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A team of eight staff members from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Levine Institute for Holocaust Education is responsible for bringing the Some Were Neighbors IWitness activity to life.
/ Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Wendy Lower began conducting research at the Shoah Foundation nearly ten years ago. Now, she’s helping bring other scholars to USC for the first-ever USC Shoah Foundation international conference.
/ Sunday, December 1, 2013
The medical experiments of Josef Mengele on concentration camp prisoners are well known and documented – but journalist Arthur Allen has written a new book, with help from the Visual History Archive, about two little-known doctors whose experiments actually saved lives and were in themselves acts of defiance against the Nazis.
/ Tuesday, July 22, 2014
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.
/ Wednesday, October 18, 2017
English and composition teacher Oriana Packer, of Brockton High School in Brockton, Mass., assigned her junior students the IWitness Video Challenge. Here, three of them share what it was like to watch testimony for the first time. (In the photo, left to right: Kweku Quansah, Lucia Ugbesia, Alexandra Eugene, Oriana Packer) When did you first learn about the Holocaust?
/ Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Jared McBride, the first-ever Margee and Douglas Greenberg Research Fellow at the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research, says testimony isn’t just an important aspect of his upcoming book manuscript. It can help prove that the controversial history he studies even happened.
/ Monday, September 22, 2014
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.
/ Thursday, September 14, 2017
Kari Shagena is combining poetry and Holocaust survivor testimony to inspire empathy and action in her students following an IWitness seminar in Michigan last summer. Shagena, a language arts and social studies teacher at Richmond Middle School, was one of over dozen Michigan educators who attended USC Shoah Foundation’s IWitness Summer Institute in Farmington Hills this past August, a three-day seminar that introduced educators to everything they need to know to incorporate testimonies and activities from IWitness into their classrooms.
/ Thursday, January 5, 2017
At the University of the Aegean in Greece, Pothiti Hantzaroula says IWitness helps her students understand the impact of the Holocaust on their own lives and the lives of others.
/ Thursday, December 4, 2014
Danish historian Therkel Straede spent three days at USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research this week watching testimonies in an attempt to understand the truth about one of the most gruesome and taboo aspects of the Holocaust: cannibalism in the Nazi concentration camps.
/ Friday, November 11, 2016
New University of Southern California graduate Bijou Nguyen focused on the testimonies of one of the least well-known groups persecuted during the Holocaust for her USC Libraries Award second-place research paper The Paradoxical Treatment of Male Homosexual Prisoners During the Holocaust.
/ Friday, June 13, 2014
Griffin Williams is challenging assumptions held by some of the most famous names in Holocaust scholarship as a DEFY Undergraduate Research Fellow at USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research this summer.
/ Wednesday, July 5, 2017
We at USC Shoah Foundation are saddened to hear of the passing of our beloved friend, Holocaust survivor and renowned artist Alice Lok Cahana, who passed away on November 28 at age 88. Through her internationally acclaimed artwork, writings, and public speaking, Alice put forth a message to the world that both memorialized those who perished during the Holocaust and celebrated the strength of the human spirit.
/ Monday, December 11, 2017
After years of working with the USC Shoah Foundation and running the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival, Hilary Helstein admits she still couldn’t make sense of the Holocaust. But through art, she found her way in – and so have audiences around the world who have watched her film As Seen Through These Eyes.
/ Monday, October 13, 2014
Though her students are only 10 or 11 years old, Suzi Gantz jumped at the chance to introduce them to IWitness for USC Shoah Foundation’s first elementary classroom pilot of a new IWitness activity.Gantz’s fifth grade class at O. A. Thorp Scholastic Academy in Chicago is currently pilot-testing an unpublished IWitness Mini Quest activity: “Use Your Voice Against Prejudice.” USC Shoah Foundation staff reached out to elementary teachers in the Chicago area for any who would be interested in piloting an IWitness activity, and Gantz was selected after a brief screening process.
/ Wednesday, November 5, 2014
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.
/ Monday, August 14, 2017
In MemoriumOur friend and fellow scholar Harry Reicher passed away October 27, 2014.
/ Wednesday, July 23, 2014
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.
/ Monday, January 23, 2017
Marisa Fox-Bevilacqua grew up never knowing that her mother was a Holocaust survivor. That is, until a series of discoveries after her mother’s death led her to the truth: her mother had survived Gabersdorf, a slave labor camp for Jewish girls and young women, for four and a half years – and had never said a word about it.
/ Thursday, May 4, 2017
Sarah Miller gave testimony to the USC Shoah Foundation in 1997 about her family’s experiences hiding in France and Switzerland during the Holocaust – but she wasn’t finished telling her story just yet.
/ Monday, February 10, 2014
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
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.
Gmach, sephardi, mizrahi, collection, archive, vha / Friday, April 11, 2014
One night last week, Megan Maybray was panicking.A Holocaust survivor named Rita Ross was visiting her school, Kennett Middle School near Philadelphia, the next day, but Maybray was having trouble teaching her ESL students about the Holocaust. Her students are new arrivals to the United States and most know little English. Maybray had never really taught the Holocaust before and could tell that her previous attempt to introduce them to the basics had not had much of an impact.
/ Wednesday, April 29, 2015
If you’ve never heard of the 1945 Soviet film The Unvanquished, don’t worry: You’re not alone, and Olga Gershenson will talk about why that is at USC Shoah Foundation’s international conference in November.
/ Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Watch Alice Herz Sommer’s full testimony from the Visual History Archive as part of Comcast’s Days of Remembrance: PastFORWARD broadcast April 15-June 1, 2015.Perhaps no musical Holocaust survivor is more well-known and beloved than Alice Herz Sommer.
/ Friday, May 1, 2015
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, October 10, 2013
Ian Zdanowicz is making the most out of his month at USC Shoah Foundation. Zdanowicz is the recipient of the Visiting PhD Fellowship from the USC Dornsife 2020 Genocide Resistance Research Cluster, which is led by USC Shoah Foundation executive director Stephen Smith and Wolf Gruener, Shapell-Guerin Chair in Jewish Studies and Professor of History.
/ Monday, November 4, 2013
There are many Holocaust survivors who wrote after the war about their experiences, but Beatrice Mousli Bennett is focusing her attention on writers who are far less studied: those who continued to write even while they faced occupation, deportations and oppression in the throes of World War II. Bennett is the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research’s 2016 Faculty Summer Research Fellow. The fellowship provides support for a USC faculty member to conduct research in the Visual History Archive while in residence at the Center for one month.
/ Tuesday, August 2, 2016
In each testimony in the Visual History Archive, survivors have the opportunity to show photographs and family artifacts. Though this segment usually comes as a footnote of sorts at the end of each testimony, after the survivor has finished telling his or her story, it’s here that Linda Kim, a recipient of USC Shoah Foundation’s 2014 Teaching Fellowship, will focus her research this summer.
/ Monday, May 5, 2014
Living and working in the UNESCO World Heritage city of Trebic, Czech Republic, Daniela Vitaskova often teaches history by taking her students to historical sites. As one of 25 teachers chosen to travel to Poland to attend the Auschwitz: The Past is Present professional development program in January, Vitaskova will prepare herself to take her students to Auschwitz later next year.
a70, educator / Monday, December 8, 2014

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