Focal Point: Discrimination

Hate Leads to Violence in Christchurch, New Zealand

March 15, 2019

We stand in solidarity with the Muslim community in Christchurch, New Zealand after Friday's violent attacks on two mosques. The way forward in times of crisis--and peace--is by reaching out across communities and religious divides to build a better world. These clips from the Visual History Archive offer support and inspiration across experiences and history, showing what is possible when people come together against discrimination.

Together we are Stronger Than Hate

Clips on Discrimination from the Visual History Archive

Mohammed Dajani Daoudi Shares His Hope for the Future

Language: English

Professor Mohammed Dajani Daoudi—who teaches about the Holocaust in a Palestinian classroom—shares his hope that future generations will discard the enmities of their parents in favor of peace and tolerance. 

  • Mohammed Dajani Daoudi Shares His Hope for the Future

    Language: English

    Professor Mohammed Dajani Daoudi—who teaches about the Holocaust in a Palestinian classroom—shares his hope that future generations will discard the enmities of their parents in favor of peace and tolerance. 

  • Niddal El-Jabri on Countering Prejudice

    Language: English

    Niddal describes how he took action to promote respect and tolerance in Copenhagen following a 2015 prejudice-fueled terrorist attack on the city's main Jewish synagogue.

  • Naomi Adler on Countering Hate

    Language: English

    Naomi Adler says that the rise in Islamophobia is a growing threat and she wants people to spend more time fighting against it.

  • Abraham Krukziener on a World without Hate

    Language: English

    Although he lived through the Holocaust, Abraham Krukziener of Aukland, New Zealand, dreams about a future when people of all backgrounds and faiths can live peacefully together.

  • Walter Freitag Warns of Hate in New Zealand

    Language: English

    Holocaust survivor Walter Freitag of New Zealand warned that the world has not absorbed the lessons of the Holocaust, noting in his 1997 interview with USC Shoah Foundation that groups in his country were still “assembling with Nazi intentions,” and that genocide in recent years had raged in Rwanda and elsewhere.

Responses to Discrimination

Several people responded to active discrimination by helping the victims in different ways. This is a collection of clips highlighting testimony from survivors and aid givers themselves. One question that sometimes emerges in these clips is "what made you stand up to discrimination and racial intolerance?"

Henny Paritzky on Aid Giving

Language: English

Henny Paritzky speaks on how her family escaped deportation with the help of a nun and a policeman in a hospital in Lyon, France.

  • Henny Paritzky on Aid Giving

    Language: English

    Henny Paritzky speaks on how her family escaped deportation with the help of a nun and a policeman in a hospital in Lyon, France.

  • Roman Kent - Testimony

    Language: English

    Roman Kent acknowledges the contribution of the “Righteous Gentiles” who put their own lives on the line in order to save Jews during the Holocaust.  Kent’s testimony is featured in Testimony – The Legacy of Schindler’s List and the USC Shoah Foundation.

  • Richard Rozen on Hiding in Poland

    Language: English

    Richard Rozen remembers hiding with his family in an attic of a small cabin on a farm in Poland for over two years. At night when everyone was sleeping Richard’s father gave him writing and reading lessons. Richard’s testimony is featured in the book, Testimony – The Legacy of Schindler’s List and the USC Shoah Foundation.

  • Johtje Vos on her decision to help Jewish people

    Language: English

    Johtje Vos reflects on her decision to help hide Jews during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Throughout the war Johtje and her husband, Aart, housed 32 Jews, although never more than 14 at the same time. In 1982 both Johtje and Aart were recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem for risking their own lives to save the lives of others.

  • Dora Goldberg on hiding in France

    Language: English

    Dora Goldberg remembers when her mother never returned due to roundups by German soldiers in France. Dora describes being sent to her aunt's house and hiding in the bathroom from Nazis who were searching for her and her brother.

  • Lusia Haberfeld on ghetto hiding and evasion

    Language: English

    Lusia Haberfeld recalls how her family evaded deportation by hiding in an attic within the Warsaw ghetto.  This clip from Lusia’s testimony is featured in the IWitness Activity: Chance & Choice: A survivor's story.

  • Syrt Wolter reflects on being an aid provider

    Language: English

    Syrt Wolter speaks admirably of the Spainers, a Jewish family he and his wife hid in their home in the Netherlands during World War II.  

  • Arie Van Mansum Rescuer and Aid Provider

    Language: English

    Arie Van Mansum was only in his early 20’s when he helped rescue Jews in the Netherlands. He describes why he chose to risk in life in order to hide and rescue Jews. Arie was recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem.

  • Liliane Bentitou on hiding in France

    Language: English

    Liliane Bentitou reflects on hiding in Lyon, France and how she was able to conceal her identity with false papers.

     

     

  • Leon Gersten on Hiding

    Language: English

    Leon Gersten and some of his family escaped the Frystak ghetto in Poland and hid with a Polish family for almost two years. Leon remembers when police officials entered the home of the Polish family looking for Jews and he recalls how much the family sacrificed.

  • Rose Toren on her hiding experience

    Language: English

    Rose Toren’s father told her to leave the family to go hide with a friend from school in Nazi occupied Poland. Rose recalls the night she fled to her friend’s house and evaded beatings by the Gestapo.  

Educational resources for combatting discrimination

Rescue is a crucial topic in understanding genocide survival and appreciating the difficult choices that people make in extreme circumstances. Although many stories of survival during the Holocaust are due to unexplained and unexplainable circumstances, there are also numerous accounts of individual and group acts of aid and rescue that contributed to the survival of thousands of Jewish people.

This classroom exercise is designed to help educators teach students ages 14-18 about the effects and consequences of hatred and intolerance. The exercise integrates first-person testimonies from the Institute's archive with the Pyramid of Hate, a curricular tool developed by the Anti-Defamation League for its A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute.

Segmentos para la clase es un recurso de video creado en repuesta al interés expresado por educadores de estudiantes de 14 años en adelante para integrar testimonio en sus lecciones de clase. Segmentos para la clase: La experiencia migratoria es un video descargable de testimonio del Visual History Archive, en donde siete sobrevivientes describen su experiencia de emigrar de Europa y de reconstruir sus vidas en América Latina.

Segments for the Classroom is a video resource created in response to the interest expressed by educators of students ages 14 and up to integrate testimony with their classroom lessons. Segments for the Classroom consists of seven downloadable clip reels—six in English, and one in Spanish—that contain excerpts of testimony from the Institute’s Visual History Archive covering a variety of topics including the dangers of stereotypes and discrimination.

The lesson addresses the theme of resistance during the Holocaust. Through survivor testimony, students will understand that resistance can take many forms and can happen even under the most oppressive situations.

The lesson addresses the theme of resistance during the Holocaust. Through survivor testimony, students will understand that resistance can take many forms and can happen even under the most oppressive situations.

This unit is designed for those students who have completed a teacher guided reading of Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. The unit theme is about ordinary people who show courage, bravery, and kindness and take risks under extraordinary circumstances of danger. The theme is about not being a bystander in the face of wrongdoing. Video testimony from USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive feature a Holocaust survivor whose experiences mirror those reflected in the novel.

This unit is designed for those students who have completed a teacher guided reading of Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. The unit theme is about ordinary people who show courage, bravery, and kindness and take risks under extraordinary circumstances of danger. The theme is about not being a bystander in the face of wrongdoing. Video testimony from USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive feature a Holocaust survivor whose experiences mirror those reflected in the novel.

This exhibit features a series of interviews with witnesses of the pogrom that occurred on November 9-10, 1938, known as Kristallnacht, "Night of Broken Glass." Organized in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Discrimination

Why this Focal Point?

Most everybody has, at some point, felt the sting of being singled out for scrutiny or excluded from privilege. But discrimination is what happens when people are excluded or singled out at a systematic or cultural level on the basis of race, class, gender, sexual orientation or another group identity, regardless of their individual merit.  Discrimination is a timeless phenomenon, ancient as mankind, and some form of it lies at the heart of most human conflict.
 
In modern-day United States, most discrimination manifests itself less overtly than before. Gone are the days when laws in certain states mandated separate drinking fountains, schools, cafes, neighborhoods and bus seating for African Americans, for example. Or excluded women from voting. Or, most recently, prohibited same-sex couples from getting married. But the legacy of those laws is apparent in the glaring disparities between groups across the whole of society, including quality of education, levels of incarceration, treatment by police, conditions of housing and portrayal in the media.
 
At its most horrific, discrimination — when left unchecked — can lead to mass violence or even genocide. Each of the 55,000-plus survivors of the Holocaust and other genocides who have given testimony to USC Shoah Foundation felt discrimination in its rawest form. Each survivor has a unique story that underscores the sanctity of life and the grave dangers of making judgments about people based on the groups to which they belong.

IWitness resources on discrimination

IWitness is a free online educational resource for educators and students that provides access to  2,515 testimonies from the Institute's Visual History Archive's listing of 55,000 full-length interviews with survivors and other witnesses to genocide.

You can view a collection of short testimony clips on the topic of discrimination at iwitness.usc.edu.

Here are also some IWitness lessons that address the issue of discrimination:

Blog Posts on Discrimination

Luis Hernandez

Through testimony of genocide survivors from the Visual History Archive, it is possible to examine how stereotypes manifest into society and fuel prejudice.

  Lauren Fenech and Steffanie Grotz
Lauren Fenech And Steffanie Grotz

As educators, when we go into teaching, we go in with what some might call ideological visions: This concept that we can and will make a difference; this idea that the children we teach will take the lessons we’ve taught and use them to become productive people long after they leave the four walls of our classroom. As we sit here now, reflecting on our most recent efforts to teach the Holocaust in a profound manner that gives justice and honor to the victims of this atrocity, we feel fortunate that such ideologies are being lived in our classroom.

Dan Morgan-Russell

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.

Stephen Smith

There is talk of a “new anti-Semitism” sweeping the globe, but all I see is the same irrational hatred aimed at the same perplexed victims, who are once again left wondering what has energized such bile.