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Thursday, April 2, 2015
You never know what you are going to discover in the Visual History Archive. Each one of the 53,000 testimonies in the Archive tells a different story of life before, during and after the individual’s experience with genocide.
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
About a year after I joined USC Shoah Foundation, I was invited to be the keynote speaker at the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre’s Holocaust Education Week in Toronto. The theme that year was about memory and they had graciously invited me, the new Director of Education, to discuss memory in the context of the Institute’s education platform IWitness and testimony-based education.
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.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
I teach at an Islamic school, and I am in awe of how testimony has opened the eyes and hearts of my students and inspired them to fight injustice. This is particularly amazing considering the Shoah is not even part of the curriculum in many Arab countries.When I asked my class why testimony has affected them so deeply, their response was:“Testimony teaches us that the world isn’t about us vs. them. It is about how WE can make the world a better place by not being bystanders.”
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
If you’ve ever watched genocide survivor testimony from the Visual History Archive and it spurned you to wonder what you can do to help prevent acts of intolerance and inhumanity, USC Shoah Foundation has an opportunity for you this holiday season.
Monday, March 9, 2015
In February, I participated in an international conference titled Are we losing memory? Forgotten sites of Nazi forced labor in Central Europe. The event organized by the Terezin Initiative Institute and the North Bohemian Museum in Liberec brought together educators, researchers, archeologists and other experts from the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany to examine the disconnect between history of forced labor and regional history caused by the ethnic cleansing and population transfers after WWII in regions that were part of the German Reich.  
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?  
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.
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.
Friday, April 3, 2015
Over the last few days I’ve overheard my grandmother and father talk endlessly about Celia Tiano, an Auschwitz survivor from Salonika, Greece, their next-door neighbor on 7th Avenue -- a quiet block in the Hyde Park area of L.A., during the 1950s and 60s. After more than 40 years, my family has reconnected with Celia -- through testimony. We were able to make this connection because of a film project I had been working on for the Student Voices Short Film Contest.
Thursday, March 5, 2015
We are hiding from the fact that subsequent to Haman, Hitler was successful in carrying out the genocide of the Jews and the survivors of the Holocaust are better examples than Mordechai or Esther.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
As I completed the transaction for my first foray with Airbnb for a trip to Paris with my daughter, I was pleasantly surprised by the note that popped up from Christophe, the manager, who alerted me that I could also have a ride from the airport with Karyn with whom he has an arrangement. 
Monday, October 19, 2015
A few weeks ago, USC Student Body President Rini Sampath posted on her Facebook page about incidents of hatred and intolerance on campus. A Saturday night after a USC football game, Sampath had been walking down USC’s Fraternity Row when a man leaned out his frat house window and hurled a racial epithet and a beverage cup at her.
Thursday, October 1, 2015
The Visual History Archive contains 53,000 eyewitness testimonies to genocide and mass atrocities. What you might not know is that each testimony is indexed to the minute with over 62,000 keys words in the entire Archive. USC Shoah Foundation commemorates National Archives Month this November by participating in #AskAnArchivist Day on Thurs., Oct. 1, and sharing 10 more unique facts about the Visual History Archive.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Auschwitz, the final destination of Jewish people from across Europe destined to be murdered as a part of the Nazi genocide of the Jews.Auschwitz, a place that housed prisoners of many religions, persuasions, minorities and nationalities, but whose evil reputation is seared onto our collective conscience because the five gas chambers at Birkenau were there for one reason only - to devour the lives of 960,000 Jews.Auschwitz, which has evolved into a universal symbol of man's inhumanity to man – and indeed it does remind us just how cruel human beings can be.
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Seeing new students starting their fall semester at USC – my recent alma mater – gives me a strange feeling. I have worked at USC Shoah Foundation during most of my career as an USC undergraduate student, and now I am about to step away from my favorite university and nonprofit organization. I’ve learned invaluable life lessons from video testimony as well as my wonderful coworkers.
Monday, November 9, 2015
In December 1995, USC Shoah Foundation, then called, Survivors of the Shoah Foundation, held a training session for interviewers in Buenos Aires; bringing together people from different countries of Latin America. The Foundation had just started to collect the survivors’ testimonies throughout the world and was about to start recording testimonies in Brazil.
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.
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.
Monday, August 31, 2015
Looking into a mirror and making sure her hair looked just so, Yevnigue Salibian didn’t notice me as I was taking her picture. It took a few seconds, but when she finally realized I had documented her act of vanity, she smiled coyly.
Monday, May 4, 2015
I participated in an event in April called Survivor Voices. We were six panelists from Bosnia, Rwanda, Cambodia, two Holocaust survivors and an Armenian-American priest.
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.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
I first met Sir Nicholas Winton when he had reached the mere age of 87.  He was curious to learn about the UK Holocaust Centre, which our family had opened in Nottinghamshire.  Winton was intrigued to learn that a non-Jewish family established the center, which resonated with his own ethics, as a Holocaust rescuer who saved 669 Jewish children by organizing the Czechoslovakian Kindertransport.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Last month, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Warsaw and Krakow with USC Shoah Foundation’s mission to Poland for the Auschwitz: Past is Present program, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.I had many unforgettable experiences throughout these four days traveling and meeting incredible people who are all interested in the work of USC Shoah Foundation and its mission of changing the world through testimony.
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Doris Lazarus is a docent at Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, the first institution to pilot New Dimensions in Testimony (NDT), a collaboration between USC Shoah Foundation and USC Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT), in partnership with concept developer Conscience Display.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Music is the purest form of communication. It transcends language and ignores the passage of time. It can be euphoric and elegiac, subtle and sublime. It joyously welcomes life and mournfully greets death. It can provide glimmers of hope and comfort in a world devoid of hope and comfort.
Monday, November 23, 2015
Like many of you, I sat in front of my television on the evening of Friday, November 13, 2015 and watched in horror as news of the terrorist attacks in Paris flooded the airways. "Not again," I thought to myself. My heart ached for people whom I had never met and for a city and country thousands of miles away.
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.
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.

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