Steven Spielberg Seeks to Take Viewers Deeper Than 'Schindler’s List' with the USC Shoah Foundation’s IWitness Video Challenge

Posted Fri Mar 8, 2013 at 07:00 AM PST by
Steven Spielberg and the USC Shoah Foundation

Eyewitness testimony from nearly 52,000 witnesses ready to help "educators not to allow the Holocaust to be a footnote in history."

Heralding this week's release of Schindler’s List 20th Anniversary Limited Edition Blu-ray™ is the public establishment of the USC Shoah Foundation’s IWitness Video Challenge.

Back in 1994, in the wake of the production of 'Schindler’s List,' Steven Spielberg established the USC Shoah Foundation expressly for the purpose of videotaping interviews with survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust. Since that time, nearly 52,000 eyewitness testimonies have been recorded in 56 countries and in 32 languages.

From 'Schindler’s List' director, Steven Spielberg, "I implore educators not to allow the Holocaust to be a footnote in history, please teach this in your schools. There are 350,000 experts who just want to be useful for the remainder of their lives. Please listen to the words and the echoes and the ghosts and please teach this in your schools."

As the institute continues to collect and educate on the experiences resulting from the Holocaust, USC Shoah Foundation Executive Director Dr. Stephen Smith and USC Shoah Foundation Director of Education Dr. Kori Street have initiated the IWitness Video Challenge, an online interactive program designed to convey testimonies from the USC Shoah Foundation and engage viewers into constructing a video essay correlating elements from the testimonies to issues in their own lives. The ambition is for students to simultaneously learn about the Holocaust directly from the victims while understanding and illustrating the direct relevancy in their lives.

The following video contains excerpts with Steven Spielberg and Dr. Stephen Smith as they discuss the launch of the IWitness Video Challenge.

More information on the the USC Shoah Foundation and the IWitness Video Challenge can be found here.

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Tags: Steven Spielberg (10 posts), Schindler’s List (all tags)