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

USC Shoah Foundation recently launched the Visual History Archive at Harvard University, establishing a powerful bridge from coast to coast, including a vibrant and timely panel discussion examining hate and disinformation in public discourse and concrete pathways to address the problems we face.
Wednesday, May 5, 2021 - 1:54pm
This week, more than 20,000 people will attend Liberation 75, a virtual, global gathering for Holocaust survivors, their descendants, scholars, educators, and the wider community. The online conference, taking place May 4 to 9, is cosponsored by more than 200 organizations, including USC Shoah Foundation.
Tuesday, May 4, 2021 - 12:53pm
My mom always told me, no matter how good you get at sports, no matter how well you do at anything, people will always remember you for your character. And I truthfully feel that way with anyone I interact with. She calls it a big heart.
Tuesday, April 27, 2021 - 5:43pm
‘Dimensions in Testimony Education’ is the first version of the groundbreaking technology available for instruction in classrooms around the world. Teachers and students can ask questions that prompt real-time response from a pre-recorded video of Pinchas—engaging in virtual conversation and redefining inquiry-based education.
Monday, April 26, 2021 - 2:54pm
In 1985, when Dr. Sharon Aroian-Poiser was a graduate student, she accompanied her grandfather to Washington D.C., to a conference commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Between 1915 and 1918, the Turkish government systematically expelled or massacred an estimated 1.5 million Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire. Aroian-Poiser watched as elderly survivors at the conference rose to tell their stories before microphones and video recorders, many of them for the first time. It was, in fact, the first time that Aroian-Poiser learned that her grandfather was a survivor.
Tuesday, April 20, 2021 - 11:57am
Liberation75's Student Education Days are running from April 7-8, 2021, beginning at 6am PST on April 7! Liberation75 has brought together over 15 of the world's leading Holocaust education organizations, including USC Shoah Foundation, to teach your students the important lessons of the Holocaust.
Tuesday, April 6, 2021 - 1:21pm

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.

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.
Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 1:55pm
Twenty-five years ago, in October, 1995, a then 72 year-old Fanny Starr sat down in her living room in Denver, Colorado and recorded a two-hour long testimony with USC Shoah Foundation. Fanny was born as Fala Granek in 1922 in Lodz, Poland -- a diverse city where Jewish and Polish students intermingled. Her family was modern yet traditional. They spoke Polish, kept kosher, went to public school, and celebrated the Jewish holidays; she and her four siblings were assimilated in the way that many young Jewish people in the United States are today.
Friday, October 23, 2020 - 9:39am
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.
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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.