Inspired by Testimony from the Archive

Starting on Sunday, USC Shoah Foundation will feature one quote a day for 100 days from a different witness to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
At a lecture co-sponsored by USC Shoah Foundation’s Center for Advanced Genocide Research, Professor Taner Akçam of Clark University discussed how he unearthed documents that prove what virtually all genocide scholars have already long asserted about the Armenian Genocide: the killing orders came directly from the Ottoman government.
From social media campaigns to attending events in Rwanda, USC Shoah Foundation is marking this year’s Genocide Awareness Month with several important initiatives.
Widely known as the “Portuguese Schindler,” Aristides de Sousa Mendes was severely punished by his own government after flouting its neutrality policy with a frantic bid to issue as many visas as possible to desperate refugees fleeing Nazi invasion. In interviews with USC Shoah Foundation, the sons of Sousa Mendes and Jewish survivors rescued by him shared personal stories of his heroism.
Wolf Gruner, the founding director of USC Shoah Foundation’s Center for Advanced Genocide Research, began his quest to build a Holocaust library as part of a new Holocaust program as soon as he arrived at USC via Berlin a decade ago.
Roughly 1,000 audio-only interviews recorded by students of UCLA history Professor Richard Hovannisian were entrusted to USC Shoah Foundation. This week, Hovannisian and three of his former students gave a talk about how they amassed such a large repository of memory at so crucial a time, “when denialism was huge.”
In her research of testimonies, USC student Virginia Bullington observed that women in the context of both the Armenian and Tutsi Rwanda genocides are often described as “bearers of culture, maternity and nationalism,” while in the Guatemalan context, “indigenous women were not essentialized -- they were erased.”
USC Shoah Foundation joined a Friday ceremony at a classroom in Cottbus, Germany that contributed 100 butterflies to the Butterfly Project, an international effort by schoolchildren to paint 1.5 million ceramic butterflies – one for every child murdered in the Holocaust.
The Institute’s Sara Brown discusses the power of narrative at the 3rd Global Forum Against the Crime of Genocide held earlier this month in Armenia.
USC Shoah Foundation Executive Director Stephen Smith will participate in a panel discussion Friday at a special event at the United Nations marking the 70th anniversary of the adoption of international laws to prevent genocide and punish its perpetrators.
Hailed by some as a milestone in Ottoman Empire scholarship, the new book “Armenians in Ottoman Turkey, 1914” was the product of a manuscript that was donated to the Institute’s Center for Advanced Genocide Research in 2016. It will be a boon for testimony indexers and other researchers at the Institute.

Pages