Steven Spielberg headed a gathering of Hollywood heavyweights at a visit to Auschwitz this past weekend.
Spielberg was joined by the likes of Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav, Starbucks founder Howard Schultz, designer Diane Von Furstenberg, Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and media mogul Haim Saban on the visit, which took place to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the concentration camp’s liberation.
Zaslav has been working with Spielberg’s USC Shoah Foundation, as well as Poland’s government and Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum to help bring together some 100 Auschwitz survivors for the historic anniversary.
Among those on the visit were also 25 US teachers, who will take part in a four-day seminar on how to bring lessons of the Holocaust to American students.
“When I was a kid I learned in temple the mantra of ‘Never again.’ But there has been genocide since the Holocaust,” Zaslav told Variety. “There is persecution because of religion and ethnicity. This is a moment to realize that we as a global society have to stand together.”
“It’s a solemn moment to reflect and recognize that we have come a long way in dealing with hate and genocide, but we have a long way to go,” he added. “It’s important to recognize what happened there. Auschwitz is the best example of what can happen when religious, racial and ethnic hatred is unbridled.”
Weinstein added to the publication: “We have to show the world that we won’t forget. We have to look at the atrocities at Auschwitz. We want people to rise up and feel indignant. You have to step up for what you believe in. In this modern world, we have no choice.”