Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation turns 20

Steven Spielberg isn’t planning on making any more Holocaust movies. The Oscar-winning director is leaving that to the Shoah Foundation.

After “Schindler’s List,” Spielberg turned his lens on real survivors of the World War II Jewish genocide through his foundation, which has since filmed nearly 52,000 testimonies from Holocaust survivors around the world. As the organization turns 20, it has expanded its mission to include interviews with survivors of other genocides, including those in Armenia, Cambodia and Rwanda, AP reports.

Spielberg was inspired to create the foundation after meeting so many Holocaust survivors while making “Schindler’s List,” which tells the story of a German businessman who used his Nazi ties to rescue 1,100 Jews from the Holocaust. The film’s greatest legacy isn’t its seven Oscars, $300 million in worldwide box office or even its message of humanity, says the 67-year-old, but the ongoing work of the Shoah Foundation.

Shoah is actively engaged in an international fund-raising campaign to ensure completion of the integration of the Armenian testimonies so that they can be presented to the world in time for the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, in April 2015.

In April 2010, the Armenian Film Foundation and founder J. Michael Hagopian, along with his wife, Antoinette, entered into an agreement with the USC Shoah Foundation to license the 400 Armenian Genocide testimonies filmed by Hagopian to Shoah’s Visual History Archive.

Shoah’s Visual History Archive is the largest digital collection of its kind in the world, with 105,000 hours of video testimony. The collection is available at 44 institutions around the world, and approximately one million students, researchers, teachers and lay people view the testimonies every year.

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