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
As an interpreter at Nuremberg, Edith Coliver had a front-row seat to many historic moments, such as the testimony of Hermann Göring, creator of the Gestapo.
Edith Coliver, Nuremberg Trials, GAM / Wednesday, April 4, 2018
When USC Shoah Foundation’s Manuk Avedikyan was researching the Institute’s new oral-history collection of Armenian Genocide survivors, something unusual caught his eye.
GAM / Friday, April 13, 2018
On April 17, 1975, the city of Phnom Penh fell to the Khmer Rouge, triggering a four-year genocide. In commemoration, USC Shoah Foundation is spotlighting its Cambodia-based learning activities for high school students.
GAM / Monday, April 16, 2018
A handful of witnesses in the genocide trial against former Guatemalan dictator Efraín Ríos Montt appear in Pamela Yates’ film “500 Years,” but her cameras captured the entire proceeding. The case is considered a landmark in human rights law.
GAM / Tuesday, April 17, 2018
To mark the 75th anniversary of the revolt, USC Shoah Foundation is sharing the story of the recently departed Sol Liber. One of the last living fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising until his passing last month, Liber was also among USC Shoah Foundation’s first interviewees.
GAM / Wednesday, April 18, 2018
The former goaltender for a well-known Rwandan team literally owes his life to soccer. Now he uses soccer to promote tolerance and unity. This year, he was recognized by Queen Elizabeth.
GAM / Monday, April 23, 2018
Although the Armenian Genocide is recognized in states and cities across the country, the issue remains unresolved on the national level. During a talk on April 19, Julien Zarifian outlined several reasons why the issue remains thorny in Washington D.C., more than 100 years after the genocide that left more than 1 million Armenians slaughtered.
GAM, Armenian Genocide / Tuesday, April 24, 2018
USC Shoah Foundation’s documentary about the 1937 Nanjing Massacre tells the story through the lens of a survivor’s relationship with her granddaughter and great-grandson.
GAM, Nanjing Massacre, The Girl and The Picture / Thursday, April 26, 2018
Out of concern for their physical safety, four of the five interviewees remained anonymous and were filmed in silhouette. The fifth, 31-year-old Martha Nyawal James, recounted her extraordinary story of survival.
GAM, South Sudan / Monday, April 30, 2018
Genocide Awareness Month shines a light on the Central African Republic and the testimony of Alain Lazaret, a witness to the conflict pitting Muslims against Christians.
GAM, Central African Republic / Tuesday, May 1, 2018

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