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

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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
Tuesday, April 6, 2021 - 1:21pm
We lost a giant in the fight against hate yesterday - Karen Wells, educator from Midland High School in Pleasant Plains, Arkansas, Discovery Education DEN leader, and IWitness Master Educator and Teaching Fellow. The Institute joins her students, Discovery Education colleagues, educators worldwide, friends and her family in mourning her loss. Read More
Monday, March 22, 2021 - 2:51pm
Today we mourn the murder of eight people in Georgia that includes six Asian women — and we are appalled by the increased acts of anti-Asian hate and violence across the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic.   The horrific events in Georgia underscore the importance of working to counter anti-Asian racism. At the outset of the pandemic last March, USC Pacific Asia Museum experienced increased acts of anti-Asian racism that spurred discussions about the need for a campus-wide initiative to confront the rising tide of identity-based hatred.    Read More
Friday, March 19, 2021 - 9:51am

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-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
This past May, a friend sent me an article he knew I would appreciate. It was an opinion piece in the New York Times titled “Burying My Bubby During the Pandemic” written by a comedy writer named Eitan Levine who, like me, grew up with a grandmother who survived the Holocaust. I began to read and found myself immediately wrapped inside his writing which was so honest it was cathartic. I immediately reached out to Eitan and asked if his grandmother’s testimony was in USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive.
Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 2:06pm
“I remember lots and lots of light,” Karla Ballard told me about her childhood home just outside of Philadelphia, a community called Friends of the Fairfax. “So much light. And a beautiful, long dining room table. My father was an entrepreneur and my mom was a nurse. I just remember lots of light coming into that house and having grandparents around watching us, and having Susan, Eileen, and Max — my mother’s best friends.”
Tuesday, September 8, 2020 - 2:34pm
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 2019 Annual Report is Available

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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.