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Monday, December 11, 2017
We at USC Shoah Foundation are saddened to hear of the passing of our beloved friend, Holocaust survivor and renowned artist Alice Lok Cahana, who passed away on November 28 at age 88. Through her internationally acclaimed artwork, writings, and public speaking, Alice put forth a message to the world that both memorialized those who perished during the Holocaust and celebrated the strength of the human spirit.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
USC Shoah Foundation is saddened to learn of the passing of Erna Viterbi, philanthropist and longtime supporter of USC Shoah Foundation.Erna Finci Viterbi, a descendant of Sephardic Jews, was born in Sarajevo but fled Yugoslavia with her family during World War II. They were deported to the Parma region of Italy and interned in the village Gramignazzo di Sissa, but were saved from deportation to the extermination camps by the townspeople. Erna and her family were able to escape to Switzerland for the rest of the war. In 1950, they moved to California.
Monday, August 31, 2015
The memorial service for Yevnige Salibian, one of the last remaining survivors of the 1915 Armenian Genocide, was held today in Mission HIlls, Calif. Salibian died August 29, 2015, at 101 years old.A force of nature well into her hundreds, Salibian gave testimony about her childhood experiences to USC Shoah Foundation in 2014.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
USC Shoah Foundation is saddened to learn of the passing of Holocaust survivor Curt Lowens, a wartime hero who became a well-known character actor when he moved to the United States. He was 91. Born Curt Lowenstein on Nov. 17, 1925 in Germany, Lowen and his family had planned to emigrate to the United States as World War II was starting, but they were stopped from leaving the Netherlands when the Germans invaded that country. He was briefly deported to the Westerbork concentration camp in 1943, but he was released because of his father’s business connections.
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
USC Shoah Foundation is saddened to learn of the passing of Johnny Strange, a record-holding adventurer and supporter of USC Shoah Foundation.
Monday, November 2, 2015
We are sad to learn of the passing of Thomas Blatt, a Holocaust survivor who was one of the few people to survive an escape from the Sobibor death camp in 1943. He was 88.Born April 15, 1927, in Lublin, Poland, Blatt also served as a witness at the 2009 trial of the camp guard John Demjanjuk.
Thursday, November 5, 2015
USC Shoah Foundation is sorry to learn of the passing of Aleksander Laks, the first Holocaust survivor to give his testimony to USC Shoah Foundation in Brazil and a special friend of the Institute. Laks passed away July 21 at age 88.Laks survived the Lodz Ghetto, Auschwitz and a death march as a teenager. He immigrated to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and became a leader of the survivor community there as president of the Sherit Hapleita (Holocaust survivors’ organization).
Monday, July 25, 2016
We are sad to learn of the passing of Helen Colin, a Holocaust survivor who had the distinction of being the first survivor to speak on camera after being liberated from the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
Friday, October 14, 2016
USC Shoah Foundation is sorry to learn of the death of Andrzej Wajda, Poland’s preeminent filmmaker and the director of the 2002 USC Shoah Foundation documentary Pamiętam (I Remember). Wajda died October 9, 2016, at age 90. Wajda survived World War II in Nazi-occupied Poland with his mother and brother after his father, a captain in the Polish infantry, was killed in the Katyn massacre. He joined the Polish resistance at 16 and served in the Polish Home Army until the end of the war.
Thursday, September 7, 2017
USC Shoah Foundation mourns the death of Georg Citrom, Holocaust survivor and longtime friend of the Institute. Citrom was born in Oradea, Romania, in 1931. His father was a teacher in the local Jewish school and he had one older sister, Suzy. His family practiced modern Orthodox Judaism and he loved visiting his grandparents at their house in the countryside.
Thursday, September 14, 2017
We are sad to learn of the passing of Kurt Messerschmidt, Holocaust survivor, educator and beloved cantor. He was 102. Messerschmidt was born Jan. 2, 1915 in Weneuchen, Germany, but moved to Berlin in 1918 and excelled as a linguistics scholar, gymnast and musician. He was well-respected and a leader among his classmates and teachers, but was unable to attend college because of anti-Jewish measures implemented by the Nazis.
Friday, August 22, 2014
The Teaching with Testimony in the 21st Century program in Ukraine wasn’t Olena Bilchenko’s first experience teaching with the Visual History Archive. But the program gave her the opportunity to develop her own lessons for the first time, and she emerged with new skills and feeling a personal connection to Holocaust survivors and witnesses.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
April 8 marked International Roma Day, which aims to bring attention to the marginalization and racism affecting the Roma minority in Europe. USC Shoah Foundation educational consultant and historian Mikhail Tyaglyy believes testimony is one important way of fighting against the bigotry and intolerance that still affect people decades after the Holocaust.Tyaglyy spent two years as an interviewer for the Shoah Foundation in the 1990s, conducting around 100 testimonies of Jewish Holocaust survivors, Krimchaks and rescuers in Crimea.
Thursday, January 5, 2017
Kari Shagena is combining poetry and Holocaust survivor testimony to inspire empathy and action in her students following an IWitness seminar in Michigan last summer. Shagena, a language arts and social studies teacher at Richmond Middle School, was one of over dozen Michigan educators who attended USC Shoah Foundation’s IWitness Summer Institute in Farmington Hills this past August, a three-day seminar that introduced educators to everything they need to know to incorporate testimonies and activities from IWitness into their classrooms.
Friday, June 12, 2015
Twenty years ago, memories of the Holocaust were too painful for Liliane Weissberg’s parents to give their testimonies to USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive. But Weissberg herself has taken on the mantle of studying and remembering the Holocaust as a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and USC Shoah Foundation’s next Rutman Teaching Fellow.
Monday, February 23, 2015
Adam Herceg, a Teaching with Testimony in the 21st Century graduate from Slovakia, marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day at his school on January 27 by showing testimony of a survivor his students already felt a strong connection to.
Thursday, August 10, 2017
Hilda Mantelmacher’s life features many defining moments, yet three in particular stand apart from the rest: going through the Holocaust; an episode of 60 Minutes; and the film Schindler’s List.
Thursday, September 1, 2016
Guatemalan hip-hop artist Rebeca Lane will perform at Bovard Auditorium Tuesday, Sept. 13, as part of an event hosted by Visions and Voices and co-sponsored by USC Shoah Foundation and El Centro Chicano. The event will be a part of the Center for Advanced Genocide Research’s conference, “A Conflict? Genocide and Resistance in Guatemala.” Lane is a feminist rapper who is breaking down boundaries in the Latin American hip-hop scene by challenging traditional gender norms and speaking out about Guatemalan’s violent past.
Friday, May 8, 2015
(Alex Biniaz-Harris, left, and Ambrose Soehn)The composers behind the three-movement piano piece featured in the documentary Melodies of Auschwitz, now playing on Comcast Xfinity’s Days of Remembrance: PastFORWARD broadcast, reunited for a screening and concert at USC’s Brain and Creativity Institute this week and spoke candidly about their journey from page to performance.
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.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Since Barbara Jaffe first learned about the USC Shoah Foundation 10 years ago, she has participated in its Master Teacher professional development program, created her own IWitness activities, and has seen her students become just as affected by Holocaust survivor testimony as she is.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Keith Meador doesn’t mind that his students say they’d rather watch videos in class than listen to him lecture.That’s because the videos they are referring to are USC Shoah Foundation testimonies.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
When Keith Stringfellow was about 12, he was reading a book about World War II when his great uncle, a World War II veteran, began telling him about his experiences at Normandy after D-Day. Stringfellow asked him what affected him most during the war, and he answered simply, “Dachau.”
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Twenty years after her family fled the Rwandan genocide, Rose Twagiramariya has returned to Rwanda to work for USC Shoah Foundation.Twagiramariya was born in Rwanda and left with her family in July 1994 during the genocide, when she was six years old. The family lived in a refugee camp in the Congo, Senegal, and Maryland before settling in Louisville, Kent., in 1999.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
A lot of pain is firmly attached to stories and testimonies of genocide. This in mind, Zhenya Bilotsky, a high school student from a Jewish school in Ukraine, yearned to do the stories of the survivors of the Babi Yar ravine massacre in Ukraine justice with his involvement in the new Babi Yar IWalk - an educational program that put on a walk around the ravine guided by testimony clips from the Visual History Archive.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Though his students at Agohozo-Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda are all too familiar with genocide, Gamariel Mbonimana has found IWitness to be an engaging, powerful tool that sparks their curiosity.Agohozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV), in Rwamagana, is home to more than 500 orphaned and vulnerable children. Mbonimana teaches General Paper courses to upper secondary students and was one of the first teachers to attend USC Shoah Foundation’s IWitness educator training sessions at Kigali Genocide Memorial in 2013.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
The students in Kristen Link’s high school German classes in Illinois learn a lot more than a new language. With the help of Echoes and Reflections, they also learn about one of the darkest chapters in German history. Link has taught the Holocaust as part of her German classes for over 15 years, but said she has felt for a while that something was missing from her teaching. She thought that there had to be a way to make her teaching on the subject more effective.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
English and composition teacher Oriana Packer, of Brockton High School in Brockton, Mass., assigned her junior students the IWitness Video Challenge. Here, three of them share what it was like to watch testimony for the first time. (In the photo, left to right: Kweku Quansah, Lucia Ugbesia, Alexandra Eugene, Oriana Packer) When did you first learn about the Holocaust?
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Szilvia Szunyogh was so moved by the recent Teaching with Testimony in the 21st Century program in Hungary that she created a heartfelt painting about the experience.
Monday, April 3, 2017
For the past couple years, high school English teacher Matthew Otis has incorporated IWitness into his unit on the Holocaust and intolerance. Now, IWitness’s 100 Days to Inspire Respect program has inspired him to share his students’ process of cross-cultural understanding with a larger audience. Otis, who teaches at Everett Area High School in Pennsylvania, first learned about IWitness and Echoes and Reflections at a teaching conference last year and since then has used testimony as a resource in his unit on the Holocaust.

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