felt like an attack on my own familial history.
Friday, April 8, 2016
In 2015 , I traveled to Guatemala with a small team from USC Shoah Foundation to train staff from a local organization called the Fundación de Antropología Forence de Guatemala (FAFG) to begin collecting voices from survivors to the Guatemalan Genocide.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
During the 1960s, the Guatemalan government unleashed a war against various small guerilla groups across the country. This so-called “internal conflict” turned into a 36-year genocide against Mayan populations.
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
After a long period of neglect, the study of genocides against indigenous populations is becoming an increasingly larger part of the field of genocide studies.
Monday, November 16, 2015
Paris. The way we think of that beautiful city has changed. That's what they want. They want us to think about things differently, to use Paris as a symbol of bloodshed and fear, not the one we know and love of liberty and culture. That is the nature of extremism: It tries to change who we are, how we see the world, to change our habits and our patterns of thought, to enjoy our freedoms less, to exert control.
Friday, May 4, 2018
Like many countries around the world, we commemorated Labor Day on May 1 here in Germany. The day also coincided with the beginning of a new government position – commissioner for Jewish life in Germany and to fight antisemitism, but everyone refers to it as the “Antisemitism Commissioner.” The inaugural holder is Felix Klein, a career diplomat with an international law degree, who coincidentally happens to come from the same town I grew up in.
Friday, March 31, 2017
Educators share how they teach with eyewitness testimony for April's Genocide Awareness Month.

Pages

Video icon= video available

photo gallery icon= photo gallery available