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.

Upcoming Events

12
Jul
My Name is Sara Film Premiere and Reception: New York City
USC Shoah Foundation Event
The New York premiere event will take place in Safra Hall at the Museum of Jewish Heritage on Tuesday, July 12, in partnership with USC Shoah Foundation.…
  • July 12, 2022
19
Jul
My Name is Sara Film Premiere and Reception: Los Angeles
USC Shoah Foundation Event
The Los Angeles premiere event will take place at the Museum of Tolerance at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in partnership with USC Shoah Foundation, Museum of Tolerance, and Holocaust Museum LA.…
  • July 19, 2022

Latest News

On a Wednesday morning in New York in the fall of 2021, Rabbi Nicole Auerbach greeted Walter and Phyllis Loeb in Central Synagogue’s majestic sanctuary. She led them through the arch-lined nave, past row after row of pews, beyond the six sets of capital columns wrapped in colorful, gold-accented reliefs, all the way up to the intricately carved Mahagony bima, the stage where the synagogue’s rabbi and cantor preside over Shabbat and holiday services. Read More
Wednesday, June 29, 2022 - 5:00pm
"It’s very important that the Swedish Holocaust Museum is one of Sweden’s National Historical Museums. We believe the Holocaust is not a Jewish concern, but that it is, and must be, a universal one." Lizzie Oved Scheja (pictured above, full interview below), founder and director of J! Jewish Culture in Sweden, speaking earlier this month after Swedish Minister of Culture Jeanette Gustafsdotter inaugurated the country’s first museum dedicated to preserving and perpetuating the memory of the Holocaust. Read More
Tuesday, June 28, 2022 - 9:02am
USC Shoah Foundation is bringing The Willesden Project educational initiative to a group of 500 Ukrainian refugees and other guests in Warsaw, Poland this weekend. The event will also feature a musical performance by USC Shoah Foundation partner and celebrated pianist Mona Golabek. Read More
Thursday, June 16, 2022 - 6:07pm

More News

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.

The Willesden Project

Inspired by the power of story to transform lives, this groundbreaking initiative available in IWitness combines testimony, technology and music to reshape Holocaust education.

Our 2020 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.