Two Holocaust Survivors and Friends of USC Shoah Foundation Honored By Queen Elizabeth II

Wed, 01/05/2022 - 12:11pm

Two Holocaust survivors and friends of USC Shoah Foundation, Max Eisen and Dr. Agnes Kaposi, have been recognized by Queen Elizabeth II for their work in Holocaust education.

Eisen was appointed to the Order of Canada for his “contributions to Holocaust education, and his promotion of transformational dialogue on human rights, tolerance and respect.”

Born in Moldava, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia) in 1929, Eisen was deported with his Orthodox Jewish family to Auschwitz-Birkenau in May 1944, where all except Max were killed.  After surviving work as a slave laborer Eisen was sent on a death march to Mauthausen and then taken to the subcamp Ebensee, where he was liberated by the U.S Army. In 1949 he immigrated to Canada, where he became a longtime educator, author and activist who made repeated visits back to Auschwitz.

Dr. Agnes Kaposi was appointed to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for her contributions to Holocaust Education.

The Hungarian-born British engineer, educator, and author lived through the Debrecen ghetto and labor camps in Austria before being liberated by the Soviet Army. In 1956 she escaped Hungary and entered the U.K as a graduate engineer. She went on to build a career as a researcher, educator and consultant.

Both Eisen and Dr. Kaposi have taught generations of people around the world about the horrors of the Holocaust. As part of these efforts, both have been interviewed as part of USC Shoah Foundation’s Dimensions in Testimony program, Eisen in 2019 and Dr. Kaposi—marking the 50th Dimensions in Testimony interview—in November 2021.

In 1995 testimony now in the Visual History Archive, Eisen talked about his motivation for sharing his story.

“I've been in touch with many kids, telling them the story… [and] I get so many letters from these kids after I've spoken to them,” Eisen said.

I feel that if I can leave something with a few kids, that it may help future generations to not fall into the same trap.”

Interim Finci-Viterbi Executive Director Kori Street said USC Shoah Foundation is “thrilled to see Max and Agnes be recognized for their tireless efforts to teach about the Holocaust.”

“They, like so many other survivors, have ensured a legacy of memory that we can all learn from. It is an honor to work with them and to keep their memories safe forever.”

Street cited Eisen’s 2019 interview for USC Shoah Foundation in association with International March of the Living—filmed at Auschwitz with 360-degree video technology—as one of Eisen’s many important collaborations with the institute. Footage of the testimony can be seen here.

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Legacy: Max and Ed | Testimony on Location

Holocaust survivor Max Eisen recently returned to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland for the 21st time since his liberation in 1945. But this was his first visit with his son, Ed.

Eisen is one of four Holocaust survivors who is providing testimony filmed with 360-degree video technology for USC Shoah Foundation in association with International March of the Living.