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Monday, May 1, 2017
Now several months into her USC Shoah Foundation Junior Internship, Mackenzie Westman, junior at Eagle Rock High School Highly Gifted Magnet, has come to understand how you can counter all of the elements that can fuel hate. The monthly meetings at the Institute, and concurrent viewings of testimony from USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive, have been paramount in shaping her perception.
Thursday, November 2, 2017
Grand View University is a liberal arts college in Des Moines, Iowa, with a student body of about 2,000. At such a small school, said its student body president Kendall Antle, it’s true: everybody seems to know everybody. But the small-town feel does come with its disadvantages. “One major issue we face is apathy,” Antle said. “You have cliques. People have a tendency to stay with whom they know and work with whom they know.”
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.
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Educators in the Detroit area are being exposed to IWitness in greater numbers than ever before with the help of Amy Bloom, Oakland Schools Intermediate School District’s Social Studies Education Consultant. Since 2015, Bloom has been involved with IWitness Detroit, USC Shoah Foundation’s initiative to widen student access to IWitness in the greater Detroit area through teacher training seminars – which range from one-day ITeach workshops to last summer’s three-day IWitness Summer Institute.
Friday, October 6, 2017
Now well into his second year as student body president of Michigan State University, Lorenzo Santavicca understands the realities of his school, one that has made headlines both for its athletics but also for its numerous reports of sexual misconduct. This year, he’ll be well-equipped to deal with some of these realities, stocked with resources from a new initiative by USC Shoah Foundation.
Monday, May 8, 2017
Nearly 70 years ago, Holocaust survivors Sara and Asa Shapiro arrived in the United States from a displaced persons camp in Germany. Their son, Mickey, was two years old, and they had about $8 in their pockets, he estimates.
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
  You may not think it, but deep in the heart of Illinois, a significant population of students could be affected by the rollback of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protections. Chief of Staff of Illinois State University’s student government Idan Rafalovitz, however, thinks his team will soon be well-equipped to help such students and others with a new inclusion initiative launched by USC Shoah Foundation.
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Born in Bolivia, educated in Germany and now residing in Los Angeles, Sandra Gruner-Domic brings her expertise in Latin American migration and social anthropology to her role as one of the guiding forces of USC Shoah Foundation’s Guatemalan Genocide testimony collection.
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.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Each week, we will profile a scholar who will present his or her research at the Center for Advanced Genocide Research's upcoming conference Digital Approaches to Genocide Studies, Oct. 23-24, 2017.
Thursday, April 6, 2017
For Lucy Fried, storytelling is the best way to make an impact. The high school sophomore is a Junior Intern with USC Shoah Foundation, and as such, has spent one day every month for the past five months listening to testimony from the Institute’s Visual History Archive – to the stories and memories of Holocaust and genocide survivors.
Monday, April 10, 2017
Robert Ackles has slogged up the 405 from San Diego to Los Angeles once a month, every month, for almost two years. He’s sat through the heat and the desperate freeway traffic for one reason, and one reason alone: to visit USC Shoah Foundation’s home at USC’s Leavey Library as a Junior Intern. Part of a small group of young students, Ackles meets periodically to discuss and analyze such topics as hatred, prejudice, intolerance and how to stop both using positive moral guidance and active participation in society.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
When students learn about refugees in IWitness, it will be Tomás Rafa’s documentary video footage of the current-day refugee crisis in Europe that will help them make connections between refugees of the past and present.
Thursday, July 27, 2017
David Hales’ dedication to IWitness has taken him from Michigan to Prague. Hales is the social studies consultant for Wayne Regional Educational Service Agency, helping to bring best practices to classrooms in the 33 school districts in Wayne County, Mich., through teacher trainings, workshops and meetings. He was introduced to IWitness through USC Shoah Foundation’s IWitness Detroit program, which launched in 2015 in order to expand the use of IWitness in Michigan.
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Armed with insights gathered during her two-week research trip to USC Shoah Foundation, Professor Maria Rita Corticelli is ready to begin building an archive of testimonies of minority groups who have experienced various forms of mass violence, including genocide and ethnic cleansing, in Iraq. “It’s something that is absolutely missing because there is nothing on Iraq regarding genocides committed there, not only the last one by ISIS but the ones committed before,” Corticelli said. “There is no centralized database where these testimonies are together.”
Monday, August 21, 2017
Less than a week after the neo-Nazi rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, USC Shoah Foundation received a call from Blake Humphrey, student body president of West Virginia University. How could he work with USC Shoah Foundation to speak out against this blatant display of hatred and bigotry?
Thursday, October 5, 2017
Ohio State University Student Body President Andrew Jackson and his counterparts across the Big 10 Conference will join student leaders from universities around the country at USC Shoah Foundation next week to think critically about diversity and inclusion on their campuses.
Friday, October 13, 2017
Following the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum was created by the Vietnamese-backed government in an attempt to garner international legitimacy for the new regime. The museum, according to research fellow Timothy Williams at the Centre for Conflict Studies at Marburg University in Germany, seeks to shock visitors and demonstrate the horrific nature of the previous regime.
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Each week, we will profile a scholar who will present his or her research at the Center for Advanced Genocide Research's upcoming conference Digital Approaches to Genocide Studies, Oct. 23-24, 2017.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
In the field of genocide studies and human rights, storytelling is the most impactful way to give information weight. And the first step to doing justice to the stories and the survivors who provide their testimonies is ensuring they’re translated accurately and with context.
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.
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.
Friday, July 7, 2017
During his two-week internship at USC Shoah Foundation this summer, Ohio 10th grader Dov Ratner is testing the latest New Dimensions in Testimony interviews by asking the computer system questions for each survivor and noting the accuracy of the responses he receives in return. But there’s one interviewee he doesn’t need New Dimensions in Testimony to have a conversation with: Holocaust survivor Renee Firestone, his great-grandmother.
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Each week, we will profile a scholar who will present his or her research at the Center for Advanced Genocide Research's upcoming conference Digital Approaches to Genocide Studies, Oct. 23-24, 2017.
Monday, September 18, 2017
Maria Zalewska grew up in what acclaimed writer and journalist Martin Pollack calls the “contaminated landscapes” of Eastern Europe, where most of the Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps were built. Her physical proximity to spaces of the Shoah, as well as her familial relationships to victims of Auschwitz-Birkenau, drew her initially toward the study of the different ways in which Eastern Europeans filled, organized and produced spaces of memory.
Monday, October 16, 2017
For many survivors of the Holocaust, persecution began in the hometown, where greed may have swayed perceived friends and neighbors to unspeakable actions. The inhabitance of formerly Jewish-owned apartments by non-Jewish tenants in the early 1940s, specifically in Paris, provides a strong case study of this phenomenon and the basis of a research project developed by Eric Le Bourhis of the Institute for Political Sciences, Nanterre (France).
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
There are no certain guides for rebuilding a society in the aftermath of systematic violence and genocide against one of its populations and its culture. Nevertheless, some societies address their histories more effectively than others, as found by Anika Walke, a German expat working as an assistant professor of History at Washington University in St. Louis.
Thursday, October 19, 2017
Twelve years after the last federally operated Indian Residential School closed in 1996, the government of Canada apologized to the system’s survivors. They’d been put through so much they hadn’t deserved, from forced removals from their families and communities to deprivations of food, their ancestral languages, adequate sanitation; from forced labor and adherence to the Christian faith to physical abuse.
Friday, October 20, 2017
Archaeology is like a protracted police investigation, wherein your evidence is precious because it is sparing and you’re lucky if you have a lot of witnesses. Caroline Sturdy Colls, an associate professor of Forensic Archaeology and Genocide Investigation at Staffordshire and founder of their Centre of Archaeology, knows this with certainty, having long worked in both the fields of genocide research and homicide investigation.

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