Author: USC Shoah Foundation via YouTube
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USC Shoah Foundation mourns the passing of our friend Max Eisen, a Holocaust survivor who returned to Auschwitz-Birkenau more than 20 times as an educator and testified at the trials of two SS guards in 2015 – more than 70 years after his entire family was killed in Nazi concentration camps. Max first gave testimony to USC Shoah Foundation in 1995 at the age of 66. His testimony is now one of 55,000 indexed and searchable interviews in the Institute’s Visual History Archive.
Max’s memoir, By Chance Alone: A Remarkable True Story of Courage and Survival at Auschwitz, was the 2019 winner of Canada Reads, a Canadian Broadcasting Company “battle of the books” program, and was shortlisted for the RBC Taylor Prize in 2017.
In 2019, Max, who lived in Toronto, was interviewed for USC Shoah Foundation’s groundbreaking Dimensions in Testimony (DiT) program that enables viewers to pose questions to survivors and hear their responses in real-time, lifelike conversation. To complete his DiT interactive biography, Max spent five days in a Los Angeles studio answering questions about his life. That same year, at the age of 90, Max traveled to Auschwitz with his son, Ed Eisen, to give 360º video testimony as part of a joint USC Shoah Foundation and International March of the Living program.
In 2015 and 2016, Max testified in Detmold, Germany against two Auschwitz guards. SS Guard Reinhold Hanning and SS Guard Oskar Gröning were convicted of their crimes as accessories to 170,000 murders.
Max always lived by his father’s last words, “Never forget you’re a Jew.”
Max Eisen is survived by his sons, Edmund Eisen and William Eisen, two grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. May his memory be a blessing.
Learn more about USC Shoah Foundation: https://sfi.usc.edu/
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About USC Shoah Foundation:
USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education develops
empathy, understanding and respect through testimony, using its Visual History Archive of more than 55,000 video testimonies, academic programs and partnerships across USC and 170 universities, and award-winning IWitness education program. USC Shoah Foundation’s interactive programming, research and materials are accessed in museums and universities, cited by government leaders and NGOs, and taught in classrooms around the world. Now in its third decade, USC Shoah Foundation reaches millions of people on six continents from its home at the University of Southern California.
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