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

23
Sep
Generation to Generation: The Evolution of Memorialization
Sponsored Event
We will explore the history behind the exhibits, discuss the nature of memory and memorials, and discover how the world remembers the Shoah and honors the lives we lost. We will also explore how that memory is interconnected to genocides, both past and present.…
  • September 23, 2021
  • Online Event
23
Sep
Deepfakes and Holocaust Testimony: What is the Future of Truth and Denial?
Sponsored Event
USC Shoah Foundation is committed to preserving Holocaust testimony and making those testimonies accessible, but in our current climate, deepfake tactics that manipulate videos and photos threaten to delegitimize real testimonies.…
  • September 23, 2021
03
Oct
Connecting Next Generations: An international forum of the Association for Jewish Refugees
Stronger Than Hate Program
Stephen Smith, UNESCO chair on Genocide Education and Finci Viterbi Executive Director of the USC Shoah Foundation talks with Elisha Wiesel about growing up with his father, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Eli Wiesel, and the responsibilities of the second generation.…
  • October 3, 2021 to October 4, 2021
  • Online Event

Latest News

USC Shoah Foundation today launches its 2021-2022 Back to School package, a suite of testimony-based resources on IWitness to help educators navigate the complex issues created by the Covid-19 pandemic and surfaced by the recent upsurge in social movements demanding racial justice. This year’s classroom activities and educator professional development modules are based on testimony from the Visual History Archive that help students to critically evaluate historical context, consider various perspectives and impacts, and reflect on personal connections. Read More
Wednesday, September 8, 2021 - 4:27pm
The documentary Two Sides of Survival just landed Winner of Best Documentary Short at the Angeles Film Festival. Produced by USC Shoah Foundation, Two Sides of Survival brings together stories from the East and West, chronicling how Jews who fled the Nazis in Europe, and Chinese who were threatened by Japanese occupation, improbably found refuge close to one another in the 1930’s and during World War II. Read More
Wednesday, September 1, 2021 - 5:58pm
For decades Nathan Poremba deflected his son Joel’s questions about his experiences as a child during the Holocaust. But when an interview with USC Shoah Foundation inspired Nathan to talk, Joel could not bear to face his father’s past. It would take a fateful trip to Israel 20 years later to bring the two together to explore the story. Read More
Monday, August 30, 2021 - 12:19pm
There is gratitude deep inside of grief. A feeling of, how lucky was I to have this friendship at all. That’s how I feel about my dear Rabbi Bent Melchior who passed away in Copenhagen on July 28, 2021. He was 92-years-old. Read More
Tuesday, August 3, 2021 - 4:55pm
On August 2, 1944, nearly 3,000 Roma and Sinti women, men and children were murdered in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Read More
Monday, August 2, 2021 - 10:15am
USC Shoah Foundation and the Maimonides Institute for Medicine, Ethics and the Holocaust are partnering to develop new and innovative educational programing on medical ethics and the Holocaust. The Holocaust marked a profound and sadistic deviation from traditional notions of medical ethics, with medical and scientific communities in the Third Reich actively participating in the labeling, persecution and eventual mass murder of millions deemed “unfit.” Read More
Friday, July 30, 2021 - 5:14pm

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

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.