Famed movie director Steven Spielberg warned that "anti-Semites, radical extremists, and religious fanatics" are working to erode Jews' rights and identities during a speech he delivered to dozens of Holocaust survivors on Monday.
Spielberg made these remarks while offering up a brief address at an event in Krakow, Poland, marking 70 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, the Daily Mail reported.
"If you are a Jew today — in fact — if you are any person who believes in freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of expression, you know that, like many other groups, we’re once again facing the perennial demons of intolerance," Spielberg said, according to a transcript published by the Guardian.
He continued, "Anti-Semites, radical extremists and religious fanatics that provoke hate crime – these people that want to, all over again, strip you of your past, of your story and of your identity, and just as we talk about our personal histories and what makes us who we are, these people make their own points."
Hollywood film director Steven Spielberg (Getty Images)
Spielberg, who directed the 1993 film "Schindler’s List," which told the real-life story of businessman Oskar Schindler and the actions he took to save Jewish workers at his factory in Poland, cited Facebook pages that purportedly identify Jewish people by geographic location so that hateful individuals can attack them as well as the "growing effort to banish Jews from Europe," in making his points.
The Hollywood great called on survivors to combat hate by refusing to forget what happened and by keeping the past alive for reflection's sake — something he called an "exceptional responsibility."
"If you’re a Holocaust survivor, your identity as a Jew was threatened by the Third Reich," he said. "Your identity is flooded with mortality, [and] unspeakable acts of hatred, but your identity is also one of resilience and an incomparable appreciation of life, despite all those who tried to take it away from you."
Spielberg also joined world leaders Tuesday in commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz from Nazi control, where 300 individuals who survived the death camp were also gathering to remember the lives of the most than one million people killed there, the Daily Mail reported.
Survivors were brought to the spot to commemorate the anniversary by both the World Jewish Congress and the USC Shoah Foundation, an organization Spielberg founded to collect testimony from tens of thousands of survivors, according to the Associated Press.
(H/T: Daily Mail)