Masako Togo Kasloff

Shared Cross-Cultural Principles

Masako Togo Kasloff and her late husband Philip were drawn to the USC Shoah Foundation Institute after hearing the testimony of Dario Gabbai, who was forced to work as a Sonderkommando at Auschwitz during the Holocaust.

The couple’s friend, Gabbai shared details of what he witnessed before his liberation from Ebensee concentration camp in Austria when the war ended. Gabbai was at Auschwitz until its evacuation in January 1945.

“Dario shared many tragic, heartbreaking stories with us,” Kasloff recalled. “So painful to hear.”

Kasloff learned more about the Jewish history through her husband’s activities in the Jewish community and the couple’s many trips to Israel. Founders of the Philip and Masako Togo Kasloff Foundation, the Malibu couple vowed to help stop discrimination and intolerance through their work at the Institute.

After Philip Kasloff’s death in December 2006, Masako Kasloff stayed involved.

“Any people, anywhere can fall victim to discrimination,” Kasloff said. “It’s my greatest hope that the work of the Shoah Foundation will continue to provide the education our society needs to end all forms of discrimination.”

The couple’s foundation promotes cross-cultural understanding and education between America and Japan.

The Institute has the same educational and cross-cultural principles, Kasloff said, adding that the Visual History Archive encourages students and all viewers to become better people.

“Tragically, many forms of discrimination and intolerance still exist today,” Kasloff said. “There are young students who fall victim to bullying and bigotry. Through the work of the Shoah Foundation and the sharing of testimonies, the hope is that young people will be inspired to care for the welfare of others and come to the realization that we all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.”