Chances are you haven't heard of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute. Tucked away inside a library at the University of Southern California, our offices are easy to miss. Yet within our walls, a treasure trove awaits.
Some research institutions have many archives. We have one. Our Visual History Archive contains nearly 52,000 video interviews with Holocaust survivors and other witnesses. There is nothing else like it.
In our archive, you will find the story of Floyd Dade, an African American serviceman who fought against Nazi bigotry in Europe while racial discrimination awaited him at home. You will find the story of Julia Lentini, a member of the Sinti-Roma (Gypsy) people who, like Jews, were also targeted for extermination. You will discover the story of Gerda Klein, who met her future husband, Kurt, when he liberated her from a death march in Czechoslovakia. You'll find Kurt's story in our archive as well.
The USC Shoah Foundation Institute is grounded in the belief that genocide survivors and eyewitnesses will change the world through the educational use of their testimonies. While the destruction of the Holocaust was unprecedented in all of history, it was not the first genocide, or the last. That is why we are broadening the Visual History Archive to include memories of other experiences, including the Armenian Genocide, the Cambodian Genocide and the genocide in Rwanda. As Holocaust survivor Isaac Goodfriend put it, "Every survivor has a story to tell."
At a time when millions of videos are streamed daily over the Internet and broadcast around the world, those that contain crucial lessons for humanity remain, for most people, out of reach. It is a bitter irony, and Comcast has taken notice.
Comcast and the USC Shoah Foundation Institute are working together on initiatives that will give millions of people a chance to encounter survivor testimony. Through the Days of Remembrance Series - available now through the end of May - Comcast subscribers will have access to ten critically acclaimed documentary films based on testimony from the Visual History Archive On Demand and through the Xfinity TV iPad app. And Internet users nationwide will have access to these films at www.XfinityTV.com.
Comcast customers can find these films in the On Demand library by selecting the "Top Picks" or "Free Movies" categories and then "Days of Remembrance." Short clips of testimony are also available on XfinityTV.com and you can watch full-length testimonies at onevoiceatatime.org.
If you hadn't heard of the Institute, now you have. And thanks to Comcast, millions more will.