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

USC Shoah Foundation invites applications from advanced-level PhD candidates for the 2023-2024 USC Shoah Foundation Robert J. Katz Research Fellowship in Genocide Studies. Read More
Tuesday, November 8, 2022 - 12:30pm
Fifteen hours of interviews describing the actions of a group of World War II-era diplomats who defied official policies to save tens of thousands of lives during the Holocaust have been added to USC Shoah Foundation’s 55,000-strong Visual History Archive (VHA) thanks to a collaboration with the Andrew J. & Joyce D. Mandell Family Foundation. Read More
Wednesday, November 2, 2022 - 1:38pm
USC Shoah Foundation today welcomes Dr. Victoria Walden, a senior lecturer from the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom, who will spend the next two weeks conducting research at the Institute on digital memory and the Holocaust. Read More
Monday, October 31, 2022 - 5:38pm

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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.

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.
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.
“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.”
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.