Voices from the Archive

Learn more about our testimony collections.

In a five-hour interview with the USC Shoah Foundation, Justus Rosenberg refers to himself as a “small fry,” “a cog,” an unimportant person. And perhaps it was for this reason that for decades, the Bard College literature professor hadn’t let on—to his colleagues, to his students, and even, for a time, to his wife—that he had fought and outwitted the Nazis during World War II to save thousands from persecution.

/ Sunday, June 9, 2024

On January 23, 2002, Ruth Pearl dreamt that her son, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, was scared and in trouble. In her dream, she told him she would bring him tea and take care of him. She woke up in a panic and sent an email to Daniel, who was on assignment in Karachi, Pakistan.

“I said, ‘Danny, this is a dream that I had. Please humor me and answer this email immediately.’ He never did,” Ruth said in an interview with the USC Shoah Foundation in 2014.

/ Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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.

/ Tuesday, April 18, 2023
Gerald Szames is 2, maybe 3 years old. He is standing at the foot of the bed, looking at his mother. She is sick, propped up on a pile of pillows. He has other flashes of memories of life before the Nazis invaded his Polish shtetl of Trochenbrod in 1941, when he was four years old – his grandfather taking him to the mill, his father lifting him up to give him a candy and a kiss.
/ Wednesday, April 12, 2023

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.

/ Monday, May 23, 2022

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.

/ Wednesday, April 27, 2022

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.

/ Wednesday, April 20, 2022

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. 

/ Wednesday, April 13, 2022
At one point in the horrific spring of 1994, Narcisse Gasimba had given up. Since April, Gasimba and other resistors in the mountains of western Rwanda had been using stones and spears to fend off wave after wave of Hutu attacks against Tutsis on the Bisesero hillside, but by the end of June their efforts felt fruitless. Tens of thousands, including members of Gasimba’s own family, had been massacred by Hutu attackers.
/ Thursday, April 7, 2022
As the world watches in horror as millions of Ukrainians resist, take shelter or flee from Russian attacks, news reports stir up connections to a haunting past. We scanned our Visual History Archive to bring just a few stories from these places to light. The words of survivors, as they often do, reach forward through time.
/ Monday, March 7, 2022

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