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Shoah Foundation Testimony in Classroom & Research

Course Administrator


Crystal Weisner 

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Course Description

This workshop will provide an introduction to the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive, a repository of over 54,000 video testimonies of survivors and other eyewitnesses of the Holocaust, the Rwandan, Armenian, Cambodian, and Guatemalan genocides, and the Nanjing Massacre in China. The interviews were conducted in 41 languages and in 62 countries. These interviews are life histories, and as such their subject matter includes the history and culture of the countries of the interviewees’ birth and their lives before, during and after genocide. The archive encompasses the experiences not only of survivors in these contexts, but also of witnesses, liberators, aid providers, and war crimes trials participants.

Professor Dr. Wolf Gruner holds the Shapell-Guerin Chair in Jewish Studies, is Professor of History at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles since 2008 and is the Founding Director of the USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research since 2014. He is a specialist in the history of the Holocaust and in comparative genocide studies. He received his PhD in History in 1994 from the Technical University Berlin as well as his Habilitation in 2006. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, Yad Vashem Jerusalem, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and Women’s Christian University Tokyo and the Desmond E. Lee Visiting Professor for Global Awareness at Webster University in St. Louis. He is the author of eight books on the Holocaust, among them “Jewish Forced Labor under the Nazis. Economic Needs and Nazi Racial Aims”, with Cambridge University Press (paperback 2008), as well as over 60 academic articles and book chapters. He also coedited two books, one of them, the translated updated book “The Greater German Reich and the Jews. Nazi Persecution Policies in the Annexed Territories 1935-1945” was published in 2015 with Berghahn Books. Its original German edition received the award for most outstanding German studies in humanities and social sciences in 2012. Gruner’s most recent study „Los Parias de la Patria“. El mito de la liberación de los indígenas en la República de Bolivia 1825-1890”, was published in Spanish with Plural Editores, Bolivia, in 2015 and contains a sub-chapter that is analyzing petitions of indigenous actors.

All ASU Faculty, Staff, and Students are invited to register.

Dr. Wolf Gruner, Founding Director, USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research

—ASU's Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies
—USC Shoah Foundation Center for Advanced Genocide Research
—ASU's Center for Academic Excellence

About the Course

Learning Community: Center for Academic Excellence (FAD)
Workshop Type: Diversity
Additional Information

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Navigate the interface and search engine of the Visual History Archive (VHA) of the USC Shoah Foundation
  • Utilize the workshop's tips and tricks for achieving the desired, powerful research results
  • Conduct your own searches based on the different ways in which various testimonials have been used for innovative research and teaching by scholars from a wide range of disciplines
  • Integrate a unit/assignment/exercise on how to use the VHA in your classroom


  • None

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