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Friday, March 25, 2016
Dirouhi Haigas was a young Turkish-Armenian girl of 7 when she and her family were abruptly uprooted from their home and deported on foot to the southern desert. A native of Konya, Turkey, she had lived an idyllic life up to that time with her parents, grandparents, aunt, and uncles. Her father was in the family business as a leather merchant, and her uncles were amateur musicians who loved nothing more than to get together with friends and relatives to enjoy folk music and dancing.  This life came to an abrupt end with the outbreak of World War I.
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
The release follows the recent completion of 489 interviews with the survivors of the Guatemala Genocide at the hands of the Guatemalan military in the early 1980s.
Friday, April 1, 2016
April is Genocide Awareness Month, a time to reflect on atrocities of the past while ensuring that we avoid acts of mass murder in the future. The urgency of this mandate was highlighted just weeks ago when the U.S. House of Representatives and the State Department officially recognized that ISIS is committing genocide in the Middle East.
Thursday, March 31, 2016
This year I focused on eyewitness testimony to the Holocaust and it changed the experience for my students and for me.
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.
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.
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.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
For two full days in June 2010, while the camera was rolling in Thousand Oaks in the Hagopian’s living room, I had the privilege of being behind the camera while the late Jacob Michael Hagopian was in front of it -- the whole time.
Monday, April 23, 2018
The former goaltender for a well-known Rwandan team literally owes his life to soccer. Now he uses soccer to promote tolerance and unity. This year, he was recognized by Queen Elizabeth.
Wednesday, December 5, 2018
USC Shoah Foundation Executive Director Stephen Smith will participate in a panel discussion Friday at a special event at the United Nations marking the 70th anniversary of the adoption of international laws to prevent genocide and punish its perpetrators.
Monday, April 10, 2017
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 April 23- 24, 2017.
Monday, February 13, 2017
I recently was an expert witness from October 11-13, 2016, at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) in Phnom Penh, the so-called Khmer Rouge Tribunal that was established in 2001. When I mention this to colleagues, a typical response is, “That’s still going on?”  Indeed. Many forget the train that runs direct from USC to Long Beach takes you to the largest concentration of Cambodian survivors in the United States, where elders make daily offerings to ancestors in their homes or Buddhist temples.
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.
Friday, March 25, 2016
Never forget. Never again. These are common phrases used in Holocaust and genocide education. These are important statements especially when they evoke the real reason to study, learn, and teach about genocide. We must bring this content to students to empower them and encourage them to see beyond themselves. If done right, students become aware of the steps that lead to such atrocities. Teaching about genocide is the only way to have a lasting impact on our students, to affect their worldview, to help them understand that they can make a difference.
Friday, January 25, 2019
USC Shoah Foundation joined a Friday ceremony at a classroom in Cottbus, Germany that contributed 100 butterflies to the Butterfly Project, an international effort by schoolchildren to paint 1.5 million ceramic butterflies – one for every child murdered in the Holocaust.
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.
Monday, August 15, 2016
Poland’s new right-wing government wants to change the way children in that country learn about the Holocaust, casting Poles as only victims or heroes. In this new narration, the Polish people were always helping the weak, were good neighbors and cared about minorities.
Monday, June 30, 2014
As an intern at the USC Shoah Foundation and a student on the Problems Without Passports trip to Rwanda this summer, I’m more than familiar with the phrases “Never Forget” and “Never Again.” Sometimes the two seem like tired mottos. They’re valid and true, but oftentimes I think I miss the full impact of those few words.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
News of the deadly bombs that ripped apart the Brussels airport terminal last month sent a shockwave through me. I know that line, that place. I have stood in that spot. The “what if” scenario is not what troubles me most, however.
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Jamalida’s interview is among dozens of testimonies documented by USC Shoah Foundation since its arrival in November to the refugee camps in Bangladesh. A total of 11 life-history interviews with Rohingya are being added the Visual History Archive, the world’s largest repository of genocide testimony.
Friday, April 5, 2019
At a lecture co-sponsored by USC Shoah Foundation’s Center for Advanced Genocide Research, Professor Taner Akçam of Clark University discussed how he unearthed documents that prove what virtually all genocide scholars have already long asserted about the Armenian Genocide: the killing orders came directly from the Ottoman government.
Monday, January 19, 2015
Auschwitz should never have existed, so why are we so keen to cling onto it? Would it not be reasonable to scrub it from the landscape, remove the very thought of what it represents from our minds, recognize it as the cemetery it is, then grass it over and leave the dead to rest in peace?  
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
What does it mean to live 70 years after the liberation of Auschwitz in a world in deep crisis? What does it mean with all we know about the damage that hatred causes – after all the pain we have gone through – that we are hurtling out of control into an inferno of rage that takes us right back to where we started?  Why are survivors of the Holocaust who walked out of the camps with at least the hope that their own suffering was not in vain, dying disappointed?
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
At a first glance The Yellow Spot: The Extermination of the Jews in Germany is a book about the Holocaust. But in fact, it was published in 1936, after just three years of Nazi rule — and a full five years before the first gas chambers were commissioned for the murder of European Jewry. The authors spend 287 pages detailing a series of laws and actions taken against the Jews. Their conclusion was that the “legal disability” being imposed by the Nazis upon the Jews ultimately would result in their elimination. (Originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.)
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Widely known as the “Portuguese Schindler,” Aristides de Sousa Mendes was severely punished by his own government after flouting its neutrality policy with a frantic bid to issue as many visas as possible to desperate refugees fleeing Nazi invasion. In interviews with USC Shoah Foundation, the sons of Sousa Mendes and Jewish survivors rescued by him shared personal stories of his heroism.
Friday, July 18, 2014
On July 16 -17, 1942, over 13,000 Jews from Paris and its suburbs were rounded up by French police in the early morning hours and forcefully taken from their homes to both the Vélodrome d’Hiver, a winter cycling stadium in Paris, and to the Drancy internment camp.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
The Kristallnacht pogrom was a critical turning point on the path to genocide, and all of our #IWitnessChat participants agreed that using testimony is a meaningful way for students to understand and connect with the event. Hearing survivors’ detailed accounts of this night makes it much more accessible to students.
Friday, January 5, 2018
When Elizabeth Holtzman of New York became the youngest woman in American history elected to Congress at age 31, she hadn’t spent much time thinking about Nazi war criminals. But when a whistleblower in 1973 brought to her attention the fact that such perpetrators were living in the United States with full knowledge of the federal government, she decided to use the power of her office to do something about it.
Friday, March 31, 2017
Educators share how they teach with eyewitness testimony for April's Genocide Awareness Month.
Monday, April 16, 2018
On April 17, 1975, the city of Phnom Penh fell to the Khmer Rouge, triggering a four-year genocide. In commemoration, USC Shoah Foundation is spotlighting its Cambodia-based learning activities for high school students.

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