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

The Holocaust as a global archetype?: The position of the Jewish genocide in Rwanda’s national memory culture
Sponsored Event
In the wake of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda, government officials, memory workers, and human rights activists have all deployed a litany of Holocaust references — from discussions of “Never Again” to allusions to Primo Levi’s “grey zone.” Drawing upon research conducted with testimonies from the USC Shoah Foundation Visual Hist…
  • October 6, 2022
  • University of Southern California, Social Science Building (SOS)
    Room 250, Room 250, Los Angeles, California, 90089, United States
Trojan Family Weekend: Visit us Thursday and Friday (Oct. 6-7)
USC Shoah Foundation Event
At USC for Trojan Family Weekend? Come visit us at Leavey Library! Search the 55,000 testimonies in our Visual History Archive with the help of trained staff. Find out about student internship opportunities.…
  • October 6, 2022 to October 7, 2022
  • Leavey Library, 650 West McCarthy Way Fourth Floor
    Fourth Floor, Fourth Floor, Los Angeles, California, 90089, United States
Antisemitism: Perspectives from Major Writers and Theorists
USC Shoah Foundation Event
“Why the Jews?” Join us for another exploration of this question in the second event of USC Shoah Foundation’s Scholar Lab on Antisemitism event series. This moderated discussion will feature Dr. Jonathan Judaken of Rhodes College and Dr.…
  • October 12, 2022
  • Online Event
International conference "Mass Violence and Its Lasting Impact on Indigenous Peoples – The Case of the Americas and Australia/Pacific Region"
Sponsored Event
The conference will convene Indigenous and non-Indigenous knowledge holders and scholars from around the world at the University of Southern California. The conference will provide a forum for knowledge holders and leading and emerging scholars to present and discuss groundbreaking research on the topics of genocide against Indigenous peoples.…
  • October 22, 2022 to October 26, 2022
  • University of Southern California, Vineyard Room, 3415 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, California, 90007, United States
Visualizing the Past, a Lesson of Today
USC Shoah Foundation Event
Join USC Shoah Foundation and The Leichtag Foundation for a dialogue between film producers and scholars, Konstantin Fam, Clint Burkett, Alan Markowitz, Kori Street and Jacqueline S. Gmach…
  • October 24, 2022
Towards recommendations for working with Holocaust testimony in the digital age
USC Shoah Foundation Event
Testimony has always posed challenges for educators: for example, whether to treat it as historical source or personal memory; how testimony transform over time; the trauma-literacy of recipients and the well-being of testimony-givers.…
  • November 8, 2022
  • Online Event

Latest News

Eighty-one years ago today Nazi soldiers and their collaborators committed one of the largest single massacres of the Holocaust with the murder of close to 33,000 Jews in the Babyn Yar ravine in Ukraine. The site of the atrocity on the outskirts of the capital Kyiv is now a memorial that people anywhere can visit with a new Virtual IWalk released by USC Shoah Foundation earlier this year.  Read More
Thursday, September 29, 2022 - 12:24pm
USC Shoah Foundation mourns the passing of Edward Mosberg, a Holocaust survivor whose passion for sharing his story through lectures, recorded interviews, and educational trips back to concentration camps in Europe taught and inspired people everywhere. He was 96. Read More
Thursday, September 22, 2022 - 5:38pm
The pages of my copy of The Giver are totally worn. The cover has been folded and there are subsequent pages with the same type of tear. On the bottom right corner is an advertisement for a special low price of $2.99 and in the upper right corner there is the embedded medal of the John Newbery Prize, one of the most prestigious prizes in literature. Read More
Monday, September 12, 2022 - 3:44pm

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.