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Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Let's just say I throw my smartphone over the wall into the Warsaw ghetto. Along with it, I send instructions to make a video diary until the battery drains, then to wrap it in lots of newspaper before throwing it back.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Shortly after I saw Schindler’s List for the first time, I had an argument with my father about the value of such Hollywood blockbusters for teaching people about the Holocaust. We debated the following question: If Schindler’s List was the only source of information for people about the Holocaust would it perhaps be better if they did not see it at all? That is, is Schindler’s List better than nothing if what it shows is all you know about what happened to nearly six million Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe? My dad said (or shouted) yes, but I was unconvinced.
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.
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Growing up, it wasn’t terribly unusual to see people in our house with telltale tattoos on their arms. We kids somehow knew what those blurry inked numbers meant, but we also knew it wasn’t polite to ask about them. And so, I never did. And honestly, no one in my family had been so marked — the people with tattoos were mostly friends of my grandparents — so it wasn’t something I had a lot of interest in hearing about. And perhaps in an effort to protect our innocence, family elders showed no interest in talking about it.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
When I tell my fellow USC students that I’m the president of an organization called SFISA, it’s usually safe to assume that 90% of them have no idea what it is. It’s not the most elegant of acronyms and we acknowledge this. Our club’s full name – the Shoah Foundation Institute Student Association – is equally as unwieldy but at least it’s descriptive, and that’s something, right? But even if they’ve heard of our less than stellar name, they still might not know who we are or what we do. So let me take this moment to enlighten you.