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Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Around the world, students are exploring genocide survivor testimony in IWitness – even in Pakistan.
Thursday, June 1, 2017
Melanie Dadourian is an active member of the Next Generation Council because she understands all too well the dangers of silence and denial. Her grandparents were Armenian Genocide survivors who escaped certain death in Turkey by fleeing to the United States and that history deeply affects her. “All genocides are horrible,” she says, “but ours is particularly difficult to educate people about because the Turkish government denies it to this day. It’s been written out of history.”
Monday, August 14, 2017
At the behest of his father, 17-year-old Erwin Rautenberg boarded a steamer for South America in 1937 to escape Nazi Germany. His brother, sister, and parents planned to join him, but never made it. His father died in 1938, soon after being
forced into the German army. The rest of the family was killed during the Holocaust.
Friday, January 10, 2014
Ellie Ferd has a pretty clear understanding of the Holocaust: “It’s not human,” the 12-year-old said. “It’s not something that should happen.”
Monday, March 3, 2014
The stories of musicians during the Holocaust guided Syuzanna Petrosyan and Greg Irwin through the Student Voices Short Film Contest, and the result is their winning film Play for Your Life.Petrosyan, a master’s candidate in public diplomacy, and Irwin, a senior international relations major, are both interns at the USC Shoah Foundation and members of its student organization, SFISA.
Monday, March 10, 2014
As an IWitness regional consultant, Brandon Barr sees firsthand the impact testimony can have on both students and teachers.Barr teaches eighth grade reading and writing at Nightingale Elementary in Chicago, where he uses IWitness, USC Shoah Foundation’s educational website, to teach about the Holocaust. As an IWitness regional consultant, he is responsible for leading IWitness teacher training programs and introducing IWitness to schools in his area.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Through her research, writing and teaching, Andrea Peto is introducing her students and colleagues at Central European University to the many scholarly applications of the Visual History Archive.Peto’s research interests are oral history and women’s history, and she has authored books on women’s employment in 1950s, women’s associations 1945-1951, a biography of Julia Rajk and the female perpetrators in Hungary during World War II.
Friday, September 12, 2014
When Kim Simon began working at the Shoah Foundation to help coordinate efforts to collect testimonies in 1994, she understood that the voices of those who lived through some of history’s darkest times needed to be heard by as many people as possible.“Survivors and witnesses to the Holocaust and other genocides and crimes against humanity have an irreplaceable perspective to add to our understanding of the world and its conflicts, wherever they occur,” Simon explained.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Even in the earliest days of the USC Shoah Foundation, a staff of hundreds worked around the world to conduct interviews and create educational materials that used testimony to teach about the Holocaust. Yet, if they were based oversees, they probably never had the opportunity to visit the foundation’s headquarters in Los Angeles. That was Annette Wulf until just a few months ago, when she visited the office for the first time.
Friday, April 24, 2015
Michael Amerian is in Yerevan, Armenia, this week with staff of USC Shoah Foundation to commemorate the 100th anniversary the greatest tragedy in the country’s history.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
When reading a published article or book, it can be easy to forget how many hundreds of hours of research the author put in in order to bring the project to fruition. Many scholars do this research completely on their own, but some are lucky enough to have an assistant.
Friday, June 19, 2015
Lisa Farese is no stranger to encouraging her students to change the world.This was the ninth year the English language arts teacher at Douglas Middle School has assigned her students a project called iCan Change the World and her first time including the IWitness Video Challenge as a component of that project. And just like that, her students Natalia Podstawka and Emma Heintz won the 2015 national IWitness Video Challenge competition.
Monday, July 6, 2015
After discovering IWitness for the first time at a professional development workshop led by the ADL, Kristin Ann Collins said she couldn’t believe she had never used video testimony in her classroom before.
Friday, August 28, 2015
Melinda Goldrich continued her family’s tradition of philanthropy by hosting a special event to introduce a new audience in Aspen, Colo., last night to the work of USC Shoah Foundation.
Saturday, December 12, 2015
Just a few months after he started working at USC Shoah Foundation, Clarence Leung was on his way to Shanghai for the 2015 USC Global Conference.Leung, who has a background in accounting, joined the staff as a budget analyst in the executive administration department, where he helps track the Institute’s expenses and other financial processes.
Monday, February 1, 2016
Technology educator Susan Van Wyhe has paired IWitness with the Freedom Writers project at her Iowa middle school, with inspiring and positive results.After learning about at IWitness at an Echoes and Reflections workshop two years ago, Van Wyhe decided to incorporate it into a project for students that would reinforce digital citizenship, editing, research, history and ethics through learning about the Holocaust.
Monday, June 6, 2016
 Despite the fact that Aida Fogel grew up in Caracas, Venezuela, she was familiar with USC Shoah Foundation from an early age. A family friend worked with the Institute to interview survivors in Venezuela, and two of Fogel’s great-aunts gave testimony. Though her grandmother didn’t give testimony, she was an Auschwitz survivor herself.
Friday, October 14, 2016
USC Shoah Foundation is sorry to learn of the death of Andrzej Wajda, Poland’s preeminent filmmaker and the director of the 2002 USC Shoah Foundation documentary Pamiętam (I Remember). Wajda died October 9, 2016, at age 90. Wajda survived World War II in Nazi-occupied Poland with his mother and brother after his father, a captain in the Polish infantry, was killed in the Katyn massacre. He joined the Polish resistance at 16 and served in the Polish Home Army until the end of the war.
Thursday, April 13, 2017
As a little kid, Toni Nickel never could settle between Sesame Street and the History Channel, her interest in other people’s stories of war piqued such that learning the colors and the order of the numbers became forever secondary. Her curiosity – specifically in the Holocaust – came to a head in college when she took a History of the Holocaust course that used the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive. There, in a classroom at Texas A&M University, Nickel knew her fate and future were sealed.
Thursday, May 25, 2017
For the past two months, the USC Shoah Foundation communications department has had a temporary new member: Leonie Schueler-Springorum, a recent high school graduate from Germany who has been an enthusiastic assistant on a variety of communications tasks.
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Lucía Samayoa was born in Guatemala, and, after moving away at age 6, was schooled in various countries throughout Latin America. But it wasn’t really until last year, when she started working at Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation (FAFG) in Guatemala City, that the 30-year-old really gained a deeper understanding of the genocide that killed roughly 200,000 civilians – mainly indigenous Mayans – at the hands of the Guatemalan military in the early 1980s.
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Ian McAvoy, an English teacher at University City High School in San Diego, discovered the IWitness Video Challenge and was so impressed that he invited staff from USC Shoah Foundation to give a presentation on IWitness to the other teachers at his school. One of those teachers, Susan Bristol, found it such a powerful experience that she adopted IWitness in her own classroom.
Monday, January 23, 2017
For a historian, using a top-down approach is standard – you use government records, archives of primary and secondary sources to fulfill your research; you undress the documents and make sure they stand up, factually, and you stop there. But a bottom-up approach can provide a more complete image of an event, allowing those who lived through the time a voice in history.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Since October, once a month, every month, a group of grade school students have met either virtually or physically at the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education’s home at USC’s Leavey Library. These students are USC Shoah Foundation’s newest crop of Junior Interns, there to study what attitudes breed hatred and intolerance, how they can spread positive moral authority and be an active participant in civil society using the weight of testimony from the Visual History Archive.
Monday, September 9, 2013
Iris Mandel teaches English for native speakers at Ulpanat Amana, a private girls’ high school in Kfar Saba, Israel. She taught in Cleveland, Ohio, for 10 years and is now in her 22nd year at Ulpanat Amana.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
As president of the Koret Foundation and chairman of Taube Philanthropies, Tad Taube has contributed millions to philanthropic causes around the world. But he says his dedication to USC Shoah Foundation is simply “a natural thing to do.” Taube and his parents fled Poland in 1939 and ultimately settled in Los Angeles. After getting his master’s in industrial engineering from Stanford, Taube was one of the creators of E-H Research Laboratories and began a career in real estate.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Rwandan filmmaker Eric Kabera will travel from Hillywood (Rwanda’s burgeoning film industry named after the country’s famously hilly landscape) to Hollywood to help judge this year’s Student Voices Short Film Contest.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Holocaust survivor testimony is what sparked Rachel Deblinger’s interest in studying American postwar Holocaust memory. For her dissertation, she researched other groups for whom testimony was equally eye-opening: American Jews and Jewish communal organizations in the aftermath of World War II.
Friday, July 11, 2014
After visiting USC Shoah Foundation for the first time, Alice Petrossian of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is excited to begin a new partnership to promote education about the Armenian Genocide and other atrocities.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
The students in Leslie Schaffer’s Holocaust studies elective last semester didn’t visit a Holocaust museum – with the help of IWitness, they created their own.Schaffer, a guidance counselor at Abbeville High School in Greenville, SC, who also teaches an interdisciplinary Holocaust elective course, said because the school isn’t located close enough to a Holocaust museum for the students to visit, her class came up with the idea to make their own museum at their school. She discovered IWitness while brainstorming for the project and thought immediately that it would be “perfect.”

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