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Drag Queen, talented businessman and my icon RuPaul once stated, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else?”
op-eds / Wednesday, May 3, 2017
I had interviewed dozens of Gabersdorf survivors, discovered there had been 10 other women’s slave labor camps in Trutnov, then Trautenau, Sudetenland and that the 5,000 Polish Jewish women trafficked to Trutnov were among the first to be imprisoned in Nazi camps and the last to be liberated, on May 8th--9th, 1945. Didn’t they deserve to be honored, too?
op-eds / Friday, May 5, 2017
The Fourth of July has become an annual norm for me - filled with hot dogs and hamburgers, red white and blue. However, this year is a bit different for me. Working at USC Shoah Foundation has opened my eyes, and taught me that this holiday goes far beyond the parties and decorations.
op-eds / Thursday, June 29, 2017
A friend asked me whether I could help her with something. She knew I work with testimonies of Holocaust survivors in education and thought I could help her. We met over a coffee in a hipster place. There, she told me that her son suddenly started talking about Hitler. He talked about him all the time. Hitler and Nazis became a permanent conversation topic at their home, and she did not know what to do. “But he is too young for what I do,” I heard myself saying.
op-eds / Thursday, July 20, 2017
What are the pillars of modern democracy and how can democracy be defended in days of crisis? These questions keep coming to me these days, when Poland faces a really serious crisis that so far has caused a huge polarization in Polish society that divides neighbors, colleagues, friends, even families. Being an educator for almost 30 years, teaching first young students, then teenagers and finally teachers about history, civil rights and human rights, I have realized what a huge setback the Polish educational system has suffered.
op-eds / Tuesday, August 1, 2017
After a long period of neglect, the study of genocides against Indigenous populations is becoming an increasingly larger part of the field of genocide studies.
cagr, op-eds / Tuesday, August 8, 2017
When I visited Nazi death camps in 2014, I viewed spaces filled with the spirits of so many lives lost and witnessed the end result of evil, intolerance, and hatred. I left the gas chambers at Auschwitz and Majdanek that summer thinking that the sick, twisted ideology that drove the Nazis and was fueled by hatred and ignorance no longer existed in the 21st Century, especially in the United States. I naively believed Nazi ideology had ceased to exist with the end of World War II and the Holocaust.
op-eds / Thursday, August 17, 2017
For the last four years, I have had the incredible opportunity to share the story of USC Shoah Foundation. I joined the communications team in July 2013 to manage the social media accounts for the Institute. I was excited to work at such an esteemed institution that was making a difference in the world.
op-eds / Monday, August 28, 2017
On July 30, 1937 the head of Soviet secret police Nikolai Ezhov signed the order that started a mass punitive operation against their own citizens.
op-eds / Thursday, September 14, 2017
Though USC Shoah Foundation specializes in maintaining thousands of recorded testimonies in its Visual History Archive, many of the Institute’s interviewees have also published memoirs and autobiographies.
op-eds / Thursday, October 19, 2017
USC Shoah Foundation spent seven months researching the identities of every child in the liberation photo of the children behind the barbed wire, and reunited four of them January 26, 2015, in Krakow.
liberation, op-eds / Tuesday, January 27, 2015
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, iwalk / 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
It’s hard to imagine I’m even typing this sentence, but an avowed Holocaust denier is the official Republican nominee for an upcoming congressional election in Illinois, while a man whose website warns of a “Jewish supremacy” is running in California.
op-eds, antiSemitism / Monday, July 9, 2018