USC Shoah Foundation Showing Clips For Armenian Genocide Anniversary


West Side Today
April 2 2015

USC Shoah Foundation-The Institute for Visual History and Education
Wednesday began showing a series of testimony clips from survivors
and witnesses to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian

One clip a day is being released on the Institute’s website at throughout April, which is Genocide Awareness and
Prevention Month. April 24 is the 100th anniversary of the onset
of the 20th century’s first genocide. “This project will help
preserve evidence of a genocide that must be acknowledged,” said USC
Shoah Foundation Executive Director Stephen Smith. “It will honor
the memory of those whose lives were taken, and it will ensure that
future generations are able to learn from individuals who experienced
the Armenian Genocide firsthand.”

The clips showcase some of the 400 testimonies regarding the Armenian
Genocide to be integrated into the Institute’s Visual History Archive,
which contains 53,000 testimonies from survivors and witnesses of
the Holocaust and other genocides.

To help put the clips into perspective, experts will introduce each
one and recommend additional resources for those who would like
to learn more. Professor Richard Hovannisian, a leading scholar on
the Armenian Genocide, will introduce the first five clips. He is
professor emeritus of history at UCLA and an adjunct professor at USC.

Also this month, the Institute’s Center for Advanced Genocide Research
will take possession of its first major donation since being announced
in April 2014 by USC Shoah Foundation founder Steven Spielberg and
USC President C. L. Max Nikias.

The donation from attorney Vartkes Yeghiayan pertains to the historic
agreement reached with New York Life in 2004 that resolved more than
2,000 insurance claims against policies issued by New York Life to
Armenians in the Turkish Ottoman Empire before 1915.

The 40-plus boxes of materials mark the first major acquisition by
the center, which is seeking private papers, documents, photographs
and films pertaining to genocides.

On April 10, Hayk Demoyan, director of the Armenian Genocide Museum-
Institute in Yerevan, Armenia, will visit the Institute to sign a
memorandum of understanding between the two organizations that will
bring the Visual History Archive to the museum, as well as develop
research programs that increase awareness and deepen knowledge and
understanding of the Armenian Genocide and its consequences.

The 400 Armenian testimonies being integrated into the Visual History
Archive were filmed by the late Emmy-nominated documentarian J.

Michael Hagopian and the Armenian Film Foundation between 1972 and
2004, when most of the survivors were in their 70s and 80s.

Testimonies in the collection, billed as the largest archive on film
of Armenian Genocide interviews in the world, were recorded in 10
countries and 10 languages, including English, Armenian, Arabic,
Kurdish and Turkish.

Hagopian was a survivor of the genocide that killed an estimated
1.5 million people in Turkey from 1915-23. In 1979, he founded the
Armenian Film Foundation, a Thousand Oaks-based nonprofit dedicated
to documenting Armenian heritage. Hagopian died in December 2010 at
age 97.

“Thanks to the foresight of Dr. Hagopian, the stories of the Armenian
Genocide cannot be denied,” said Carla Garapedian, who is leading
the Armenian Film Foundation’s work to preserve and integrate the
collection into the Visual History Archive. “These survivors all
have important stories to share, and now they will reach a far wider

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS