Our mission is to develop empathy, understanding and respect through testimony.

Through our research and educational programs, the Institute harnesses the power of its archive of personal testimonies from witnesses to genocide in order to do our part to build a better world.

Upcoming Events

27
Jan
Impudent Jews: Forgotten Individual Jewish Resistance in Nazi Germany
Center for Advanced Genocide Research Event
The USC Casden Institute presents a Casden Conversation featuring Dr. Wolf Gruner in conversation with Dr. Steve Ross …
  • January 27, 2021
09
Feb
The Just and the Blind: A Visions and Voices Signature Event
USC Stronger Than Hate Program
Commissioned by Carnegie Hall and presented as part of the 2019 Create Justice forum, The Just and the Blind is a powerful multimedia experience that illuminates the unseen and under-heard experiences of incarcerated youth and their families. Artfully and powerfully combining live performance, short films, and honest conversation, spoke…
  • February 9, 2021

Latest News

Two new books published today capture the extraordinary story of Lisa Jura, an Austrian Jewish refugee who survived the Holocaust and then pursued her dream to become a concert pianist.  
Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - 9:22am
As a violent mob invaded the United States Capitol in an attempt to derail the electoral process, documented instances of antisemitism, anti-black racism, and other forms of hatred emerged.  
Monday, January 11, 2021 - 10:55am
As we watched the violence unfold at the US Capitol, accompanied by documented displays of white supremacy, antisemitic tropes and other forms of hate, we are reminded of the words of United States Congressman Tom Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor to have served in congress. In this clip, Rep. Lantos describes his motivation to serve his country...and the emotions he felt each morning as he approached the Capitol Building.
Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 9:40pm
The Institute mourns the passing of members of our community in 2020, including survivors who have given testimony Hanna Pankowsky, Dario Gabbai, Anneliese Nossbaum, Éva Székely, Itka Zygmuntowicz,
Wednesday, December 30, 2020 - 8:00am
In recognition of their service as witnesses to the Holocaust, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier honored survivors Anita Lasker-Wallfisch and Henrietta Kretz with the highest civilian honor, the Order of Merit. Due to the pandemic, the president was unable to confer the medals personally but sent handwritten notes acknowledging their dedication to keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive and providing a strong voice against current antisemitism, right extremism and racism.
Friday, December 18, 2020 - 2:51pm
As we wrap up a very challenging year for many across the globe, we want to share highlights of just some of the work our Institute team and our partners have accomplished during the ongoing pandemic. Thank you for your support.
Friday, December 18, 2020 - 10:20am

Creative Storytelling

Our storytelling projects are both based on and inspired by the more than 55,000 testimonies in the Institute’s archive. They are a deeper look into the emotional complexities of our survivor stories and told through the written word, video, audio and photography. They are an opportunity to explore the impact that these voices have and the way in which testimony drives our understanding of conflict and grief as well as resilience, resistance and hope.

Now, many (many) months into this fight against Covid-19, it feels like we are rewriting our own story. It is like our obsession with separation has been viewed in a new lens, a wider one. The stories we are now drawn to are those of connections, even if experienced by individuals who are thousands of miles apart. And, once again, when digging into the Visual History Archive for stories of the past that exemplify this idea, there is no shortage of testimonies to lean on.
Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 1:55pm
Twenty-five years ago, in October, 1995, a then 72 year-old Fanny Starr sat down in her living room in Denver, Colorado and recorded a two-hour long testimony with USC Shoah Foundation. Fanny was born as Fala Granek in 1922 in Lodz, Poland -- a diverse city where Jewish and Polish students intermingled. Her family was modern yet traditional. They spoke Polish, kept kosher, went to public school, and celebrated the Jewish holidays; she and her four siblings were assimilated in the way that many young Jewish people in the United States are today.
Friday, October 23, 2020 - 9:39am
This past May, a friend sent me an article he knew I would appreciate. It was an opinion piece in the New York Times titled “Burying My Bubby During the Pandemic” written by a comedy writer named Eitan Levine who, like me, grew up with a grandmother who survived the Holocaust. I began to read and found myself immediately wrapped inside his writing which was so honest it was cathartic. I immediately reached out to Eitan and asked if his grandmother’s testimony was in USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive.
Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 2:06pm
Together We Are Stronger Than Hate
Stronger Than Hate, an initiative that draws on the power of eyewitness testimony to help students and the general public recognize and counter antisemitism, racism, xenophobia and other forms of hatred.
Our 2019 Annual Report is Available
See how your support helped us make a measurable change.
You can help us make a difference
Our education programs bring the voices of survivors into classrooms, impacting future generations to build a better world based on empathy, understanding and respect.