Steven Spielberg Alarmed by Rising Antisemitism

Renowned Director Champions Humanity Amidst Global Challenges.

by Nouman Rasool
Steven Spielberg Alarmed by Rising Antisemitism
© Kevin Winter/Getty Images

In a stirring call to action, esteemed filmmaker Steven Spielberg highlighted the disturbing parallels between historical atrocities and today's rising tide of antisemitism. Speaking at an event that recognized the significant contributions of the USC Shoah Foundation, Spielberg, who played a pivotal role in its inception, received the prestigious University of Southern California (USC) Medallion, the institution's highest accolade.

The foundation, initiated by Spielberg in 1994 following the success of his landmark film "Schindler’s List," aims to document and preserve the narratives of Holocaust survivors and witnesses. Spielberg's concern is deeply rooted in the resurgence of hate-fueled ideologies, remarking on the pressing need to combat the venom of antisemitism and the proliferation of extremist beliefs.

His words, "I am increasingly alarmed that we may be condemned to repeat history," underscored the urgency of the matter, especially in light of the recent turmoil in Israel and Gaza that commenced last October.

Spielberg's Profound Advocacy

Spielberg's discourse went beyond condemnation of terror; it was a profound meditation on the dual necessity of mourning the victims of violence and tirelessly working towards the preservation of democratic values and human dignity.

He passionately advocated for the Shoah Foundation's mission, emphasizing its critical role in an era marred by political violence, misinformation, and widespread intolerance. With the USC Shoah Foundation's archive housing the testimonies of over 55,000 survivors, the organization stands as a beacon of remembrance and education.

It's the fourth entity to be honored with the University Medallion since its last bestowal in 2017 to philanthropist Wallis Annenberg. During the emotionally charged event, attended by Holocaust survivors and their descendants, Spielberg's reflections on the current state of global affairs were poignant.

He articulated a compelling argument against the dangerous trend of "othering" — the practice of marginalizing those who differ from ourselves, which not only undermines societal harmony but also fuels extremist ideologies.

Spielberg, reflecting on the origins and mission of the Shoah Foundation, underscored its enduring importance. Created in the wake of "Schindler’s List," the foundation was his commitment to ensuring that the horrors and lessons of the Holocaust remain a perpetual narrative for education and reflection.

As Spielberg poignantly reiterated, "Never again," his message was clear: the stakes are high, and the time to act is now, lest history's darkest chapters repeat themselves.

Steven Spielberg