Acclaimed director Steven Spielberg admitted he was “wrong” to think as a child that anti-Semitism “was fading,” telling Harvard’s graduating class that anti-Semitism is on the rise.
Spielberg told the graduates on Thursday that the world “is full of monsters” espousing “racism, homophobia, ethnic hatred, class hatred” and “religious hatred.”
“As a kid, I was bullied — for being Jewish,” Spielberg recalled in his speech. “This was upsetting, but compared to what my parents and grandparents had faced, it felt tame. Because we truly believed that anti-Semitism was fading. And we were wrong. Over the last two years, nearly 20,000 Jews have left Europe to find higher ground. And earlier this year, I was at the Israeli embassy when President Obama stated the sad truth. He said: ‘We must confront the reality that around the world, anti-Semitism is on the rise. We cannot deny it.’”
The 69-year-old powerhouse behind iconic movies such as “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan,” as well as blockbusters like “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and the Indiana Jones series, also spoke about his Shoah Foundation. The foundation has taken video testimonies of over 53,000 Holocaust survivors and witnesses in 63 countries since he founded it in 1994, he said.
The foundation is now collecting testimonies from genocides in Rwanda, Cambodia, Armenia and Nanking, he said, adding, “We must never forget that the inconceivable doesn’t happen — it happens frequently.”