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Teaching with Testimony in the 21st Century graduate Mónika Mészáros has published the first – and, likely, not the last – Hungarian teacher-authored IWitness activity.Mészáros teaches History and Italian language at Berzsenyi Dániel High School in Budapest, a USC Shoah Foundation partner school. Her colleague Mónika Mezei completed USC Shoah Foundation’s professional development program Teaching with Testimony in the 21st Century, and in 2014 encouraged Mészáros to apply to the program as well.
/ Tuesday, March 1, 2016
For Troy Strull, Religion 359, “Culture in Diaspora: The Jews of Spain,” taught by Professor Jessica Marglin, was a bit of a family affair. His dad’s side of the family is Jewish, and his mom’s side were Greeks who interacted with the Sephardic Jews discussed in the class. He chose the class out of the options to fulfill one of his general education requirements because he believed it would allow him to learn more about his family’s roots.
/ Thursday, March 3, 2016
In her testimony in the Visual History Archive, Lisa Slater describes seeing a cattle car filled with Jewish men, women and children during the Holocaust– but unlike most survivors in the archive who remember seeing such a thing, she was never forced inside it.Slater is one of the few “witnesses” to the Holocaust who gave testimony to USC Shoah Foundation – people who were not persecuted, nor acted as rescuers or aid-providers, but merely observed the events of the Holocaust unfolding around them.
/ Monday, March 7, 2016
In his testimony for the Armenian Film Foundation, recorded in 2012, Armenian Genocide survivor Sebooh Gertmenian describes how he survived the genocide as a three year old with the help of his mother.The interviewer marvels at his mother’s strength, how she was able to keep her children alive on a forced march through the desert after her husband and older child had been murdered. Gertmenian, perhaps having never thought of his mother in this way before, says with wonder, “She must have been an angel.”
/ Wednesday, March 9, 2016
On September 11, 2001, USC Shoah Foundation was deep into its mission to collect testimonies of Holocaust survivors all over the world. On that particular morning in New York City, survivor Miriam Tauber was scheduled to record her testimony in her daughter’s home. Then, the tragedy struck.In the opening moments of her testimony, Tauber’s interviewer, Nancy Fisher, decided to address the crisis currently unfolding in Manhattan. She explains that the start of the interview was delayed three hours because of the uncertainty of the day, but they had now decided to attempt it.
/ Friday, March 11, 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.
/ Monday, March 14, 2016
Ashlynn Chong has always loved music. In fact, the 14 year old from Los Angeles, who can play 10 instruments, is currently on tour with the musical group Kidz Bop. When she’s not going to school or performing, however, Chong is a junior intern at USC Shoah Foundation.“It is such an amazing opportunity, and I have already learned so much,” Chong said of the junior intern program, which she is participating in for the second year.
/ Friday, March 18, 2016
Some 72 years after he fought with an American unit that helped liberate France during World War II, journalist Tom Tugend has received France’s highest civilian honor.Tugend and nine other veterans were honored in a ceremony on March 9. Tugend was appointed as Chevalier (Knight) in the National Order of the Legion of Honor for his service in the U.S. infantry in Alsace, attached to the 1st French Army in its fight against Germany.
/ Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Growing up, Fred Wysoki knew both his parents were Holocaust survivors, but didn’t know much about their experience beyond that.“Subconsciously, I knew that [talking about it] was painful, and I honored that by not upsetting either one of them with prying questions,” he said.
/ Tuesday, March 22, 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.
/ Thursday, March 24, 2016
When Zach Larkin was 13, he sat down with his great-grandfather to interview and record his stories about his experiences as a Hungarian Jew during the Holocaust. Larkin didn’t know that this would begin his journey researching this time period and interacting with survivor testimony.“[My great-grandfather] was a Holocaust survivor who didn’t like to talk about his experience with anyone, not even USC Shoah Foundation,” Larkin said. “But when I was 13, for some reason he talked to me and let me interview him and told me about his experience in Budapest in 1944.”
/ Monday, March 28, 2016
When Luis Hernandez got to USC, he noticed something: Unlike in his native Brooklyn, now when he looked around he didn’t often see people who looked or acted like he did.“Being a person of color has been an interesting experience for me,” Hernandez said. “I’m the first person in my family to graduate high school and also go to college, so it was a big jump for me coming here to USC. Although USC is a very beautiful place and I love my school, you also notice the inconsistencies and the lack of inclusion sometimes.”
/ Wednesday, March 30, 2016