Learn about the Last Chance Testimony Initiative

We are currently recording survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust. If you are a survivor or know someone who is, we would love to hear from you. We are also looking for interviewers.

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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

Holocaust in Poland: New Research, New Findings
USC Shoah Foundation Event
The USC Dornsife Center for Advanced Genocide Research and USC Shoah Foundation present the Annual Sara and Asa Shapiro Scholar Lecture by Jan Grabowski (Professor of History at University of Ottawa, Canada), the 2022-2023 Sara and Asa Shapiro Scholar in Residence. Join us in person for this lecture or attend virtually on Zoom. …
  • March 29, 2023
  • Doheny Memorial Library, Room 240, 3550 Trousdale Pkwy., Los Angeles, California, 90089, United States
My Name Is Sara Film Screening and Panel Discussion at USC: In partnership with USC School of Cinematic Arts
USC Shoah Foundation Event
In partnership with USC School of Cinematic Arts, we invite you to a screening and special panel discussion of the award-winning feature film My Name Is Sara.…
  • March 30, 2023
  • Tutor Campus Center 227, University Park Campus, Los Angeles, United States
If These Bones Could Speak: Early Armenian Pilgrimages to the Killing Fields of Dayr al-Zur
USC Shoah Foundation Event
In this presentation, Elyse Semerdjian will outline the earliest Armenian pilgrimages to the killing fields of Dayr al-Zur in the Syrian Desert. It is there that Armenians interacted with the remains of Armenians murdered during the Armenian Genocide (1915-1918) in acts of remembrance.…
  • April 26, 2023
The Testimony of the Multitude: Computational Analysis of the Shoah Foundation Archive
USC Shoah Foundation Event
In recent decades, enormous efforts have been made to gather the testimonies of the last living Holocaust survivors. The challenge we face today is attending to all those thousands of human stories, which despite being safely stored in archives, may nevertheless disappear into oblivion.…
  • May 10, 2023

Latest News

They have gathered on living room sofas, on university lawns, in synagogue sanctuaries, in public squares, and even in embassy conference rooms for intimate conversations that have a resounding global impact. Since 2011, more than 2 million people have met with Holocaust survivors to learn about their experiences and to help carry their histories and their hopes into the future. Read More
Tuesday, March 28, 2023 - 2:00pm
We are deeply saddened by the untimely loss of our friend and colleague, Kim Simon, a beloved member and leader of the USC Shoah Foundation family for nearly three decades. Kim passed away February 28 at the age of 52 after living with a rare degenerative disease. She is survived by a husband and two daughters and leaves a rich legacy that will sustain the Institute’s mission for years to come. Read More
Tuesday, February 28, 2023 - 2:43pm
USC Shoah Foundation mourns the passing of Betty Grebenschikoff, a Jewish Holocaust survivor, author, and speaker, who was reunited with a childhood friend in February 2021, 81 years after the pair had last seen one other in a Berlin schoolyard. The reunion, made possible by a longtime researcher at USC Shoah Foundation, touched hearts across the world.   Read More
Monday, February 27, 2023 - 1:48pm

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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.
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.
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.
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.