About four years ago, still in high school and bussing tables at my first job, I found out that management hands you bigger tips at the end of the night when they see the big table in the corner harass you. Because those tips, they said, were left for you. What are you going to question that for?
op-eds / Thursday, November 2, 2017
The announcement of a deal between Myanmar and Bangladesh which will allow the repatriation of the Rohingya may sound like good news. Here is why it is not.
Rohingya, op-eds / Saturday, November 25, 2017
The day after Thanksgiving, the New York Times published an article called “In America’s Heartland, the Nazi Sympathizer Next Door,” by Richard Fausset. It profiles Tony Hovater, a 29-year-old far-right extremist and Nazi sympathizer who lives in the suburbs of Dayton, Ohio.
op-eds / Friday, December 1, 2017
Reflections on the recent conferences the USC Shoah Foundation hosted or participated in, and the ways in which these scholarly gatherings enrich the field of genocide studies and demonstrate the value of the Visual History Archive.
cagr, op-eds / Friday, December 15, 2017
op-eds / Saturday, December 16, 2017
The IWitness Video Challenge is a 21st century skill builder - teaching students how to use digital tools such as video editors to craft multimedia essays. Most importantly, the challenge provides students the opportunity to positively enhance their digital citizenship as they network and collaborate with others to deal with real world problems.
iwitness, Digital Learning Day, Edtech, Digital Citizenship, Digital Resources, op-eds / Wednesday, January 31, 2018
The future of Polish-Israeli relations can be driven by compassion and forgiveness, or a retreat behind walls of fossilized antisemitism, essentialist prejudice, nationalistic egotism, and fear.
cagr, op-eds / Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Even absent this current era of “alternative facts” and “fake news,” the new Polish law making it a crime to point out Poland’s complicity in the Holocaust would be alarming. But that it is occurring in today’s climate of demagoguery, heightened nationalism and ethnic tension – an unholy trio that threatens to metastasize on a global scale – is a troubling development. Poland’s effort has come under attack by Israel and stewards of Holocaust memory.
poland, op-eds, antiSemitism / Friday, February 9, 2018
At the exact moment a former student was destroying lives at Stoneman Douglas High School, a group of students inside a classroom was studying ways to make the world a better place. These were students in a Holocaust history class, where they were exploring the 1936 Olympics in an IWitness learning activity to teach them about compassion and respect, and about the perils of living a life filled with hate and violence.
op-eds / Friday, February 16, 2018
It’s hard to imagine I’m even typing this sentence, but an avowed Holocaust denier on Tuesday became the official Republican nominee for an upcoming congressional election in Illinois. Arthur Jones won the primary despite the fact that he once led the American Nazi Party and has freely shared his antisemitic views. Perhaps even more disturbing is the fact that Arthur Jones received more than 20,000 votes, according to preliminary results.
op-eds / Friday, March 23, 2018
Murder of 85-year-old Holocaust survivor in Paris underscores the loneliness of the Jewish community in the face of rising antisemitism
Mireille Knoll managed to survive the Nazis during the Holocaust, but antisemitism is ancient and tenacious, and its tentacles finally caught up with her last week at her home in Paris. The 85-year-old Knoll was stabbed 11 times and burned after attackers – a neighbor and a homeless man – tried to set her apartment ablaze. The men, both in their 20s, were later arrested for a crime that is being investigated as an antisemitic attack. “She’s a Jew, she must have money,” said one attacker to the other, according to Gérard Collomb, the interior minister of France.
op-eds / Friday, March 30, 2018
It’s a story my grandfather never told me, something that I only heard and understood later, years after my mother recounted it. In 1943, after his first wife and children were killed, my grandfather, Sam Wasserman, participated in one of the only successful mass escapes from a Nazi extermination camp. He and hundreds of other prisoners, overwhelmed and killed several guards and escaped the Sobibor death camp in Poland. My grandfather eluded capture, joined a band of partisans fighting the Nazis, and shortly after surviving the war, met the woman who would become my grandmother.
op-eds / Monday, April 9, 2018
In my role as part of USC Shoah Foundation’s Education Department, I have the honor of working with our team members both in the United States and around the world to create localized educational content using genocide survivor testimony. As a former classroom teacher and a lifelong believer in the importance of experiential learning, I was fortunate to take part in three IWalks in Budapest, Hungary, Prague, Czechia, and Warsaw, Poland while on a recent vacation.
op-eds, iwitness / Monday, April 23, 2018
As a non-Jew living in Paris, the scourge of antisemitism had, until recently, faded from my mind as a major concern. But my eyes were opened in 2016 when I was approached by the USC Shoah Foundation to executive produce for them a new collection of testimonies on contemporary antisemitism.
CATT, countering antisemitism through testimony, Mireille Knoll, op-eds, antiSemitism / Thursday, May 3, 2018
Like many countries around the world, we commemorated Labor Day on May 1 here in Germany. The day also coincided with the beginning of a new government position – commissioner for Jewish life in Germany and to fight antisemitism, but everyone refers to it as the “Antisemitism Commissioner.” The inaugural holder is Felix Klein, a career diplomat with an international law degree, who coincidentally happens to come from the same town I grew up in.
op-eds, antiSemitism / Friday, May 4, 2018
In 2003, I and others were preparing for the opening of the Kigali Genocide Memorial to commemorate the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda when a volunteer data collector emptied the contents of a brown manila envelope onto my desk. There on top of the pile of papers and photos was a photo of two little girls.
GAM, 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, op-eds / Monday, May 7, 2018
When Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made the claim that Jews were targeted in the Holocaust for their “social function” in banking and not for their religion, he was not ranting from the podium or calling for death to the Jews. His approach was much more subtle, and therefore much more sinister.
Mahmoud Abbas, palestine, Israel, anti-semitism, op-eds, antiSemitism / Tuesday, May 8, 2018
While "The Girl and The Picture" focuses on the story and voice of one of the last remaining survivors of the Nanjing Massacre of 1937, it is also a project that I saw as a chance to excavate forms of storytelling itself – and look at different ways we preserve legacy and memory and process loss and survival.
op-eds / Thursday, May 17, 2018
Those who openly deny the Holocaust are either apologists for the Nazis, right wing radicals, religious extremists, and all are antisemites, even if they deny that too.
Facebook, denial, op-eds, antiSemitism / Friday, July 20, 2018
The young Nazi approached 13-year-old Szulem Czygielmamn as he walked on the sidewalk of Lubartowska Street in Lublin, Poland, and shoved him off the sidewalk. Szulem was lucky; Jews had died for less.
Israel, holocaust survivor, résistance, op-eds / Tuesday, July 31, 2018
My father was born and raised in Sighet, Romania, just down the road from the Elie Wiesel's simple blue childhood home. When the Nobel laureate's house was spray-painted with antisemitic slurs this summer, it felt like an attack on my own familial history.
elie wiesel, Lauren Deutsch, blog, romania, op-eds, antiSemitism / Monday, September 17, 2018
Curious but friendly onlookers in the multicultural middle-class neighborhood in Amsterdam joined us. A café owner slowly crossed the street. “What’s happening?” she asked. “We are placing memorial stones in front of my grandparents’ home where they last lived before being deported in 1942,” I replied. “Please join us!”
Stolpersteine, stumbling stones, Amsterdam, op-eds / Wednesday, October 17, 2018
The history of antisemitism is strewn with the corpses of Jews who could not get out of the way when words turned to violence. The slaying of innocent Jewish lives by Pittsburgh gunman Robert Bowers, who this weekend turned his rhetoric about killing Jews into the actual killing of Jewish people, is the latest example. We need laws to allow intervention much earlier, or this will not be the last time we see Jewish people die in America because they are Jews.
Pittsburgh, Tree of Life Synagogue, hate speech, op-eds, antiSemitism / Monday, October 29, 2018
Musician Alex Biniaz-Harris, a former employee at USC Shoah Foundation, writes about his inspiration for a piano composition he is co-writing with Ambrose Soehn, a former intern at the Institute. The duo plans to perform the piece in Cambodia in January to commemorate that country’s upcoming 40-year anniversary of liberation from the genocide at the hands of the Khmer Rouge regime.
Cambodia Genocide, piano, Pol Pot, op-eds / Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Eighty-five years ago, millions of residents of Ukraine were starved to death as a result of the Soviet-era policies under Joseph Stalin’s totalitarian regime. The man-made famine of 1932-1933, also known as Holodomor, is part of my home country’s history that I grew to fully understand only through my work at USC Shoah Foundation.
Ukraine, famine, holodomor, Inna Gogina, op-eds / Tuesday, December 4, 2018
My life and my work at USC Shoah Foundation are strongly connected to the joys and the sorrows of the Armenian community. Thus, I was both shocked and heartened by recent separate events that demonstrated how far we’ve come in advancing human dignity and how far we still have to go.
Armenian Genocide, op-eds / Wednesday, February 6, 2019
On January 25, 2019, the fifth- and sixth-graders of a school in Cottbus, Germany honored all those affected during the Holocaust by unveiling a Butterfly Project memorial to the 1.5 million children murdered during this dark moment in history. This first-ever initiative in Germany introduced a new, younger audience to real stories of local children.
op-eds / Wednesday, February 13, 2019
As a teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, who survived the tragedy on Feb. 14, 2018, I have spent the past year grappling with this question.
op-eds / Thursday, February 14, 2019
Last week a group of us from USC Shoah Foundation were in Guatemala with our testimony partner, the Foundation for Forensic Anthropology in Guatemala (FAFG). We attended the funeral of a Mayan man whose remains were recently exhumed by FAFG – 36 years after he disappeared during the genocide there.
Guatemala genocide, fafg, op-eds / Monday, March 4, 2019
During my dissertation research on the history of fear in the Weimar Republic, 1919-1933, a Corrie ten Boom fellowship provided the opportunity for me to visit the USC Shoah Foundation to explore the visual testimonies of the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive. When I arrived, I was not exactly sure how I might make use of these incredibly important digitized collections in my project.
cagr, op-eds / Thursday, January 30, 2020