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Wednesday, April 22, 2015
In the spring of 1915, the Young Turk regime of the Ottoman began a genocide against its Armenian population under the cover of World War I. This minute-long excerpt features survivor Haroutune Aivazian.  He describes the horror his mother faced when a town crier in Marash, a city in Cilcia in South West Anatolia, called for the Armenians of the community to gather in a square just outside of the town for deportation. As his mother prepared for the journey, a local Turkish man warned the family that deportation meant death.
Friday, April 17, 2015
This brief clip reveals a number of significant points about the early stage of the Armenian Genocide (spring-summer 1915) in many areas. The first is that although one reads in memoirs and accounts of Armenians who were expecting “something bad to happen,” many, if not most, Armenian villagers believed that they were going to be relocated in a peaceful manner.
Friday, April 3, 2015
After the disastrous Balkan wars of 1912-13, the Turks lost most of their European possessions. To dilute the Armenian presence and create a homogenous Turkish and Muslim population that would unequivocally support the Turkish state, the Young Turks decided on a policy of resettling Muslim refugees from the Balkan wars in Armenian areas and deporting the indigenous population.  These early measures led to the impoverishment and death of thousands; then came the First World War with Turkey taking the side of Germany against Russia and its allies.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
The Jews of German-occupied Budapest, Hungary were relocated to specially selected buildings throughout the city identified as Yellow Star houses. Each house was marked with a yellow Star of David on a black background. The decree for relocation was issued on June 16, 1944. Deák Ervin remembers when his family’s apartment was seized by a soldier and they were then forced to live in the soldier’s old apartment, designated as a Yellow Star House. Deák Ervin reflects on the horrible conditions of the apartment.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
The murder of extended families, the targeting of community leaders, the critical role of eyewitnesses--each of these factors surfaces in Haigas Bonapart’s interview. These tactics are all too familiar to those of us who study the crime of genocide and the strategies employed by its perpetrators. By destroying communal ties and eliminating those individuals who might rally a group in self-defense, civilians under systematic assault are made much more vulnerable to isolation and mass violence.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
In 1968, filmmaker J. Michael Hagopian received a phone call as he describes in this clip, from a German, who had apparently been stationed in a medical corps in the Ottoman Empire in 1915/1916 and witnessed what happened to Armenians. Michael had not heard of this person before, but knew right away that this could be an important interview. Why?
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Armin T. Wegner was in the German Sanitary Corps and was posted to Eastern Turkey during WWI.  There he was witness to the genocide of the Armenian people. Seeing the devastating consequences of the deportations he documented the genocide in photographs, keeping meticulous notes at great personal risk.Wegner was arrested for his covert documentation, but was able to smuggle his photographs back to Germany. These photographs were later used in German Court as evidence that genocide had indeed taken place in Eastern Anatolia against the Armenian people.
Friday, April 17, 2015
Wolf Dieter Bihl is a famous Austrian historian, with a number of published works on Austria-Hungary and the First World War. In this clip, he is touching upon two important issues pertaining to the history of the Armenian Genocide. The first is his assertion that representatives of the allies of the Ottoman Empire during the war, i.e. that other Central Powers, and Germany and Austria-Hungary in particular, reported extensively in their internal, confidential correspondence that what the Young Turk government was up to was actually a determined attempt to exterminate the Armenian race.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
100 Days to Inspire Respect In every genocide, in spite of the horror of human killing and the danger that poses, there are remarkable people that come to the fore.  Armin T. Wegner was in the German Sanitary Corps and was posted to Eastern Turkey during WWI.  There he was witness to the genocide of the Armenian people. Seeing the devastating consequences of the deportations he documented the genocide in photographs, keeping meticulous notes at great personal risk.
Monday, October 27, 2014
Nathan Offen recalls when he last saw his younger sister Miriam and his mother before they were deported to a concentration camp. He also speaks about the emotional and physical toll the splitting up of the family had on his father. His testimony is featured in Lesson 5 of Echoes and Reflections
Thursday, April 9, 2015
Born into an affluent German Jewish family, Henry Morgenthau, Sr. was raised in New York, where he attended school and received his training as an attorney at Columbia. An early supporter of Woodrow Wilson, Morgenthau was tapped by the then newly-elected president to become the United States Ambassador for the Ottoman Empire.
Friday, April 24, 2015
In this short clip Harry Kurkjian recalls Armenians who were about to be killed crying out in despair, “Where are you God?”  “Why are you punishing us?”  As the first nation to convert to Christianity in 301 AD, the events of 1915 raised a fundamental theological problem for Armenians.  If God is good and all-powerful, why was he not intervening on their behalf?  The problem of theodicy, as theologians refer to it, is an issue that surfaces in nearly every genocide, driving some people to completely abandon faith in God.  Indeed, the “God is Dead” movement arose after the Holocaust as Jewis
Friday, April 24, 2015
Michael Hagopian conducted almost all of the interviews in the Armenian Genocide Testimony collection.  After he died in December 2010, the Armenian Film Foundation received a request to interview Almas Boghosian, in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. Her granddaughter Taline had interviewed her in 2000, but her family wanted Almas to be interviewed again for this collection. I called a cameraman I knew from my previous work with the BBC and we went to Almas’ house, and met Almas’ grandson Bruce Boghosian and his wife, Laura.  
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Located northwest of Drohobycz in the Lwów voivoship in Poland (after the war Drogobych, Ukraine), the Bronica Forest was the site of massacres of the local Jewish population by the Nazis in 1942 -1943. The Jews were taken from the Drohobycz ghetto to the Bronica forest to be killed until the closing of the ghetto in June 1943. Nearly 11,000 Jews were killed on that site, including Al’fred Shraer’s mother and maternal grandfather. He speaks in Ukrainian about the history of the monument standing on the site and explains how the executions took place.
Friday, April 24, 2015
In this brief clip Father Krikor Guerguerian is faced with a theological question that has challenged many survivors of the Armenian Genocide. The perpetrator confesses to him that he killed his father, three brothers and confiscated their house and garden and asks Guerguerian for forgiveness.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Stefan speaks of his arrest by the Gestapo in his place of birth, Torun, Poland. Stefan relates how he was interrogated, brutally beaten and subsequently imprisoned as a result of an intimate letter he wrote to an Austrian soldier in German uniform. View his entire testimony at http://vhaonline.usc.edu/login.aspx  
Monday, April 20, 2015
Mihran Andonian is describing an experience that was common during the Armenian Genocide.  Some Armenian mothers, certain that they would not survive the death marches into the desert, let their children be taken by Muslims (Turks, Arabs, Kurds), hoping to guarantee survival. Other Armenian mothers on the caravans died while still with their children leaving these orphans to fend for themselves. Indeed, thousands of Armenian children were left homeless by the end of World War I and were either taken in by locals or rounded up by missionaries and brought to orphanages.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Emmanuel Muhinda describes the persecution of Tutsi and anti-Tutsi propaganda he witnessed before the genocide started in April 1994. His testimony is featured in the IWitness activity, Information Quest: The Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Jean Sothere Ndamyuwera reflects on life after the genocide in Rwanda and the lessons he learned. He also speaks on the importance of tolerance and forgiveness. Jean’s testimony is featured in the IWitness activity, Information Quest: The Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Ildephonse Gasana reflects on life after genocide including learning how to forgive and to be more tolerant of one another. Gasana’s testimony is featured in the IWitness activity, The Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Herschel Balter describes the role that singing played for him while he was imprisoned in Auschwitz- Birkenau. Herschel’s testimony is featured in the IWitness activity, Auschwitz – Inner Strength, Outward Resistance.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Leon Leyson describes working in Oskar Schindler’s factory and how Schindler treated all of his employees with such respect. This testimony clip is featured in the IWitness Video Challenge activity.
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Ellis Lewin describes the horrible living conditions including personal property seizure in the Lodz Ghetto. This tesitmony clip is featured in the IWitness activity Information Quest: Ellis Lewin.
Monday, June 9, 2014
Ralph Leeser and his family fled to the United States from Nazi Germany in 1939. A few years later he joined the United States armed forces and helped liberate Buchenwald concentration camp. After the liberation Leeser and his fellow soldiers went to Braunau, Austria and entered Hitler's home.