“Memory has become a sacred duty of all people of goodwill.”
Last night in Los Angeles, President Obama gave a beautiful and powerful speech after accepting the Shoah Foundation’s Ambassador of Humanity Award from Steven Spielberg during a ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.
I want to thank the President, Steven Spielberg and all those involved with the Shoah Foundation for recognizing the importance of remembering. The Shoah Foundation gathers and preserves the stories of those who experienced the Holocaust and other atrocities across the globe. Over the past two decades, the Shoah Foundation has recorded tens of thousands of interviews. Researchers and documentarians have traveled to dozens of countries, interviewing survivors of the Holocaust, and documenting historical evidence of the Armenian Genocide, and other atrocities. The first person accounts that have been gathered are an invaluable resource for future students and scholars.
I remember vividly the moment I first stepped foot in one of the holocaust death camps. That day at Dachau, I was struck by the emptiness and silence of that cruel space. I could feel the absence and longed for humanity instead of barbarism. The Shoah Foundation, through its tireless efforts, gives voice to those whose voices were stolen.
Full Transcript of President Obama's Remarks Below:
Thank you, Steven, for your incredibly generous words, for this great honor, for your friendship, and most importantly, for the extraordinary work which brings us here all tonight. To Robert Katz and all the members of the board and staff of the Shoah Foundation; to President Max Nikias and everybody at USC; to all the distinguished guests and to all the friends that I see in this audience — it is an incredible honor to be with you as we pay tribute to a remarkable institution and one that makes claim on our moral imagination.
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