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
Nov
Reckoning with Reparations: What the United States Could Learn From Germany
USC Stronger Than Hate Program
Join USC Shoah Foundation Finci-Viterbi Executive Director Stephen Smith as he moderates a panel discussion around the issues of reparation, memory, justice and equity.…
  • November 14, 2021
  • Online Event

Latest News

USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education (USC Shoah Foundation), and Discovery Education today announced the winners of the 2021 Stronger Than Hate Challenge. The 2021 winners exemplify the power of youth voices to connect communities and the role of social-emotional learning in empowering students to overcome hate. Read More
Monday, October 18, 2021 - 11:26am
The Swedish version of USC Shoah Foundation’s Dimensions in Testimony installation was presented in Malmö at the International Forum On Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism. Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfvén hosted the event in Malmö on October 13th and visited the installation where he engaged with interactive biographies of two Swedish Holocaust survivors.  King Carl XVI Gustav and Queen Silvia of Sweden attended the forum, where they visited the installation and met with Holocaust survivors. Read More
Thursday, October 14, 2021 - 2:40pm
USC Shoah Foundation is pleased to welcome its postdoctoral research fellow, Dr. Justin Elliot, who will be in residence at the Institute for a couple of years. In addition to his residency at the Institute, Dr. Elliot is affiliated with USC Dornsife Department of History. Dr. Read More
Thursday, October 14, 2021 - 10:47am
When Deborah Long was a teenager, she often came home to find her mother sitting with the latest issues of Life or Look magazine, quietly tearing out pages. “You see this picture?” her mother would say. “She looks a little like my older sister Ryfka.” Or, “This movie star right here? He reminds me of my father. So handsome.” Read More
Wednesday, October 13, 2021 - 5:27pm
USC Shoah Foundation mourns the passing of our friend and partner Eddie Jaku, who has passed away in Sydney, Australia, at age 101. Eddie will be remembered for his extraordinary life—which included surviving the Holocaust by escaping from four concentration camps—and for his relentless positivity and kindness to all. Read More
Wednesday, October 13, 2021 - 2:04pm
Executive Director Stephen D. Smith will step down at the end of 2021 but continue to serve the institute as executive director emeritus. Read More
Wednesday, October 6, 2021 - 9:14am

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.