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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 4, 2016
While the average USC student was dragging themselves out of bed to make it to their first class after Spring Break, I was--rather jet-lagged--sitting in an 800 year old room cloaked in paintings of old intellectuals and world renowned writers in a tiny corridor of Hertford College at Oxford University, wondering how on Earth I could be so lucky to miss a week of school to hang out at one of the oldest, most prestigious centers of learning in the history of Western Civilization.
Friday, May 5, 2017
I had interviewed dozens of Gabersdorf survivors, discovered there had been 10 other women’s slave labor camps in Trutnov, then Trautenau, Sudetenland and that the 5,000 Polish Jewish women trafficked to Trutnov were among the first to be imprisoned in Nazi camps and the last to be liberated, on May 8th--9th, 1945. Didn’t they deserve to be honored, too?
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.
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, September 22, 2015
In an effort to create a deeper engagement with educators online, USC Shoah Foundation’s educational website IWitness hosts monthly Twitter chats.
Monday, March 13, 2017
During a recent Twitter chat, #IWitnessChat hosted by Discovery Education, teachers shared how they are integrating the IWitness Video Challenge into their classrooms. Explore their insights and tips to help encourage your students to participate in the 2017 IWitness Video Challenge.
Friday, December 1, 2017
The day after Thanksgiving, the New York Times published an article called “In America’s Heartland, the Nazi Sympathizer Next Door,” by Richard Fausset. It profiles Tony Hovater, a 29-year-old far-right extremist and Nazi sympathizer who lives in the suburbs of Dayton, Ohio.
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.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
I first learned about Helena Horowitz’s life history when I found her testimony as I searched through the archive in IWitness the Institute’s educational website featuring the testimonies of survivors and other witnesses to the Holocaust and other genocides.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
USC Shoah Foundation hands off books on the Armenian Genocide to USC Doheny Library’s Holocaust and Genocide Studies collection.Lynn Sipe, senior bibliographer and curator for the Holocaust and Genocide Studies Collection for Doheny Library, visited the Institute June 13 to pick up books and other resources on the Armenian Genocide
Thursday, January 15, 2015
#BeginsWithMe - using the power of testimony and the lessons of the Holocaust to inspire personal action in the days leading to the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Please help us make #BeginsWithMe a success. By including your voice, you will be part of a movement that spreads the message that each one of us has the power to help create a climate that prevents a genocide and other forms of inhumanity that affect all of us.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
#BeginsWithMe - using the power of testimony and the lessons of the Holocaust to inspire personal action in the days leading to the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Please help us make #BeginsWithMe a success. By including your voice, you will be part of a movement that spreads the message that each one of us has the power to help create a climate that prevents a genocide and other forms of inhumanity that affect all of us.
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
In January 2015, I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Poland with other students, as a junior intern, for USC Shoah Foundation’s and Discovery Education’s Auschwitz: Past is Present program, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
Sunday, September 27, 2015
“I can’t stand coffee!” she said, leaning forward to me before uttering back to the waitress. “Espresso please!” She giggled a little before telling me that espresso was her little dessert in the morning.
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
I attended the event “Melodies of Auschwitz” at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington D.C. on Thursday, March 10, 2016, hosted by PNC Bank to recognize USC Shoah Foundation for its work in genocide education and preserving testimony of genocides around the world. The event was educational and meaningful, bringing together PNC clients, employees, and all other guests into a conversation about the importance of preserving testimony and what USC Shoah Foundation is all about.
Thursday, September 17, 2015
As Hannah, in the novel The Devil's Arithmetic, needed to have a first-hand experience to fully understand the Holocaust; my students must be equipped with first-hand information, too. While they cannot "time travel" as Hannah does, they can hear from survivors to have a greater understanding of the Holocaust.
Thursday, May 5, 2016
As the son of two survivors of the Shoah and the husband of a daughter of two survivors, identifying as the Next Generation has been the essence of who I am. It is the prism through which I see and evaluate all worldly events. It was particularly my father’s life that affected me the most.
Thursday, August 17, 2017
When I visited Nazi death camps in 2014, I viewed spaces filled with the spirits of so many lives lost and witnessed the end result of evil, intolerance, and hatred. I left the gas chambers at Auschwitz and Majdanek that summer thinking that the sick, twisted ideology that drove the Nazis and was fueled by hatred and ignorance no longer existed in the 21st Century, especially in the United States. I naively believed Nazi ideology had ceased to exist with the end of World War II and the Holocaust.
Monday, August 26, 2019
I, like every Bielski descendant, was born into the story of how my grandfather and his brothers were responsible for saving the lives of more than 1,250 Jews -- the largest armed Jew-by-Jew rescue in Holocaust history.
Friday, October 17, 2014
I adored my father and admired him greatly. Harold Eisenberg was a good man in every sense of the word. He spoke about his life in Opatow, Poland before World War II and even his experience during the Holocaust, but he also lived very much in the present, working hard to provide for his family. The business he started after the war became the foundation for much of our extended family’s success. I was named for his mother and his sister, who both perished in the Holocaust, and my father would often look at me tenderly and tell me how much I reminded him of his mother. 
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
As I start a new school year in a new school teaching a new grade level, I find it slightly ironic that the first theme that my textbook series addresses is courage. As I start another school year, I have thought deeply about courage and mix of emotions that come into play that very first day of school. Many may not readily admit it, but the first day of the school year for both teachers and students is filled nervousness and unease. A first impression is extremely important, and a good first day can set the tone for a very productive school year.
Thursday, January 21, 2016
On Jan. 19, 2016, the Organization of Istanbul Armenians (OIA) organized a commemoration for the ninth anniversary of the assassination of prominent Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. It was exactly nine years after my friends and I learned of his murder without fully understanding who he was and what his legacy would mean to us in the years to come.
Monday, October 13, 2014
With nearly 52,000 interviews from survivors of the Holocaust and other genocides, the archive of audio-visual testimony assembled and maintained by USC Shoah Foundation is so abundant it would take at least 12 years to watch it from beginning to end.And that’s assuming the footage would be rolling 24 hours a day, seven days a week.When I started my new job here at the Institute, I was struck by this statistic, which adequately conveys the scope of this incredible resource.
Friday, November 18, 2016
Several months ago in my former senior high school class, students were introduced to the ideas of illiberalism.  When discussing this issue, students are faced with how governments will apply laws and acts during times of crisis, as well as everyday life, that would limit or suspend civil liberties of any individual or group. 
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.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Remembering the Disappeared in Guatemala
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
I recently emailed a teacher to ask if he was willing to be featured in a profile story on the USC Shoah Foundation website about his experiences using IWitness in his classroom. I had never been introduced to him and he had not been expecting to hear from me.
Thursday, October 8, 2015
When I commenced my PhD journey three years ago at Edge Hill University in northern England, I had little idea of where the journey would take me, both literally and figuratively.

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