Spielberg's Holocaust archive in USC
Steven Spielberg's voluminous archive documenting the lives of Holocaust survivors has merged with the University of Southern California. The Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation officially became part of USC's College of Letters, Arts and Sciences on Thursday after years of negotiations.
USC promises to preserve and propagate the archive, which includes 52,000 videotaped life histories, all of them digitized. The university will fund the $5 million annual budget.
"I've been the lightning rod of this foundation since its inception, and there is a prejudice against figureheads in Hollywood," said Spielberg, a USC trustee. As part of a university, "the Shoah Foundation will be taken much more seriously throughout the world."
Spielberg started the Shoah foundation on the set of the 1993 movie "Schindler's List," which told the story of Czech businessman Oskar Schindler, who exploited Jewish labor during World War II but also saved more than 1,000 lives during the Holocaust. Shoah is Hebrew for "calamity."
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