Remembering those we lost in 2023

Fri, 12/15/2023 - 11:00am

The Institute mourns the passing of members of our community in 2023, including survivors who have given testimony, Nimrod “Zigi” Ariav, Dr. Richard Hovannisian, Damas Gisimba, Joshua Kaufman, Thomas Buergenthal, Marta Wise, Alan Moskin, Ben Ferencz, Betty Grebenschikoff, Tom Tugend, Rikva Basman Ben-Hayim, Sir Ben Helfgott, MBE, Alice Fraser, Herbert Murez, Max Wozniak, Nina Bogorad, Dr. Nechama Tec, Fania Wedro, Albert Miller, Frank Bright, James Crown, Glenn Felner, and Guy Stern. We especially remember our dear colleague of 28 years, Kim Simon.

We are grateful that so many of these survivors, partners, friends, and family members have entrusted us to share their stories for future generations, and for the passion and dedication they brought in support of our mission.

May their memories be a blessing.

Nimrod "Zigi" Ariav

The USC Shoah Foundation mourns the August 3, 2023 passing of Nimrod “Zigi” Ariav, a Holocaust survivor who fought in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising and Israel’s War of Independence before becoming a leader in the Israeli aeronautics industry. He was a longtime supporter of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. He was 96. Read our tribute to Zigi.

Dr. Richard Hovannisian

The USC Shoah Foundation mourns the passing of our friend Dr. Richard Gable Hovannisian, a scholar who devoted his life to chronicling the 1915 Armenian Genocide and donated the more than 1,000 survivor and witness testimonies he amassed to the USC Shoah Foundation. He was 90. Read our tribute Dr. Richard Hovannisian.

Damas Gisimba

The USC Shoah Foundation mourns the passing of Damas Gisimba, the director of a Kigali orphanage who sheltered and saved the lives of over 400 people, mostly children, during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. Later in life, he headed the Gisimba Memorial Center, a charitable organization that provided after-school programs for disadvantaged children and served as a place of remembrance for victims of the genocide.Read our tribute to Damas Gisimba.

Joshua Kaufman, with three of  his daughters, Malkie, Rachel, and Alexandra, who sat with him during his 2017 interview.

Joshua Kaufman

The USC Shoah Foundation mourns the June 6, 2023 passing of Joshua Kaufman, who survived Auschwitz and was liberated at Dachau Concentration Camp at the age of 17, and was recognized at the 2019 State of the Union address in Washington, D.C. He was 95. Read our tribute to Joshua Kaufman.

Thomas Buergenthal

The USC Shoah Foundation mourns the passing of Thomas Buergenthal, one of the youngest known survivors of Auschwitz, who later became an esteemed human rights attorney and United States representative on the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Thomas passed away on May 29, 2023, in Miami, Florida. He was 89. Read our tribute to Judge Thomas Buergenthal.

Marta Wise

USC Shoah Foundation mourns the passing of Marta (Weiss) Wise, who was ten years old when she was liberated from Auschwitz, having endured the medical torture of Josef Mengele, along with her sister, Eva (Weiss) Slonim. She was 88. Marta and Eva were among a group of children pictured in a photograph—a still from a film shot by a Soviet cameraman soon after the liberation of Auschwitz—that became an iconic image of the horrors of the death camp where nearly one million Jews were killed during the Holocaust. Read our tribute to Marta Wise.

Alan Moskin

USC Shoah Foundation is saddened by the passing of Alan Moskin, a Jewish veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces who, at the age of 18, helped liberate Gunskirchern, a subcamp of Mauthausen Concentration Camp, in May 1945. Later in life, Alan became a tireless advocate for Holocaust education and remembrance at schools, veterans’ groups, and in the media, speaking with candor about the horror he witnessed at the camp, the brutality of combat, and the bigotry he encountered in the U.S. Army. Read our tribute to Alan Moskin.

Ben Ferencz

Ben Ferencz, the last remaining prosecutor from the Nuremberg Trials who passed away in Florida earlier this month, gave countless interviews over the course of his illustrious career. But surely none was longer, or more technically challenging, than the three-day testimony he gave to USC Shoah Foundation at the height of the Covid pandemic in July 2020. Read about Nuremburg Prosecutor Ben Ferencz's interview.

Zenon Neumark

We mourn the death of Holocaust survivor Zenon Neumark, who was a close friend of the Institute and passed away on March 27, 2023 at the age of 98 years old. Read the USC Dornsife Center for Advanced Genocide Research’s tribute.

Kim Simon

We are deeply saddened by the untimely loss of our friend and colleague, Kim Simon, a beloved member and leader of the USC Shoah Foundation family for nearly three decades. Kim passed away February 28 at the age of 52. She is survived by a husband and two daughters and leaves a rich legacy that will sustain the Institute’s mission for years to come. Read our tribute to our colleague Kim Simon.

Betty Grebenschikoff

USC Shoah Foundation mourns the passing of Betty Grebenschikoff, a Jewish Holocaust survivor, author, and speaker, who was reunited with a childhood friend in February 2021, 81 years after the pair had last seen one other in a Berlin schoolyard. The reunion, made possible by a longtime researcher at USC Shoah Foundation, touched hearts across the world. Read our tribute to Betty Grebenschikoff, 93.

A still from Tom Tugend's 1995 testimony for USC Shoah Foundation

Tom Tugend

USC Shoah Foundation mourns the December 7, 2022 passing of Tom Tugend, a Berlin-born veteran of three wars and an award-winning journalist who fled the Nazi regime just months ahead of the outbreak of World War II. He was 97. Read our tributed to journalist Tom Tugend.