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Monday, November 4, 2013
Ian Zdanowicz is making the most out of his month at USC Shoah Foundation. Zdanowicz is the recipient of the Visiting PhD Fellowship from the USC Dornsife 2020 Genocide Resistance Research Cluster, which is led by USC Shoah Foundation executive director Stephen Smith and Wolf Gruener, Shapell-Guerin Chair in Jewish Studies and Professor of History.
Friday, December 27, 2013
Anoush Krikorian was interviewed by the filmmaker J. Michael Hagopian over 10 years ago about his experiences as a survivor of the Armenian Genocide. Now, Krikorian’s granddaughter is working to make sure his voice, and the voices of over 400 other survivors, are preserved in one of USC Shoah Foundation’s newest collections.
Friday, March 21, 2014
A young girl in Israel has a new “big sister” thanks to the IWitness Video Challenge.
Friday, May 2, 2014
IWitness (and survivor Roman Kent) has had a profound effect on the entire eighth grade class at Saraland Middle School in Alabama, says teacher Donna Hughes.Hughes teaches eighth grade language arts and seventh grade journalism, and learned about IWitness at an Echoes and Reflections workshop. She has since incorporated testimony into her Holocaust curriculum in order to supplement her students’ reading and provide them access to real survivors, she said.
Thursday, June 5, 2014
USC Shoah Foundation’s work in France is led by historian Emmanuel Debono, who says it’s exciting to be involved in such a worldwide effort to teach and preserve history.
Friday, June 13, 2014
New University of Southern California graduate Bijou Nguyen focused on the testimonies of one of the least well-known groups persecuted during the Holocaust for her USC Libraries Award second-place research paper The Paradoxical Treatment of Male Homosexual Prisoners During the Holocaust.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Holocaust survivor testimony is what sparked Rachel Deblinger’s interest in studying American postwar Holocaust memory. For her dissertation, she researched other groups for whom testimony was equally eye-opening: American Jews and Jewish communal organizations in the aftermath of World War II.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Three years after helping Aristotle University of Thessaloniki become a Visual History Archive access site in Greece, Paris Papamichos Chronakis will continue his relationship with the USC Shoah Foundation by presenting at its international conference in November.
Thursday, October 2, 2014
IWitness has gone through many changes since Michael Berson and his doctoral education students were among the first to pilot it three years ago. But for Berson, IWitness remains one of the most valuable tools for engaging students with testimony and teaching them about the Holocaust and other topics.
Monday, June 29, 2015
Barbara Wahlberg can trace her passion for teaching the Holocaust back to one breakfast in Long Island, New York.She was at a restaurant with her husband when she noticed something unusual about the cook who brought out their food: he had a number tattooed on his arm.She asked her husband what it was, and he told her it meant that the man had been in a concentration camp in Europe during World War II. Wahlberg had never heard of these tattoos, and was shocked that this man – so tall and strong – had experienced such an injustice.
Monday, October 5, 2015
Dan Morgan-Russell has always been very good at arguing for the importance of international action against genocide.As a member of his high school debate team in Denver, his most successful speeches were always the ones in which he spoke about human rights violations and the need for the international community to intervene. Naturally, as an undergraduate at the University of Southern California, he decided to major in international relations and wrote several papers about the Rwandan Genocide.
Friday, October 30, 2015
Before taking his students on a tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, high school history teacher Ferenc Sós turned to IWitness.Sós is a graduate of USC Shoah Foundation’s Teaching with Testimony in the 21st Century program in Budapest, which introduces teachers to the methodologies of using testimony from the Visual History Archive in their lessons. He was a member of the 2013 cohort.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Cheng Fang may have come to the United States to study film, but after he graduated from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts with an M.F.A. in 2014, he knew he wanted to do something that linked his film skills with his home country of China. “All my passion was kind of to contribute to my country, China, and also maybe how to get more connections between China and here, America,” Fang said. He found a role in which he can do just that at USC Shoah Foundation, where he currently works as part of the project to record video testimony from survivors of the Nanjing Massacre.
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Teaching with Testimony in the 21st Century graduate Mónika Mészáros has published the first – and, likely, not the last – Hungarian teacher-authored IWitness activity.Mészáros teaches History and Italian language at Berzsenyi Dániel High School in Budapest, a USC Shoah Foundation partner school. Her colleague Mónika Mezei completed USC Shoah Foundation’s professional development program Teaching with Testimony in the 21st Century, and in 2014 encouraged Mészáros to apply to the program as well.
Thursday, March 3, 2016
For Troy Strull, Religion 359, “Culture in Diaspora: The Jews of Spain,” taught by Professor Jessica Marglin, was a bit of a family affair. His dad’s side of the family is Jewish, and his mom’s side were Greeks who interacted with the Sephardic Jews discussed in the class. He chose the class out of the options to fulfill one of his general education requirements because he believed it would allow him to learn more about his family’s roots.
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Ten years ago, Sanne van Heijst was working on developing teaching materials at the museum of Konzentrationslager Herzogenbusch, or Vught, a former concentration camp in the Netherlands. Van Heijst was looking for a way to get through to the students who would visit the museum.“I was looking for a common thread that would help pupils to make a connection between the different groups of prisoners from the camp and the different events that happened,” she said.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
When Luis Hernandez got to USC, he noticed something: Unlike in his native Brooklyn, now when he looked around he didn’t often see people who looked or acted like he did.“Being a person of color has been an interesting experience for me,” Hernandez said. “I’m the first person in my family to graduate high school and also go to college, so it was a big jump for me coming here to USC. Although USC is a very beautiful place and I love my school, you also notice the inconsistencies and the lack of inclusion sometimes.”
Thursday, April 7, 2016
Once Emilie Garrigou-Kempton joined the team of USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research last month as academic relations and outreach officer, she began to realize the connections she already has to the Institute.Professor Armand Abecassis, who was recently interviewed for the Institute’s Testimonies from North Africa and the Middle East Collection, was her advisor in graduate school. And her husband’s distant relative, a Holocaust survivor, gave her testimony to USC Shoah Foundation years ago.
Monday, April 11, 2016
When Jennifer Binley entered college, she knew she was interested in dedicating herself to finding a way to stop mass atrocities around the world. The international relations major quickly joined USC STAND, an anti-genocide club she eventually became president of, and began interning at USC Shoah Foundation.“I found the interests of [USC STAND] often correlate to the events and goals of USC Shoah Foundation,” Binley said of her dedication to both organizations.
Friday, April 15, 2016
Growing up, David Cook heard tales of his grandfather’s time in the service during World War II ­-- particularly how he had helped liberate Buchenwald, a Nazi concentration camp in Germany.Though his grandfather passed away in 2001, this past semester, Cook had the opportunity to dive deeper into his story and World War II in his “History of the Holocaust” course taught by Professor Adam R. Seipp, USC Shoah Foundation’s first-ever Texas A&M Teaching Fellow.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
For public policy student Ge (Gina) Jin, coming all the way to Los Angeles from China for graduate school meant a lot of changes. Luckily, she found a community of like-minded people at USC Shoah Foundation.“As an international student, we always have a rough time getting used to life here in the United States,” she said. “So I think this is a really nice home.”What allowed Jin to feel so at home was the diverse group of people working at the Institute.
Monday, May 9, 2016
USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research will host the international conference “A Conflict? Genocide and Resistance in Guatemala,” at the University of Southern California, Sept. 11-14, 2016. The scholars profiled in this series were each selected to present their research at the conference. Emilio del Valle Escalante will bring the indigenous Mayan perspective to the conference with his presentation about writer Sabino Esteban Francisco.
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
As a first year law student at the USC Gould School of Law, Roza Petrosyan has found that research is of the utmost importance.“You have to figure things out on your own a lot, and research is very important,” she said. “I think when you come in with a background in research, history in research, you’re very analytical and very detailed.”Luckily, Petrosyan had that background from her time interning at USC Shoah Foundation and doing research alongside Dr. Wolf Gruner, director of USC Shoah Foundation’s Center for Advanced Genocide Research.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Aliza Caplan is about to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania, but it wasn’t until her final semester of her undergraduate studies that she took one of her favorite courses: “Witnessing, Remembering, and Writing the Holocaust” with Professor Liliane Weissberg.
Friday, May 20, 2016
Rose Apelian was born in 1907 in New York to Armenian parents. Though both her parents had become American citizens since immigrating to the States, they decided to go back to their homeland in 1910 for property tax reasons.Unfortunately, neither of her parents would ever return.
Monday, May 23, 2016
USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research will host the international conference “A Conflict? Genocide and Resistance in Guatemala,” at the University of Southern California, Sept. 11-14, 2016. The scholars profiled in this series were each selected to present their research at the conference. Jorge Ramon Gonzalez-Ponciano will look back over one hundred years in Guatemala’s history to examine what he believes was one of the earliest triggers of the Guatemalan Genocide in the 1980s.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
By Mahima Verma Nárcisz Vida always had a desire to help individuals who faced discrimination through the power of education. Today, Vida empowers students and teachers to combat hatred and stand against intolerance through testimony. Vida leads the education programs at Zachor Foundation for Social Remembrance in Budapest, Hungary. She started as a volunteer working closely with Zachor Foundation founder and director, Andrea Szőnyi, who is also USC Shoah Foundation’s international training consultant in Hungary,
Monday, July 18, 2016
In a new French book about the deportation of Jews from France during the Holocaust, authors Alexandre Doulut, Serge Klarsfeld, and Sandrine Labeau used USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive to help identify survivors. The book, 1945, les rescapés d'Auschwitz témoignent (which roughly translates to 1945, Auschwitz survivors testify), the authors document the testimony of one survivor from each of the 82 deportation convoys that departed from France.
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
There are many Holocaust survivors who wrote after the war about their experiences, but Beatrice Mousli Bennett is focusing her attention on writers who are far less studied: those who continued to write even while they faced occupation, deportations and oppression in the throes of World War II. Bennett is the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research’s 2016 Faculty Summer Research Fellow. The fellowship provides support for a USC faculty member to conduct research in the Visual History Archive while in residence at the Center for one month.
Thursday, August 4, 2016
The staff of the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research had a dilemma on their hands. They could only choose one applicant to award the 2016 Graduate Summer Research Fellowship – but they couldn’t bring themselves to turn away their runner-up, Piotr Florczyk, because his proposal was so fascinating. It’s easy to see why. Florczyk, a PhD candidate in the USC Literature and Creative Writing program, intends to write poetry inspired by the testimonies of Polish Holocaust survivors in the archive.

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