Hollywood heavyweight Steven Spielberg returned to the Polish city where he filmed Schindler’s List to give a moving address to concentration camp survivors to mark Holocaust Memorial Day on Tuesday.
The Jewish director travelled to Krakow ahead of the 2015 International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which also marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz – the Nazi concentration camp in Poland that was the focus of Spielberg’s Oscar-winning 1993 film.
Spielberg addressed an audience which included around 100 Holocaust survivors at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Krakow on Monday night on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day.
In his speech, the moviemaker talked about the efforts of his Shoah Foundation to preserve the testimonies of survivors, while he also honored those lost in the atrocities and called for future generations to remember the true horror of the Holocaust.
He told the audience, “I want to thank the many survivors along with their family members for being here this evening to share this moment with you. (It’s) incredibly meaningful for all of us and it’s a great, great honor for me in so many personal ways…”
Spielberg also made reference to the recent attacks in France which targeted a Jewish supermarket, and called for a show of unity, adding, “Like many other groups we’re once again facing the perennial demons of intolerance… The most effective way we can combat this intolerance and honor those who survived and those who perished is to call on each other to do what the survivors have already done, to remember and to never forget… It means preserving places like Auschwitz… Which brings us to where we are now, the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz… My hope for tomorrow’s commemoration is that the survivors with us and those survivors from all round the world feel confident that we are renewing their call to remember.”