There is a current controversy about the allegation that the great mufti of Jerusalem instigated the final solution of the Nazis. While there is no doubt that Haj Amin al-Husseini, was a virulent anti-Semite, history shows that the Final Solution was conceived and implemented by Nazis and nobody else.
Haj Amin al-Husseini, holocaust, GAM, op-eds, cagr / Thursday, October 22, 2015
Poland faces a horrible wave of extremism after the election of a new right-wing government. As an educator and Polish citizen, I am not only scared by this type of radical hatred, but it also reminds me of the past because the same organization that marches on the streets of Polish cities today, organized boycotts of Jewish institutions and forbade Jewish students from studying at Polish universities before WWII.
poland, education, GAM, World Refugee Day, op-eds / Wednesday, December 9, 2015
I found as a teacher that the most challenging task when teaching about the Holocaust and genocide, is how to do it not using material that shocks the students to the point that they do not want to look at the content, study the history or listen to present day issues due to the emotional shut down that can occur.
holocaust, education, iwitness, GAM, op-eds / Tuesday, December 15, 2015
A person doesn’t visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland and come away unchanged, and I was no exception. The empty barracks, the barbed-wire fencing, the solemn exhibits, the telltale chimneys – all these vestiges left a strong impression. But what struck me most was the sheer vastness of the sprawling memorial to history’s most notorious death camp. Walking through Birkenau with my tour group, I gaped at the emptiness stretching for a mile in every direction – nothing but the crumbling remains of buildings half-buried in snow.
Auschwitz70, reflection, GAM, op-eds / Tuesday, January 26, 2016
This year I focused on eyewitness testimony to the Holocaust and it changed the experience for my students and for me.
GAM, op-eds / Thursday, March 31, 2016
April is Genocide Awareness Month, a time to reflect on atrocities of the past while ensuring that we avoid acts of mass murder in the future. The urgency of this mandate was highlighted just weeks ago when the U.S. House of Representatives and the State Department officially recognized that ISIS is committing genocide in the Middle East.
GAM, Genocide Awareness, op-eds / Friday, April 1, 2016
Never forget. Never again. These are common phrases used in Holocaust and genocide education. These are important statements especially when they evoke the real reason to study, learn, and teach about genocide. We must bring this content to students to empower them and encourage them to see beyond themselves. If done right, students become aware of the steps that lead to such atrocities. Teaching about genocide is the only way to have a lasting impact on our students, to affect their worldview, to help them understand that they can make a difference.
GAM, iwitness, education, Educator Resource, op-eds / Friday, March 25, 2016
In 2015 , I traveled to Guatemala with a small team from USC Shoah Foundation to train staff from a local organization called the Fundación de Antropología Forence de Guatemala (FAFG) to begin collecting voices from survivors to the Guatemalan Genocide.
GAM, Guatemala, Guatemalan Genocide, cagr, op-eds, cagr / Friday, April 8, 2016
To help introduce your students to the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda explore testimonies and activities in IWitness.
GAM, op-eds / Thursday, April 7, 2016
As the indexer for USC Shoah Foundation’s Armenian Genocide Testimony Collection, I have to listen carefully to hundreds of testimonies assigning keywords to each minute so that these stories will be accessible in the Visual History Archive. Now just in time for the 101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide we will be integrating an additional 155 indexed testimonies into the Archive. I thought this would be a fitting time to highlight some of the most interesting aspects of the 245 testimonies that will be available in the Visual History Archive Online.
GAM, Armenian Genocide, op-eds / Wednesday, April 20, 2016
News of the deadly bombs that ripped apart the Brussels airport terminal last month sent a shockwave through me. I know that line, that place. I have stood in that spot. The “what if” scenario is not what troubles me most, however.
GAM, Tolerance, education, op-eds / Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Yom HaShoah as it’s known in Hebrew, commemorates and honors the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. This year, people around the world will remember the victims of the Holocaust May 4-5, 2016.
GAM, holocaust, Rememberance, yom hashoah, iwitness, op-eds / Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Aristides de Sousa Mendes was a Portuguese diplomat stationed in Bordeaux in the late 1930s who issued tens of thousands of visas to Jewish families, in direct violation of anti-Jewish laws instituted by Portugal’s fascist government at the time. For this act of resistance, Sousa Mendes faced trials and conviction, leaving him to live out the rest of his life in poverty and disgrace, and his 15 children scattered all over Europe and the U.S.
aristides de sousa mendes, upstander, GAM, résistance, op-eds / Friday, August 5, 2016
Maximilian Kolbe, born in Poland in 1894, was a Franciscan friar and Catholic priest. He spent most of his life studying theology and dedicating himself to the church, traveling across Europe and Asia during his lifetime.
St Kolbe, résistance, GAM, op-eds / Friday, August 12, 2016
Poland’s new right-wing government wants to change the way children in that country learn about the Holocaust, casting Poles as only victims or heroes. In this new narration, the Polish people were always helping the weak, were good neighbors and cared about minorities.
education, poland, Kielce, Jedwabne, GAM, op-eds / Monday, August 15, 2016
The Kristallnacht pogrom was a critical turning point on the path to genocide, and all of our #IWitnessChat participants agreed that using testimony is a meaningful way for students to understand and connect with the event. Hearing survivors’ detailed accounts of this night makes it much more accessible to students.
GAM, kristallnacht, iwitness, echoes and reflections, education. Holocaust, op-eds / Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Several months ago in my former senior high school class, students were introduced to the ideas of illiberalism. When discussing this issue, students are faced with how governments will apply laws and acts during times of crisis, as well as everyday life, that would limit or suspend civil liberties of any individual or group.
GAM, #BeginsWithMe, testimony, teaching, education, visual history archive, op-eds / Friday, November 18, 2016
As fall meets winter, we find ourselves in the seasonal in-between – summer is gone and winter is not yet biting. Yet it is in the in-between that we find moments for appreciation with friends and family. We create these moments in the cycle of the seasons. I think about what it means to live in the in-between – in a place of ambiguity and uncertainty where we must negotiate both the successes and the struggles of daily life. Progress propels us forward, but sometimes it is a roller coaster rather than the smooth gradient we may wish for.
#BeginsWithMe, gratitude, #GivingTuesday, testimony, GAM, op-eds / Wednesday, November 23, 2016
On Thursday, Oct. 27th, I witnessed history in the making. Nanjing Massacre survivor Xia Shuqin flew from Nanjing, China to Los Angeles to record a 3-D audiovisual testimony in Mandarin for USC Shoah Foundation’s New Dimensions in Testimony. For those of you who watched USC Shoah Foundation’s Instagram story that day, I was the intern behind the camera.
ndt, china, Mandarian, Madame Xia, usc, interns, GAM, op-eds / Monday, December 12, 2016
The Holocaust is inarguably the most heinous crime against a group of people we have seen in modern times. Despite decades of wrestling with how such an atrocity could have occurred and the postwar generation promising never again, history keeps repeating itself. Therefore, the collection and the custody of testimonies from those who bear witness remains a necessary task for as long as inhumanities keep occurring. Genocide and crimes against humanity transcend religions, cultures, languages, geographic regions, socioeconomics, gender, age, etc., making testimony collection across all cultures not only a moral responsibility, but imperative given the mission of USC Shoah Foundation. We know for sure that under a certain set of circumstances, genocide could happen anywhere, and again.
nanjing, Nanjing Massacre, GAM, op-eds / Thursday, January 26, 2017
At a first glance The Yellow Spot: The Extermination of the Jews in Germany is a book about the Holocaust. But in fact, it was published in 1936, after just three years of Nazi rule — and a full five years before the first gas chambers were commissioned for the murder of European Jewry. The authors spend 287 pages detailing a series of laws and actions taken against the Jews. Their conclusion was that the “legal disability” being imposed by the Nazis upon the Jews ultimately would result in their elimination. (Originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.)
GAM, holocaust, nazi germany, 1933, The Hollywood Reporter, op-eds / Tuesday, January 31, 2017
For a German like myself, International Holocaust Remembrance Day is a day that is both intensely private and profoundly public.
GAM, auschwitz, past is present, Holocaust Rememberance Day, op-eds / Friday, February 3, 2017
I recently was an expert witness from October 11-13, 2016, at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) in Phnom Penh, the so-called Khmer Rouge Tribunal that was established in 2001. When I mention this to colleagues, a typical response is, “That’s still going on?” Indeed. Many forget the train that runs direct from USC to Long Beach takes you to the largest concentration of Cambodian survivors in the United States, where elders make daily offerings to ancestors in their homes or Buddhist temples.
GAM, cambodia, Cambodian Genocide, UN tribunal, center for advanced genocide research, cagr, op-eds, cagr / Monday, February 13, 2017
Educators share how they teach with eyewitness testimony for April's Genocide Awareness Month.
iwitness, GAM, teaching, op-eds / Friday, March 31, 2017
Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Yom HaShoah as it’s known in Hebrew, commemorates and honors the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. This year, people around the world will remember the victims of the Holocaust April 23- 24, 2017.
GAM, holocaust, Rememberance, yom hashoah, iwitness, op-eds / Monday, April 10, 2017
USC Shoah Foundation's Karen Jungblut speaks at The Berlin Conference on Myanmar Genocide about the nearly 100 video interviews recorded in Bangladesh refugee camps.
GAM / Tuesday, February 27, 2018
The more than 1,000 interviews will constitute the largest non-Holocaust-related collection to be integrated into the Institute’s Visual History Archive. It will also be the Archive’s first audio-only collection.
GAM, collections, armenia / Thursday, March 8, 2018
The release follows the recent completion of 489 interviews with the survivors of the Guatemala Genocide at the hands of the Guatemalan military in the early 1980s.
fafg, Guatemala, Guatemalan Genocide, iwitness, GAM / Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Despite the testimony of many witnesses to his Nazi-era crimes, Walther Becker walked out of a German courtroom a free man. The judge in the case – who was later revealed to have his own Nazi sympathies – gave little credence to survivor testimony when he handed down his 1972 verdict.
christopher browning, mickey shapiro, GAM / Thursday, March 29, 2018
Jamalida’s interview is among dozens of testimonies documented by USC Shoah Foundation since its arrival in November to the refugee camps in Bangladesh. A total of 11 life-history interviews with Rohingya are being added the Visual History Archive, the world’s largest repository of genocide testimony.
Rohingya, GAM / Tuesday, April 3, 2018