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

14
Sep
Antisemitism Through Survivor Narratives and Perpetrator Music
USC Shoah Foundation Event
“Why the Jews?” Join us as we address this question in a moderated discussion featuring Dr. Josh Kun of USC and Dr. Todd Presner of UCLA, who are members of USC Shoah Foundation’s Scholar Lab on Antisemitism program. As part of the discussion, Dr. Kun and Dr.…
  • September 14, 2022

Latest News

USC Shoah Foundation today launches its 500th IWitness activity with release of In Lisa's Footsteps, a primary level IWalk based on Mona Golabek’s acclaimed The Children of Willesden Lane books. In Lisa's Footsteps tells the story of Golabek’s mother, Lisa Jura, a young Holocaust survivor who in 1938 escaped from Vienna to London on the Kindertransport. Read More
Wednesday, August 10, 2022 - 10:00am
USC Shoah Foundation today presents the first of two events in Aspen, Colorado hosted by Melinda Goldrich, a prominent member of the Aspen philanthropic community who serves on USC Shoah Foundation’s Board of Councilors’ Executive Committee. Read More
Monday, August 8, 2022 - 11:30am
When Zuzanna Surowy needed to make herself cry as the lead actress in the Holocaust-era feature film My Name Is Sara, she followed the advice of her co-star to “put a demon inside of her” – to imagine something so tragic it would bring tears to her eyes. It was much harder for Surowy, then 15, to follow the second half of that directive: to leave the demon on the set. Read More
Thursday, August 4, 2022 - 12:27pm

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.

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.