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

Claire Denault’s Southern California private high school had a problem with classism. So she decided to approach the issue in a way she knew would resonate with her peers: through story. Read More
Monday, September 20, 2021 - 12:32pm
USC Shoah Foundation today launches its 2021-2022 Back to School package, a suite of testimony-based resources on IWitness to help educators navigate the complex issues created by the Covid-19 pandemic and surfaced by the recent upsurge in social movements demanding racial justice. This year’s classroom activities and educator professional development modules are based on testimony from the Visual History Archive that help students to critically evaluate historical context, consider various perspectives and impacts, and reflect on personal connections. Read More
Wednesday, September 8, 2021 - 4:27pm
The documentary Two Sides of Survival just landed Winner of Best Documentary Short at the Angeles Film Festival. Produced by USC Shoah Foundation, Two Sides of Survival brings together stories from the East and West, chronicling how Jews who fled the Nazis in Europe, and Chinese who were threatened by Japanese occupation, improbably found refuge close to one another in the 1930’s and during World War II. Read More
Wednesday, September 1, 2021 - 5:58pm
For decades Nathan Poremba deflected his son Joel’s questions about his experiences as a child during the Holocaust. But when an interview with USC Shoah Foundation inspired Nathan to talk, Joel could not bear to face his father’s past. It would take a fateful trip to Israel 20 years later to bring the two together to explore the story. Read More
Monday, August 30, 2021 - 12:19pm
There is gratitude deep inside of grief. A feeling of, how lucky was I to have this friendship at all. That’s how I feel about my dear Rabbi Bent Melchior who passed away in Copenhagen on July 28, 2021. He was 92-years-old. Read More
Tuesday, August 3, 2021 - 4:55pm
On August 2, 1944, nearly 3,000 Roma and Sinti women, men and children were murdered in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Read More
Monday, August 2, 2021 - 10:15am

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.

USC Shoah Foundation’s Immersive Innovations team headed to Mexico in March of this year to spend a week with Holocaust survivors Dolly and Julio Botton. The couple, who have been together for more than 50 years, were part of the Institute’s first collection of videotaped testimonies back in the 1990s.
Tuesday, July 28, 2020 - 5:41pm
I was laying in bed one day scrolling through Instagram, lost in the endless stories that have me so addicted to my phone. I skipped some and lingered on others, navigating the echo chamber of social media like a pro before coming across my local bookstore’s account. They were sharing books to read while their doors were temporarily closed due to Coronavirus. A vibrant yellow and blue cover with the words, A Nail The Evening Hangs On, caught my eye; it was a book of poetry — a rare purchase for me, but the nod to the poet’s Cambodian history pulled me right in.
Sunday, July 19, 2020 - 12:18pm
We asked you to submit your stories to us. Each week in April, we offered a new theme: spaces/places, family, resilience and messages for the future, and we asked for your stories. Your contributions were remarkable. We received dozens upon dozens of responses from around the world — from Morocco to Argentina to Switzerland, Israel, Canada, Poland and across the United States. Some of you shared that you even had family members in our archive.
Friday, July 17, 2020 - 10:25am
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.