When one works in the field of Holocaust memory, you tend to find that your colleagues are a mission driven, self-effacing, highly dedicated bunch. We work with hard subjects, care deeply and build strong bonds with one another as we cope with the challenging, yet abundantly meaningful work. We were blessed here at USC Shoah Foundation to have formed those strong bonds with the brilliant and compassionate Kia Hays.
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.
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.
Born to Armenian Genocide survivors in Tulare, California, in 1932, Dr. Hovannisian was initially discouraged from learning his parents’ language and knew little about Armenian history.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The need for social distancing necessitated that filming be done remotely, with boxes of sophisticated equipment shipped to Ferencz’s modest Florida home.