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

We mourn the loss of ten innocent lives in yet another mass shooting fueled by hate, this time at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York. According to authorities, the 18-year-old alleged shooter drove 200 miles to the supermarket in the predominantly African American neighborhood and livestreamed the attack. Read More
Monday, May 16, 2022 - 1:38pm
The 2021-2022 William P. Lauder Junior Interns program wrapped up last month with special guest Jewish Holocaust survivor Dr. Elena Nightingale calling on participants to speak up when confronted by discrimination and injustice. “Young people's voices are listened to [and] have more power than you think. Don’t be a bystander,” the physician and human rights activist told the interns at the final session of the 10-week program. “Make your voices heard.” Read More
Wednesday, May 11, 2022 - 2:01pm
An animated short film that brings to life the remarkable childhood journey of media personality, author and Holocaust survivor Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer netted one of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival’s three coveted Audience Awards last month. Produced by USC Shoah Foundation and Delirio Films, Ruth: A Little Girl’s Big Journey traces Dr. Ruth’s escape from Nazi Germany during the Holocaust. The film was awarded the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival’s Best Short Film prize in early April. Read More
Wednesday, May 11, 2022 - 12:09pm

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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.