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Monday, May 4, 2015
I participated in an event in April called Survivor Voices. We were six panelists from Bosnia, Rwanda, Cambodia, two Holocaust survivors and an Armenian-American priest.
Monday, March 26, 2018
Living through the Holocaust was such a strange and overwhelming experience, survivors often found it difficult to find ways to describe it. In her lecture “Phantom Geographies in Representations of the Holocaust” hosted by USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Studies on March 22, Kathryn Brackney identified survivors who talked about living in a world outside of time and place, where even the laws of nature fell apart.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
“Time heals all wounds,” they say.It’s difficult to find any other element in our daily lives that possesses the sobering effect that time does. It tames emotions and calms nerves. It allows for much needed reflection and analysis. And, perhaps most importantly, it brings with it resolution and closure. By any account, a century would be more than enough time to heal even the deepest wound, but, surprisingly, time’s impact isn’t always as thorough as we’d expect it to be.
Friday, July 18, 2014
On July 16 -17, 1942, over 13,000 Jews from Paris and its suburbs were rounded up by French police in the early morning hours and forcefully taken from their homes to both the Vélodrome d’Hiver, a winter cycling stadium in Paris, and to the Drancy internment camp.
Monday, April 16, 2018
On April 17, 1975, the city of Phnom Penh fell to the Khmer Rouge, triggering a four-year genocide. In commemoration, USC Shoah Foundation is spotlighting its Cambodia-based learning activities for high school students.
Saturday, August 4, 2018
On August 2, 1944, nearly 3,000 Roma and Sinti women, men and children were murdered in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
The release follows the recent completion of 489 interviews with the survivors of the Guatemala Genocide at the hands of the Guatemalan military in the early 1980s.
Friday, March 25, 2016
Never forget. Never again. These are common phrases used in Holocaust and genocide education. These are important statements especially when they evoke the real reason to study, learn, and teach about genocide. We must bring this content to students to empower them and encourage them to see beyond themselves. If done right, students become aware of the steps that lead to such atrocities. Teaching about genocide is the only way to have a lasting impact on our students, to affect their worldview, to help them understand that they can make a difference.
Thursday, January 26, 2017
The Holocaust is inarguably the most heinous crime against a group of people we have seen in modern times. Despite decades of wrestling with how such an atrocity could have occurred and the postwar generation promising never again, history keeps repeating itself. Therefore, the collection and the custody of testimonies from those who bear witness remains a necessary task for as long as inhumanities keep occurring. Genocide and crimes against humanity transcend religions, cultures, languages, geographic regions, socioeconomics, gender, age, etc., making testimony collection across all cultures not only a moral responsibility, but imperative given the mission of USC Shoah Foundation. We know for sure that under a certain set of circumstances, genocide could happen anywhere, and again.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Poland faces a horrible wave of extremism after the election of a new right-wing government. As an educator and Polish citizen, I am not only scared by this type of radical hatred, but it also reminds me of the past because the same organization that marches on the streets of Polish cities today, organized boycotts of Jewish institutions and forbade Jewish students from studying at Polish universities before WWII.
Wednesday, December 5, 2018
USC Shoah Foundation Executive Director Stephen Smith will participate in a panel discussion Friday at a special event at the United Nations marking the 70th anniversary of the adoption of international laws to prevent genocide and punish its perpetrators.
Friday, April 1, 2016
April is Genocide Awareness Month, a time to reflect on atrocities of the past while ensuring that we avoid acts of mass murder in the future. The urgency of this mandate was highlighted just weeks ago when the U.S. House of Representatives and the State Department officially recognized that ISIS is committing genocide in the Middle East.
Monday, May 18, 2015
Stefan (Teofil) Kosinski’s testimony is the only English-language testimony we have in the Visual History Archive from a homosexual survivor, which is also remarkable for the fact that Stefan is not a native English speaker.
Tuesday, April 2, 2019
From social media campaigns to attending events in Rwanda, USC Shoah Foundation is marking this year’s Genocide Awareness Month with several important initiatives.
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
I found as a teacher that the most challenging task when teaching about the Holocaust and genocide, is how to do it not using material that shocks the students to the point that they do not want to look at the content, study the history or listen to present day issues due to the emotional shut down that can occur.
Friday, March 25, 2016
The question “How do you teach this stuff?” is what brought me to USC Shoah Foundation in 2010 to begin my training and work as a Master Teacher. I was beginning to understand that survivor testimony is the formative center of Holocaust education, that once a student begins to see Holocaust education content through the lens of testimony, the education and the student begin to change in ways that are profound.
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
As an interpreter at Nuremberg, Edith Coliver had a front-row seat to many historic moments, such as the testimony of Hermann Göring, creator of the Gestapo.
Monday, January 28, 2019
In her research of testimonies, USC student Virginia Bullington observed that women in the context of both the Armenian and Tutsi Rwanda genocides are often described as “bearers of culture, maternity and nationalism,” while in the Guatemalan context, “indigenous women were not essentialized -- they were erased.”
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
As fall meets winter, we find ourselves in the seasonal in-between – summer is gone and winter is not yet biting. Yet it is in the in-between that we find moments for appreciation with friends and family. We create these moments in the cycle of the seasons. I think about what it means to live in the in-between – in a place of ambiguity and uncertainty where we must negotiate both the successes and the struggles of daily life. Progress propels us forward, but sometimes it is a roller coaster rather than the smooth gradient we may wish for.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
The Holocaust collection in USC Shoah Foundation's Visual History Archive contains nearly 53,000 testimonies; however, only a mere six of those testimonies are from survivors who were persecuted by the Nazis for being gay: one in English, three in German, one in French, and one in Dutch. There are other gay survivors we have in the Archive, but they were persecuted by the Nazis for the greater sin of being Jewish; Gad Beck being one of them. The meager number says a lot about the history of the gay men who lived through the Nazi regime and who came out the other end willing and unafraid to speak about their lives.
Monday, December 3, 2018
Public lecture by Bieke Van Camp (PhD candidate, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier, France) 2018-2019 Katz Research Fellow
Monday, August 25, 2014
The fast pace of globalization with all of its benefits is also accelerating the viral spread of hatred. Where once regional enmities brewed for centuries with sporadic outbursts of warfare and imperial powers that waxed and waned, the truly global speed and scale of ideological hatred and international conflict was not possible until recently for many practical reasons.
Monday, February 13, 2017
I recently was an expert witness from October 11-13, 2016, at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) in Phnom Penh, the so-called Khmer Rouge Tribunal that was established in 2001. When I mention this to colleagues, a typical response is, “That’s still going on?”  Indeed. Many forget the train that runs direct from USC to Long Beach takes you to the largest concentration of Cambodian survivors in the United States, where elders make daily offerings to ancestors in their homes or Buddhist temples.
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
A person doesn’t visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland and come away unchanged, and I was no exception.The empty barracks, the barbed-wire fencing, the solemn exhibits, the telltale chimneys – all these vestiges left a strong impression. But what struck me most was the sheer vastness of the sprawling memorial to history’s most notorious death camp.Walking through Birkenau with my tour group, I gaped at the emptiness stretching for a mile in every direction – nothing but the crumbling remains of buildings half-buried in snow.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
News of the deadly bombs that ripped apart the Brussels airport terminal last month sent a shockwave through me. I know that line, that place. I have stood in that spot. The “what if” scenario is not what troubles me most, however.
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Widely known as the “Portuguese Schindler,” Aristides de Sousa Mendes was severely punished by his own government after flouting its neutrality policy with a frantic bid to issue as many visas as possible to desperate refugees fleeing Nazi invasion. In interviews with USC Shoah Foundation, the sons of Sousa Mendes and Jewish survivors rescued by him shared personal stories of his heroism.
Monday, May 7, 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.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Mohammed Dajani teaches about the Holocaust to Palestinians although he insists it is impossible to do so. “In my class is a girl who was recently released from an Israeli jail. When I raised the subject of the Holocaust in class all she could say was, ‘I am still dealing with my own traumatic experiences, I am nowhere near ready to learn about this!’” Dajani is unflustered by such push back.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
There is a current controversy about the allegation that the great mufti of Jerusalem instigated the final solution of the Nazis. While there is no doubt that Haj Amin al-Husseini, was a virulent anti-Semite, history shows that the Final Solution was conceived and implemented by Nazis and nobody else.
Friday, February 3, 2017
For a German like myself, International Holocaust Remembrance Day is a day that is both intensely private and profoundly public.

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