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

We are thankful and relieved that after a harrowing day all hostages at Congregation Beth Israel are out and safe. This incident is a potent reminder of the threat antisemitism poses to civil society and to Jewish communities around the world. 

As antisemitic violence escalated around the world in recent years, USC Shoah Foundation responded by launching the Countering Antisemitism Through Testimony Program. This collection of testimony documents personal stories of antisemitism, from its often-subtle origins to its most violent consequences.  

We invite you to learn more here: https://sfi.usc.edu/focalpoint/antisemitism

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

Exploring USC Shoah Foundation's Visual History Archive
USC Shoah Foundation Event
Join us on January 18 as we take a deep dive into USC ShoahFoundation’s Visual History Archive, which is home to nearly 55,000 testimonies from survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust.…
  • January 18, 2022
  • Online Event
Introducing the Project on Bioethics and the Holocaust: Using Testimony in Medical and Health Professions Education
Sponsored Event
Join the Maimonides Institute for Medicine, Ethics and the Holocaust and the USC Shoah Foundation - The Institute for Visual History and Education as we commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day with the official launch of the Project on Bioethics and the Holocaust: Using Testimony in Medical and Health Professions Education.…
  • January 26, 2022
  • Online Event
The Legacy of Resilience: Keeping the stories of the Holocaust alive for the next generation
USC Stronger Than Hate Program
Through the lens of their testimony as part of the “If You Heard What I Heard” docuseries produced by Carolyn Siegel, the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors will share their experiences of growing up with first hand accounts of the atrocities of the Holocaust.…
  • January 30, 2022
  • Online Event

Latest News

In a five-hour interview with USC Shoah Foundation, Justus Rosenberg refers to himself as “small fry,” “a cog,” an unimportant person. And perhaps it was for this reason that for decades, the Bard College literature professor hadn’t let on—to his colleagues, to his students, and even, for a time, to his own wife—that he had fought and outwitted the Nazis during World War II to save thousands from persecution. Read More
Monday, January 10, 2022 - 4:48pm
Two Holocaust survivors and friends of USC Shoah Foundation, Max Eisen and Dr. Agnes Kaposi, have been recognized by Queen Elizabeth II for their work in Holocaust education. Eisen was appointed to the Order of Canada for his “contributions to Holocaust education, and his promotion of transformational dialogue on human rights, tolerance and respect.” Read More
Wednesday, January 5, 2022 - 12:11pm
USC Shoah Foundation and the Armenian Genocide Museum Institute Foundation (AGMI) in Yerevan have launched a new partnership to develop programming to extend the reach of their collections, research and education initiatives using testimony related to the 1915 Ottoman campaign that murdered 1.5 million Armenians. Read More
Wednesday, December 22, 2021 - 9:20am
USC Shoah Foundation and partners Nickelodeon and The Conscious Kid today launch a pair of Talk and Take Action: Guides to Countering Antisemitism that provide teachers and parents with content and tools to talk with children about the discrimination and hate directed at the Jewish community in the United States. Read More
Tuesday, December 21, 2021 - 9:14am
In February 2012 Holocaust survivor Pinchas Gutter sat down inside a light stage surrounded by 50 cameras and 6,000 LED bulbs to give his testimony to the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive. Gutter’s interview was the first proof of concept of Dimensions in Testimony (DiT), a groundbreaking new technology that enables viewers to pose questions to survivors like Gutter and hear their responses in real-time, lifelike conversation. Read More
Monday, December 20, 2021 - 9:00am
The Institute mourns the passing of members of our community in 2021, including survivors who have given testimony Julio Botton, Fritzie Fritzshall, Eddie Jaku, Roman Kent, Rabbi Bent Melchior, Ruth Pearl, Suzy Ressler, Irving Roth, and Marcus Segal. Read More
Friday, December 17, 2021 - 10:29am

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.