The USC Shoah Foundation currently has more than 55,000 video testimonies, each one a unique source of insight and knowledge that oﬀers powerful stories from history that demand to be explored and shared. The testimonies are preserved in the Visual History Archive, one of the largest digital collections of its kind in the world. They average a little over two hours each in length and were conducted in 65 countries and 43 languages. The vast majority of the testimonies contain a complete personal history of life before, during, and after the interviewee’s firsthand experience with genocide.
When teaching topics as enormous and weighty as the Holocaust and genocide, it can be easy to cover the facts and figures without getting to the heart of the matter – the humans affected by the history. The power of testimony is that it exposes students to the ordinary people whose lives were disrupted by world-changing events such as the Holocaust, the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, the Guatemalan Genocide against indigenous people in the 1980s, and the World War I-era Armenian Genocide, among others.
USC Shoah Foundation offers an array of educational products for students ranging in age from kindergarten to college. 70 stories from Auschwitz can be accessed here.