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

The Shoah Foundation Story

Watch our video introduction to learn about the Institute's history and its current mission at the University of Southern California.

Latest News

Suzy Ressler, a survivor of Auschwitz who parlayed her family’s old-world recipes into the Philadelphia-based Mrs. Ressler’s Food Products, died July 3, 2021, at the age of 93. She was remembered for her business savvy, her warmth and generosity, and her impeccable elegance. Read More
Monday, July 26, 2021 - 4:58pm
USC Shoah Foundation mourns the passing of Ruth Pearl, mother of slain Wall Street Journal correspondent Daniel Pearl and co-founder and CFO of The Daniel Pearl Foundation, which promotes cross-cultural understanding through journalism and music. Read More
Thursday, July 22, 2021 - 11:27am
Carson Sizemore is already bracing for the tough conversations she will have in her 10th grade government class at her private high school in Albany, a small city on the banks of the Flint River in southwest Georgia. “I kind of have conflicting ideas with a lot of people in my family and my school. They’re more conservative, and I’m more in the middle somewhere,” Carson said. “I know there will be some debates in my government class.” Read More
Friday, July 16, 2021 - 1:53pm
Graduates of the Teaching with Testimony in the 21st Century professional development program came together last month to celebrate the program's 10th anniversary in Hungary. The event took place June 28-30th to commemorate the program's success and chart new opportunities for its graduates. Read More
Friday, July 16, 2021 - 11:52am
Rukesha’s testimony, along with six other interviews from The 600 documentary, was recently integrated into USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive, which now holds 135 indexed and searchable interviews connected to the Genocide Against the Tutsi Rwanda. The majority of these testimonies were collected by Aegis Trust and the Kigali Genocide Memorial, in partnership with USC Shoah Foundation. The seven new testimonies include the first accounts of Rwandan liberators to be added to the collection. Read More
Friday, July 2, 2021 - 11:41am
Theogene Kayitakire, a sergeant in the Rwandan Patriotic Army, helped capture the strategic high ground of the Mount Rebero neighborhood in Kigali in April 1994, just days after the Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda had begun. With the location secure and reinforcements arriving, Theogene had a request for his command: Could he go to save his relatives nearby? When given permission, he disguised himself in a government army uniform and, with a few other soldiers, went to find his uncle. But his uncle refused to flee to safety without his neighbors. Read More
Friday, July 2, 2021 - 11:37am

Creative Storytelling

Our storytelling projects are both based on and inspired by the more than 55,000 testimonies in the Institute’s archive. They offer a deeper look into the emotional complexities of our survivor stories and told through the written word, video, audio and photography. They are opportunities 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.

Hela Goldstein’s testimony given to the British Film and Photographic Unit on April 24, 1945 is believed to be the first-ever audio-visual testimony given by a Holocaust survivor. As a 22-year old victim, she spoke from Bergen-Belsen, the Nazi concentration camp where she was imprisoned upon liberation. Standing at the foot of a mass grave with her killers before her, Hela recounted what she experienced. By telling her story in the face of death, she became a foremother of testimony.
Friday, May 14, 2021 - 12:56pm
Twenty-one-years after my grandmother recorded her testimony with USC Shoah Foundation, I teamed up with the Institute to create a podcast about my own decade-long journey to retrace her war story. It would be the first-ever narrative podcast to be based around survivor testimony. After years of research, criss-crossing international borders, living in stranger’s homes, and harmonizing history with the politics of today, I began to sit with her voice. “I always felt very guilty,” she told the interviewer about her survival.
Monday, April 12, 2021 - 3:21pm
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. One story in particular involves a reunion between Betty Grebenschikoff and Ana María Wahrenberg.
Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 1:55pm
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 2020 Annual Report is Available

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Our education programs bring the voices of survivors into classrooms, impacting future generations to build a better world based on empathy, understanding and respect.