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Genocide: Erna Anolik on arriving at Auschwitz

Erna Anolik recalls the intake procedures at Auschwitz, including shaving off her hair, undressing in front of soldiers, and only being given a grey dress and wooden shoes.

Violence: Armenian Survivor Dirouhi Haigas

Dirouhi Haigas was a young Turkish-Armenian girl of 7 when she and her family were abruptly uprooted from their home and deported on foot to the southern desert. A native of Konya, Turkey, she had lived an idyllic life up to that time with her parents, grandparents, aunt, and uncles. Her father was in the family business as a leather merchant, and her uncles were amateur musicians who loved nothing more than to get together with friends and relatives to enjoy folk music and dancing.  This life came to an abrupt end with the outbreak of World War I. In the middle of a Sunday afternoon in the spring of 1915, church bells rang out unexpectedly, calling Armenians to the church square, where they were told that they were to be deported within the next two weeks and allowed to take with them only what they could carry. Soon after, the family was forced to leave their ancestral home, never to return.

Dirouhi’s experience was similar to that of most of the 1.5 Armenian victims of the Armenian Genocide. The difference is that Konya is located in the center of Anatolia, far from the war zone to the east where most of the Turkish Armenians lived and where the Turkish Government claimed the exigencies of war as an excuse for their actions. There was no fighting in the Konya area, the Armenians posed no threat, and the deportations were clearly part of the Turkish Government’s brutal policy to eliminate its Armenian population.

Author: Barbara Merguerian, PhD, Director of the Armenian Women’s Archives of the Armenian International Women’s Association.

Violence: Madame Xia remembers the 1937 Nanjing Massacre

 Madame Xia discusses her family's experiences on December 13, 1937, when Japanese forces entered Nanjing, China.

Genocide: Sara Pol-Lim on Survivor's Guilt

Cambodian Genocide survivor Sara Pol-Lim explains that she feels a responsibility to make something of her life to honor her family members who did not survive.

Genocide Denial: Armenian Survivor Haigas Bonapart

Armenian Genocide survivor Haigas Bonapart talks about denial of the genocide. This clip is one of the newest to be published on the IWitness "Watch" page.

Prejudiced Attitudes: Ellen Brandt on Jewish identity

Ellen Brandt recalls the implementation of the Nuremberg Laws in Berlin and her participation in a Jewish youth movement BDJJ or Bund Deutsch-Jüdischer Jugend. She also reflects how the organization helped her connect with her Jewish identity.

Acts of Prejudice: Holocaust survivor Lea Schabinski-Faranof

Holocaust survivor Lea Schabinski-Faranof remembers the prevelant anti-Semitism in her school.

Branko Lustig on his Oscar win

Branko Lustig reflects on winning an Oscar for Schindler's List and shares his other awards including two Emmy's.

Izak Kiven on Being a Refugee in Prague

Izak Kiven describes the train journey to Prague and the conditions in the city for refugees after World War II. The people were very friendly and eager to help him and other survivors.

Rose Burizihiza on the Beginning of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda

Rose Burizihiza describes how the Hutu leaders in her town met to plan how they would kill the local Tutsis.