12 Years That Shook the World Podcast

Today, Holocaust history shapes aspects of our lives—often in ways we don’t expect. 12 Years That Shook the World explores the continuing impact of this 12-year history, one story at a time. Listen to our three pilot episodes below.

What a Secret Archive Taught the World

Most of what we know about the Holocaust comes from Nazi perpetrator documents. One striking exception is the Ringelblum Archive: a massive collection of artifacts and writings from Jews trapped in the Warsaw ghetto during the German occupation of Poland. Under the leadership of historian Emanuel Ringelblum, these oppressed people secretly wrote and preserved their own history.

This episode features Holocaust scholar Leah Wolfson, Senior Program Officer at the Jack Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Genocide, 1948

“We are in the presence of a crime without a name,” Winston Churchill said in a 1941 speech. At the time of the Holocaust, there was no legal definition for an atrocity on such an enormous scale. And there wouldn’t be one for seven more years—until the United Nations adopted the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. How has this document been applied in a post-Holocaust world?

This episode features Cameron Hudson, Senior Strategy Advisor and former director of the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Thousands of False Identities

From an office in Geneva, Switzerland, two friends—a Jewish businessman and the Salvadoran colonel who rescued him—manufactured thousands of false citizenship documents that protected Jews in Nazi-controlled Europe. This is the story of the largest Holocaust rescue you’ve never heard of.

This episode features Edna Friedberg, a historian at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.