Voices from the Archive
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Herbert Zipper, a world-renowned conductor, composer and pioneer of the community arts movement in the United States, grew up in a Vienna of extremes: From his birth in 1904 until he fled in 1939, the Austrian capital transformed from the heights of science and culture to the depths of economic depression and the onslaught of violent antisemitism and Nazi rule.
Joseph Greenblatt believes it was the antisemitic taunts he endured throughout his childhood in Warsaw that led him to a life of resistance. He was a key player in the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and then took on the Germans again, this time with the Polish Home Army in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 — for which he later received a medal.
Greenblatt’s testimony, recorded in New York City in 1996, is contained in USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive.
When Sam Kadorian was a child, Ottoman soldiers would conduct drills in a field near his home in Mezre (modern-day Elazığ, Turkey), adjacent to the fortress town of Kharpert. Sam would stand close by, mimicking their drills.
One morning in 1978, Theary Seng awoke alongside her younger brother in their prison cell in Boeng Rai Security Center, about 100 kilometers south of their hometown of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The children’s mother had been in the cell the night before, but now she was gone.
For much of their life, Allen and Peter Adamson didn't know that Joe, their easy-going, suburbanite dad, a VP at a New York plastics company, had a remarkable early history. He had escaped Germany at the age of 14 on the Kindertransport, served as an interrogator with the U.S. Army during the liberation of Mauthausen Concentration Camp, and helped in a U.S. effort to intercept secret messages encoded in German postage stamps.
For weeks, Eva (Geiringer) Schloss and a small band of young women had been exploring the far corners of the women’s section of Auschwitz-Birkenau, alone and, for the first time in months, unwatched.
It was January 1945, and Allied forces were nearing the camp. The SS had already evacuated most of the surviving inmates by way of middle-of-the-night marches in freezing temperatures. The gas chambers and crematoria had been destroyed. The SS guards had fled.
Theogene Kayitakire, a sergeant in the Rwandan Patriotic Army, helped capture the strategic high ground of the Mount Rebero neighborhood in Kigali in April 1994, just days after the Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda had begun.
With the location secure and reinforcements arriving, Theogene had a request for his command: Could he go to save his relatives nearby? When given permission, he disguised himself in a government army uniform and, with a few other soldiers, went to find his uncle. But his uncle refused to flee to safety without his neighbors.