Spielberg’s Reaction to October 7 Attacks Steven Spielberg, the iconic Oscar-winning director, expressed his deep concern and dismay over the recent October 7 attacks in Israel. In a statement released by the USC Shoah Foundation, which he founded, Spielberg described the attacks as acts of “unspeakable barbarity against Jews,” a sentiment that echoes his lifelong commitment to documenting Holocaust histories and combating antisemitism.
USC Shoah Foundation’s Role The USC Shoah Foundation, under Spielberg’s guidance, is at the forefront of preserving Holocaust survivor interviews and other witness testimonies. Following the October 7 events, the Foundation has been actively collecting accounts from survivors, incorporating these into their Countering Antisemitism Through Testimony Collection initiative. This project is vital in documenting post-Holocaust antisemitism and serves as a tool to educate and raise awareness.
Spielberg’s Advocacy Against Antisemitism Spielberg emphasized the importance of solidarity in fighting antisemitism and hate. He stressed the Foundation’s dual role in not only documenting the Holocaust but also in capturing contemporary instances of antisemitism, thus fulfilling a promise to survivors that their stories will continue to teach and inform future generations.
Spielberg’s Cinematic Influence Spielberg’s involvement in Holocaust narratives is not limited to his work with the Foundation. His direction of the 1993 film “Schindler’s List” brought the story of Oskar Schindler, who saved over 1,000 Jews during the Holocaust, to a global audience. The interactions with Holocaust survivors during the film’s production were a pivotal inspiration for Spielberg in establishing the USC Shoah Foundation.
Expanding the Foundation’s Scope The USC Shoah Foundation, under Spielberg’s vision, has expanded its documentation efforts beyond the Holocaust. Recognizing the universality of genocidal atrocities, the Foundation has included testimonies from other genocides, such as those in Cambodia and Rwanda, illustrating Spielberg’s commitment to using historical narratives as a means to combat hate and intolerance.