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Monday, December 1, 2014
When Christa Calkins travels to Poland on USC Shoah Foundation and Discovery Education’s Auschwitz: The Past is Present professional development program this January, her students back home will be right there with her –at least virtually.
Friday, April 10, 2015
Julie Picard’s students in Sens, France, may have a future in journalism.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
The IWitness Summer Teaching Fellowship will provide an exciting and in-depth introduction to IWitness for Wesley Davidson.
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Leslie Rheingold uses IWitness to teach one of the only yearlong Holocaust studies courses offered in her school district in south Florida.At Cypress Bay High School, Rheingold teaches five Holocaust studies classes, made up of 10th-12th graders. She uses IWitness, Echoes and Reflections, literature and other media to teach about the Jewish experience throughout the year, but her students are currently doing research in IWitness on a different unit: groups other than Jews who were persecuted during the Holocaust.
Monday, March 14, 2016
In order to supplement her students’ reading of Anne Frank and other Holocaust diaries, Kayla Strickland turned to IWitness for the first time.Strickland, an English Language Arts teacher at Five Points School in Alabama, first heard about IWitness at a workshop led by the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center. She was excited to show her students the survivor testimony videos so they could have a personal connection to what they read about the Holocaust.
Friday, September 30, 2016
Each year, USC Shoah Foundation welcomes a new intern from the Austrian Holocaust Memorial Service to work at the Institute as an alternative to his compulsory military service. Just a few weeks ago, Austrian intern number 13 Andro Ofenheimer started his ten months at the Institute.
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Three years ago, USC Shoah Foundation launched the IWitness Video Challenge, hoping to inspire students to create positive change in their communities by watching the testimonies of genocide survivors and documenting their service projects in an original video.
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Inspired by the issues affecting his students in Chicago, high school English teacher Wesley Davidson authored one of USC Shoah Foundation’s new resources for 100 Days to Inspire Respect. Davidson, an English teacher at Chicago Tech Academy, authored an IWitness activity called “To Protect and Serve: Community and Policing,” which is the featured resource today, Day 29 of 100 Days to Inspire Respect.
Thursday, June 8, 2017
Peggy Walker’s students at McCall Middle School in Massachusetts have changed the way they do research based on their experience with IWitness. Walker first began using IWitness last year, after using educational resources she found on the USC Shoah Foundation website. She began exploring IWitness and said she “immediately” saw the potential it could have for her students.
Monday, July 31, 2017
He was under five years old at the time, but World War II left an indelible mark on Louis Schmidt. He’s never forgotten the air raid drills, seeing his uncles in military uniform, or looking at pictures of prisoners of war in Life magazine. So when Steven Spielberg announced after he won the Oscar for Schindler’s List in 1994 that he was setting up a foundation to record interviews with 50,000 Holocaust survivors, Schmidt didn’t hesitate.
Thursday, September 7, 2017
USC Shoah Foundation mourns the death of Georg Citrom, Holocaust survivor and longtime friend of the Institute. Citrom was born in Oradea, Romania, in 1931. His father was a teacher in the local Jewish school and he had one older sister, Suzy. His family practiced modern Orthodox Judaism and he loved visiting his grandparents at their house in the countryside.
Thursday, September 14, 2017
We are sad to learn of the passing of Kurt Messerschmidt, Holocaust survivor, educator and beloved cantor. He was 102. Messerschmidt was born Jan. 2, 1915 in Weneuchen, Germany, but moved to Berlin in 1918 and excelled as a linguistics scholar, gymnast and musician. He was well-respected and a leader among his classmates and teachers, but was unable to attend college because of anti-Jewish measures implemented by the Nazis.
Monday, October 9, 2017
The idea of building inclusive connected communities through the testimonies of genocide survivors may be a novel one, but DePauw University Student Body Vice President Armaan Patel is eager to learn more about it at the USC Shoah Foundation Intercollegiate Diversity Congress (IDC) later this week.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Among the student leaders from across the country who attended USC Shoah Foundation’s inaugural Intercollegiate Diversity Congress (IDC) Summit in October were two representatives from USC itself. One was Kara Watkins-Chow, who came away from the summit with new ideas and insight to take back to her role as president of the Queer & Ally Student Association.
Friday, April 11, 2014
Born in Tunisia in 1940, Jacqueline Gmach left at the age of 18. Though her family was not directly in danger, the Nazi genocide remains deeply personal to her. She has devoted her career to educating people about its horrors as well as promoting the Jewish culture its executioners tried to obliterate. A scholar with degrees and credentials from institutions ranging from the Sorbonne in Paris to the University of Jerusalem and the University of Montreal, Gmach serves as project director for USC Shoah Foundation’s Testimonies of North Africa and the Middle East project.
Monday, November 11, 2013
Rosalie Franks first heard about Steven Spielberg’s foundation for interviewing Holocaust survivors from an article in the Palm Beach Post in the spring of 1994. Nearly twenty years later, she says that article has transformed her life. Franks, a former fourth grade teacher and television reporter, is a professor at Rhode Island’s Roger Williams University. After reading that article in the Palm Beach Post, she applied to be an interviewer and attended a training in New York that November.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Twenty years after her family fled the Rwandan genocide, Rose Twagiramariya has returned to Rwanda to work for USC Shoah Foundation.Twagiramariya was born in Rwanda and left with her family in July 1994 during the genocide, when she was six years old. The family lived in a refugee camp in the Congo, Senegal, and Maryland before settling in Louisville, Kent., in 1999.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Rebecca Baugh tells the heart-wrenching story of Noemi  Ban in her entry to the Student Voices Short Film Contest.In her film, Baugh, a junior international relations global business major, includes historical footage and film clips to supplement Ban’s retelling of how she, as a teenager, took care of her younger siblings in the ghetto and finally watched her family disappear into the gas chamber.“I loved that [the USC Shoah Foundation] takes these huge historical events that we study and made them personal,” Baugh said.
Monday, November 24, 2014
At 12 years old, Anna Krisztina Berecz first learned about the Holocaust from Miklos Nyiszli’s book Auschwitz: A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account.  The experience was so haunting that she decided to forget it as quickly as possible.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Kiril Feferman’s research topic may be rarely studied now, but that may change after his fellowship at USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research.
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Scott Spencer was flying from Philadelphia to Los Angeles last May to meet up with his wife, who had just gotten a new job as the cantor of University Synagogue in Brentwood, when he struck up a conversation with the young girl sitting next to him.He asked her why she was traveling to Los Angeles. To his surprise, she said she was going to meet President Obama and present a documentary she had made for school.
Friday, June 12, 2015
Twenty years ago, memories of the Holocaust were too painful for Liliane Weissberg’s parents to give their testimonies to USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive. But Weissberg herself has taken on the mantle of studying and remembering the Holocaust as a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and USC Shoah Foundation’s next Rutman Teaching Fellow.
Monday, June 15, 2015
Former indexer Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon may have left his job at the USC Shoah Foundation last year, but what he learned working with the Institute has had a lasting impact.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Emma Heintz and Natalia Podstawka had watched many testimony clips in search of the perfect one to use for their IWitness Video Challenge project. When they found Dina Gottliebova-Babbitt talking about a receiving a smile from a stranger, they knew it was the one.
Monday, October 5, 2015
Dan Morgan-Russell has always been very good at arguing for the importance of international action against genocide.As a member of his high school debate team in Denver, his most successful speeches were always the ones in which he spoke about human rights violations and the need for the international community to intervene. Naturally, as an undergraduate at the University of Southern California, he decided to major in international relations and wrote several papers about the Rwandan Genocide.
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
When Michael Russell joined the USC Shoah Foundation staff in 2008, it wasn’t the first time his family had crossed paths with Holocaust survivors.His dad, Sonny, worked with the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration after World War II, helping child Holocaust survivors get settled in England. Sonny even got to know Mayer Hersh, a well-known Holocaust survivor whose testimony is in the Visual History Archive.
Monday, February 22, 2016
What started out as just a class turned into the beginning of a new passion for Lara Sassounian.Sassounian, a sophomore art history major at USC, was trying to find a course to fulfill her GE (general education) requirement last semester. The only one available, she said, was Religion 359, Culture in Diaspora: The Jews of Spain, taught by Professor Jessica Marglin. Sassounian said she had no idea what that meant, but she signed up.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Cheng Fang may have come to the United States to study film, but after he graduated from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts with an M.F.A. in 2014, he knew he wanted to do something that linked his film skills with his home country of China. “All my passion was kind of to contribute to my country, China, and also maybe how to get more connections between China and here, America,” Fang said. He found a role in which he can do just that at USC Shoah Foundation, where he currently works as part of the project to record video testimony from survivors of the Nanjing Massacre.
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Ten years ago, Sanne van Heijst was working on developing teaching materials at the museum of Konzentrationslager Herzogenbusch, or Vught, a former concentration camp in the Netherlands. Van Heijst was looking for a way to get through to the students who would visit the museum.“I was looking for a common thread that would help pupils to make a connection between the different groups of prisoners from the camp and the different events that happened,” she said.
Monday, April 11, 2016
When Jennifer Binley entered college, she knew she was interested in dedicating herself to finding a way to stop mass atrocities around the world. The international relations major quickly joined USC STAND, an anti-genocide club she eventually became president of, and began interning at USC Shoah Foundation.“I found the interests of [USC STAND] often correlate to the events and goals of USC Shoah Foundation,” Binley said of her dedication to both organizations.

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