Women's History Month

In honor of Women's History Month in March, discover some of the diverse experiences of women in the Visual History Archive.

Anna Haar on Why She Saved Children

Anna talks about how she strongly believed that what the Germans were doing was morally wrong and how she did what she could to save many children during the Holocaust. This is a part of the USC Shoah Foundation’s Women’s History Month Clip series.

  • Anna Haar on Why She Saved Children

    Language: English

    Anna talks about how she strongly believed that what the Germans were doing was morally wrong and how she did what she could to save many children during the Holocaust. This is a part of the USC Shoah Foundation’s Women’s History Month Clip series.

  • Alice Sommer on the Music in Terezín

    Language: English

    Pianist Alice Sommer reflects on the musical performances and Czech composers she knew in Terezín (also known as Theresienstadt camp-ghetto). Alice Sommer died February 23 2014 in England; she was 110 years old and the oldest known Holocaust survivor.

  • Agnes Daluge on Helping Jews

    Language: English

    Agnes talks about delivering messages to the Jews and how she brought them to her aunt’s home where they could hide. This is a part of the USC Shoah Foundation’s Women’s History Month Clip series.

  • Anita Lasker-Wallfisch on the Auschwitz camp orchestra

    Language: English

    Anita Lasker-Wallfisch remembers when she was selected to be in the Auschwitz camp orchestra and when the orchestra would play for the SS.

  • Language: English

    Anna Heilman remembers helping her sister, Ester Wajcblum, smuggle gunpowder to aid in the Sonderkommando uprising at Auschwitz II-Birkenau. Ester Wajcblum was hanged publicly in the camp on January 1, 1945.

    See more clips on Auschwitz

  • Aurora Mardiganian on the Armenian Genocide

    Language: English

    Aurora Mardiganian speaks here as a survivor of the Armenian Genocide. But from 1918-1920, she was also the face of the Genocide to literally millions of Americans and to others throughout the world. Her tragic, horrific story was told through a 1918 semi-autobiographical book, Ravished Armenia, and a 1919 screen adaptation, also known as Auction of Souls. With the immediacy of a newsreel, the human side to the Genocide was brought to the screen. Working with Near East Relief and with the support of the wealthiest and the most prominent members of New York society, Aurora and her film helped raise some $117 million (the equivalent of $2 billion today) for the relief of Armenian suffering.

  • Celina Biniaz on life after the Holocaust

    Language: English

    Celina Biniaz speaks on the importance of educating others to stand up to bigotry and fight intolerance. She reflects on how she has implemented those teachings in her career as an educator and also as a mother and grandmother.

  • Dina Gottliebova-Babbitt on painting in Auschwitz

    Language: English

    Dina Gottliebova-Babbitt remembers painting a mural based on "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" on a wall in one of the children's barracks at Auschwitz II-Birkenau, Poland.

  • Elizabeth Holtzman on passing legislation expelling Nazis

    Language: English

    Former United States Representative Elizabeth Holtzman describes her experience on writing and passing legislation in 1978 to expel the Nazi war criminals who, to her surprise, had immigrated to the United States.

  • Esther Bem

    Language: English

    Jewish Survivor

    Esther points out the people who, even in those difficult war years, inspired great acts of altruism. She recognizes the courage and compassion of those who offered help to victims of the Holocaust.

    DOB: 6/23/1930
    City of birth: Osijek
    Country of birth: Yugoslavia
    Went into hiding: Yes
    Other exp: identity concealment

     

  • Francoise Muteteli on preserving the memory of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda

    Language: English

    Francoise Muteteli describes how her work at a Rwandan Genocide memorial is helping preserve the memory of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

  • Guixiang Chen on peace

    Language: Mandarin

    Nanjing Massacre survivor Guixiang Chen reflects on speaking to Japanese students about her experience and the students react to her testimony.

  • Helen Fagin on Education in the Ghetto

    Language: English

    Helen Fagin discusses her efforts and risk to educate fellow ghetto inhabitants in the Radomsko ghetto in Poland.

  • Irene Opdyke on Helping her Friends in Hiding

    Language: English

    Irene talks about her dangerous experience helping six of her Jewish friends in hiding. This is a part of the USC Shoah Foundation’s Women’s History Month Clip series.

  • Johtje Vos on her decision to help Jewish people

    Language: English

    Johtje Vos reflects on her decision to help hide Jews during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Throughout the war Johtje and her husband, Aart, housed 32 Jews, although never more than 14 at the same time. In 1982 both Johtje and Aart were recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem for risking their own lives to save the lives of others.

  • Lily Grossman on Working for Israel

    Language: English

    Lily talks about being a very active community worker for Israel. This is a part of the USC Shoah Foundation’s Women’s History Month Clip series.

  • Lusia Haberfeld on the Women Behind the Sonderkommando Uprising

    Language: English

    Lusia talks about the Sonderkommando Uprising in Auschwitz in 1944 and the efforts of Roza Robota and three other women who smuggled gunpowder to the Sonderkommando group. March is Women's History Month.

  • Marion Pritchard on her early attitude regarding homosexuality

    Language: English

    Marion Pritchard recalls bringing up the topic of homosexuality at the dinner table and how her father took her aside to discuss the importance of tolerance.

    She passed away in 2016 at the age of 96. Read our tribute to her.

  • Odette Caputo on her Mother's Lifesaving Actions

    Language: English

    Odette discusses how her mother risked her life to help eight Jews escape Germany by selling her jewelry. This is a part of the USC Shoah Foundation’s Women’s History Month Clip series.

  • Renee Firestone on her Life in America

    Language: English

    Renee describes her life in America after the war, including her marriage, career as a fashion designer, and decision to start speaking about her experiences during the Holocaust. This is part of USC Shoah Foundation's Women's History Month series.

  • Ruth Westheimer on her career

    Language: English

    Ruth Westheimer reflects on her studies in the United States after WWII and her long career as “Dr. Ruth.”

  • Ruth Brand on resistance

    Language: English

     

    Ruth Brand talks about the decision to fast on Yom Kippur—also known as the Day of Atonement—in Auschwitz II-Birkenau as a form of resistance.

     

     

  • Ruth Posner on her career in entertainment

    Language: English

    Ruth Posner, a dancer, choreographer and actress describes her training and career around the world after World War II.

  • Sonia Sonnie Better on Wilhelmina Weissmuller

    Language: English

    Sonia speaks about Wilhelmina Weissmuller, a non-Jewish humanitarian who made it her mission to get as many Jewish children out of Germany on the Kinderstransport as she could. March is Women's History Month.

  • Tetje Brouwer on Hiding Children

    Language: English

    Tetje and another woman helped over 200 children hide away when their homes were bombed. This is a part of the USC Shoah Foundation’s Women’s History Month Clip series.

  • Tusia Heiman on Protecting Herself

    Language: English

    Tusia Heiman describes how she narrowly avoided being attacked by a Russian soldier at a party. October 25 is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

  • Vladka Meed on Children in the Ghettos

    Language: English

    Vladka Meed remembers how children were smuggled out of the Warsaw ghetto.  Some parents even left their babies on the steps of churches in order for them to be saved.

  • Day 17 of 30 Days of Testimony: Barbara Merguerian on the testimony of Dirouhi Haigas

    Language: English

    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. www.aiwainternational.org