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Monday, August 7, 2017
As a documentary filmmaker, historian and curator, Christian Delage has long consulted with and used video testimonies of Holocaust survivors in his work.
Monday, July 24, 2017
For a century, Michael Rettig’s family has passed down boxes upon boxes of photographs, papers, records and other documents. But because most of it was written in Armenian, no one knew much about what it all meant. When his grandmother invited him to take a look, Rettig became eager to investigate, to fill in the gaps in both scholarly research and his family's own knowledge about their fascinating history. 
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Marisa Fox-Bevilacqua grew up never knowing that her mother was a Holocaust survivor. That is, until a series of discoveries after her mother’s death led her to the truth: her mother had survived Gabersdorf, a slave labor camp for Jewish girls and young women, for four and a half years – and had never said a word about it.
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Working on assignment from her teacher Katherine Rastrick, Acadia Grantham constructed a video about speaking out against bullying and won second place in the 2017 IWitness Video Challenge.
Monday, April 3, 2017
For the past couple years, high school English teacher Matthew Otis has incorporated IWitness into his unit on the Holocaust and intolerance. Now, IWitness’s 100 Days to Inspire Respect program has inspired him to share his students’ process of cross-cultural understanding with a larger audience. Otis, who teaches at Everett Area High School in Pennsylvania, first learned about IWitness and Echoes and Reflections at a teaching conference last year and since then has used testimony as a resource in his unit on the Holocaust.
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.
Monday, June 26, 2017
After discovering Professor Melissa Kravetz’s IWitness “digital essay” assignment on an internet forum for historians, Visiting Assistant Professor of History April Trask developed her own assignment for her students at Amherst College that many students say is one of the most meaningful they’ve done. Trask has long been interested in digital pedagogy and wanted to find digital resources for her history students at Amherst that offered more than just a digital presentation of traditional written materials, she said.
Monday, July 10, 2017
Acadia Grantham decided to take action against bullying in her IWitness Video Challenge entry, “Silence,” which won second place in the 2017 national contest. The IWitness Video Challenge asks students to submit short videos to show how they were inspired by testimony to make positive choices and create value in their community. The contest is open to middle and high school students across the United States and Canada (except Quebec). 
Monday, July 17, 2017
Shayna Kantor turned her passion for American Sign Language into her third-place winning IWitness Video Challenge project.
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.
Monday, July 31, 2017
He was under five years old at the time, but World War II left an indelible mark on Louis Schmidt. He’s never forgotten the air raid drills, seeing his uncles in military uniform, or looking at pictures of prisoners of war in Life magazine. So when Steven Spielberg announced after he won the Oscar for Schindler’s List in 1994 that he was setting up a foundation to record interviews with 50,000 Holocaust survivors, Schmidt didn’t hesitate.
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Social studies teacher Linda O’Dwyer’s first experience with IWitness showed her how creative her students could be while learning how to counter hate.
Friday, March 24, 2017
Within an hour of learning about IWitness for the first time, Julie McDaniel could already envision how its testimonies and activities could enhance her work as Student Safety and Well-Being Consultant at the Oakland Schools district in Michigan.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
When students learn about refugees in IWitness, it will be Tomás Rafa’s documentary video footage of the current-day refugee crisis in Europe that will help them make connections between refugees of the past and present.
Friday, March 3, 2017
Just over halfway into her month-long residency at USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research, 2016-2017 Greenberg Research Fellow Katja Schatte has already surpassed her expectations about what she would discover in the Visual History Archive. Schatte sat down for a Facebook Live interview about her research and her fellowship at the Center. She will give a public lecture about her work on March 7 on the USC campus.
Monday, February 13, 2017
High school English and Holocaust Literature teacher Heather Lewis first learned about “six word stories” at an educators’ conference years ago, but could never find a way to incorporate them into her curriculum – until she discovered USC Shoah Foundation’s 100 Days to Inspire Respect program.
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Educators in the Detroit area are being exposed to IWitness in greater numbers than ever before with the help of Amy Bloom, Oakland Schools Intermediate School District’s Social Studies Education Consultant. Since 2015, Bloom has been involved with IWitness Detroit, USC Shoah Foundation’s initiative to widen student access to IWitness in the greater Detroit area through teacher training seminars – which range from one-day ITeach workshops to last summer’s three-day IWitness Summer Institute.
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Sarah Pitcher-Hoffman can count herself as part of an elite club: teachers whose students have placed in the IWitness Video Challenge not once, not twice, but three times. Pitcher-Hoffman’s student Shayna Kantor won third place in the 2017 IWitness Video Challenge. Her student last year, Lanna Knoll, and three years ago, Ruby Merritt and Ayva Schiff, were all regional winners in the challenge.
Friday, February 3, 2017
On the seventh day of USC Shoah Foundation’s 100 Days to Inspire Respect education program, a series of tweets were posted by a teacher in Alabama, using the program hashtag #100Days4Respect. “There is enough sun for everyone,” one tweet read. Another said, “Don’t hate others even if they’re different.” Still another, “Someone’s race is not their character. Don’t hate, appreciate.”
Monday, January 23, 2017
For a historian, using a top-down approach is standard – you use government records, archives of primary and secondary sources to fulfill your research; you undress the documents and make sure they stand up, factually, and you stop there. But a bottom-up approach can provide a more complete image of an event, allowing those who lived through the time a voice in history.
Thursday, January 5, 2017
Kari Shagena is combining poetry and Holocaust survivor testimony to inspire empathy and action in her students following an IWitness seminar in Michigan last summer. Shagena, a language arts and social studies teacher at Richmond Middle School, was one of over dozen Michigan educators who attended USC Shoah Foundation’s IWitness Summer Institute in Farmington Hills this past August, a three-day seminar that introduced educators to everything they need to know to incorporate testimonies and activities from IWitness into their classrooms.
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Inspired by the issues affecting his students in Chicago, high school English teacher Wesley Davidson authored one of USC Shoah Foundation’s new resources for 100 Days to Inspire Respect. Davidson, an English teacher at Chicago Tech Academy, authored an IWitness activity called “To Protect and Serve: Community and Policing,” which is the featured resource today, Day 29 of 100 Days to Inspire Respect.
Thursday, June 8, 2017
Peggy Walker’s students at McCall Middle School in Massachusetts have changed the way they do research based on their experience with IWitness. Walker first began using IWitness last year, after using educational resources she found on the USC Shoah Foundation website. She began exploring IWitness and said she “immediately” saw the potential it could have for her students.
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, October 9, 2017
The idea of building inclusive connected communities through the testimonies of genocide survivors may be a novel one, but DePauw University Student Body Vice President Armaan Patel is eager to learn more about it at the USC Shoah Foundation Intercollegiate Diversity Congress (IDC) later this week.
Monday, April 17, 2017
“Hate starts with fear of others.” “Be informed. Don’t judge. Learn love.” “Remove appearance. We’re all the same.” Ninth graders in Sara Mehltretter’s world cultures and geography class at Tampa Catholic High School in Tampa, Fla., wrote these six-word stories and many others, and shared them with not only each other but also their whole school.
Friday, October 6, 2017
Now well into his second year as student body president of Michigan State University, Lorenzo Santavicca understands the realities of his school, one that has made headlines both for its athletics but also for its numerous reports of sexual misconduct. This year, he’ll be well-equipped to deal with some of these realities, stocked with resources from a new initiative by USC Shoah Foundation.
Thursday, June 22, 2017
IWitness Video Challenge winner Natalia Wang was inspired by testimony in IWitness to share a message of acceptance with her whole school. Natalia and her teammates Alana Chandler and Yu Jing Chen won the 2017 contest with their video “Who Are You? Embracing Identity in Our Community.” The three are rising seniors at Walter Payton College Preparatory High School in Chicago, and were encouraged to enter the contest by their teacher Matt Silvia.
Thursday, July 27, 2017
David Hales’ dedication to IWitness has taken him from Michigan to Prague. Hales is the social studies consultant for Wayne Regional Educational Service Agency, helping to bring best practices to classrooms in the 33 school districts in Wayne County, Mich., through teacher trainings, workshops and meetings. He was introduced to IWitness through USC Shoah Foundation’s IWitness Detroit program, which launched in 2015 in order to expand the use of IWitness in Michigan.
Monday, August 21, 2017
Less than a week after the neo-Nazi rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, USC Shoah Foundation received a call from Blake Humphrey, student body president of West Virginia University. How could he work with USC Shoah Foundation to speak out against this blatant display of hatred and bigotry?

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