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When Maetal Haas-Kogan was just a few months old, her great-grandfather Benjamin Oudkerk gave his testimony to USC Shoah Foundation. Now, she’s a Harvard freshman and spending half of her winter break interning in USC Shoah Foundation’s education department.Haas-Kogan said she grew up hearing stories about her family’s survival of the Holocaust. Her great-grandfather had survived the war mostly hiding in the home of friends who were also part of the resistance underground movement, and adopted her grandfather as a young boy after the war.
/ Friday, January 8, 2016
After learning about IWitness from an Echoes and Reflections seminar, Tim Derbish incorporated it into a Holocaust project his school has assigned for nearly 20 years.At Dorseyville Middle School in Pittsburgh, Penn., every year the eighth graders complete a Holocaust research project called the Notebook of Remembrance. Students research different aspects of the Holocaust and produce essays, personal accounts, and other creative works.
/ Tuesday, January 12, 2016
USC Shoah Foundation intern Mahima Verma has spent the past year taking a brand-new type of testimony: the stories of second- and third-generation survivors.Verma, a sophomore history major at USC, first began working on the project in October 2014 at the suggestion of Karen Jungblut, director of research and documentation. The two devised a plan for Verma to take a small number of life history testimonies of the children and grandchildren of genocide survivors. Verma would then present her findings to staff of USC Shoah Foundation.
/ Friday, January 15, 2016
It’s been three and a half years since Kosal Path’s Institute Fellowship at USC Shoah Foundation. Looking back, he says the fellowship ended up changing his life.
/ Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Kerri Flynn, a history teacher at Washington High School in Union, Missouri, has used IWitness to introduce her students to a variety of people who survived genocide.After learning about IWitness at last year’s National Council of Teacher of English (NCTE) conference in Washington, D.C., Flynn created her own Information Quest activity using Rwandan Tutsi Genocide testimonies to introduce her students to modern genocides – which most of them have not ever heard of, she said.
/ Friday, January 22, 2016
What started out as a curious journey across the hall at Leavey Library turned into one of Marina Kay’s most passionate endeavors at USC.Kay, currently a senior international relations major, was working on USC’s Interlibrary Loan & Document Delivery team at Leavey Library in summer 2014 when she became curious about one particular office that she always passed by in the library – USC Shoah Foundation. She had always been interested in learning about the Holocaust, so one day she decided to go inside, and asked if she could intern or volunteer.
/ Monday, January 25, 2016
Executive Director Stephen Smith discusses the impact of Auschwitz: The Past is Present on USC Shoah Foundation
/ Tuesday, January 26, 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, February 1, 2016
The first-ever Center Fellow at USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research returned “home” this month to conduct more interviews and work on indexing Cambodian testimonies.As the 2014-15 fellow, LeVine spent the spring 2015 semester in residence at the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research conducting research and participating in Center activities, and gave a public talk during her stay.
/ Thursday, February 4, 2016
Andrea van Noord gave her students a small taste of her job of an indexer, and in return, they offered a thoughtful new perspective on the Visual History Archive.
/ Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Anasheh Tahmasian may not work in genocide awareness anymore, but she still carries what she learned during her time as a USC Shoah Foundation intern with her.Tahmasian, now an on-call marketing research consultant at Lieberman Research Worldwide, interned for the Institute for seven months in 2013, before graduating from USC with a degree in psychology in December 2013.At USC Shoah Foundation, Tahmasian did everything from posting on social media to helping with the research department to finding new videos.
/ Thursday, February 18, 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.
/ Monday, February 22, 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.
/ Wednesday, February 24, 2016
USC sophomore Dana Austin was interested in Professor Jessica Marglin’s course on the Jews of Spain because of its connection to her Spanish major. But the course actually led to her exploration of a different language altogether, with the help of the Visual History Archive: Ladino.
/ Friday, February 26, 2016
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
Postgraduate scholar Yuri Radchenko is focusing his research on the Holocaust in Ukraine – something he says he would have trouble doing if he didn’t have the Visual History Archive.
/ Monday, April 4, 2016
Once Emilie Garrigou-Kempton joined the team of USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research last month as academic relations and outreach officer, she began to realize the connections she already has to the Institute.Professor Armand Abecassis, who was recently interviewed for the Institute’s Testimonies from North Africa and the Middle East Collection, was her advisor in graduate school. And her husband’s distant relative, a Holocaust survivor, gave her testimony to USC Shoah Foundation years ago.
/ Thursday, April 7, 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.
/ Monday, April 11, 2016
Growing up, David Cook heard tales of his grandfather’s time in the service during World War II -- particularly how he had helped liberate Buchenwald, a Nazi concentration camp in Germany.Though his grandfather passed away in 2001, this past semester, Cook had the opportunity to dive deeper into his story and World War II in his “History of the Holocaust” course taught by Professor Adam R. Seipp, USC Shoah Foundation’s first-ever Texas A&M Teaching Fellow.
/ Friday, April 15, 2016