Shoah Foundation Releases First Educational CD-ROM: "Survivors: Testimonies of the Holocaust"

Tue, 09/08/1998 - 12:00am

Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation in association with Maxell Corporation of America/Hitachi Maxell LTD and Burda Media is pleased to announce the release of Survivors: Testimonies of the Holocaust. The interactive CD-ROM, narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio and Winona Ryder, incorporates visual and oral histories recorded by the Shoah Foundation. It is the first educational CD-ROM from Steven Spielberg's nonprofit foundation.

The Shoah Foundation has conducted more than 47,000 interviews on Maxell digital media in 55 countries in 31 languages with survivors and eyewitnesses of the Holocaust. the testimonies, which are catalogued and archived using breakthrough digital technology developed by the Foundation, will be made available via secure computer networks to museums, and educational institutions throughout the world.

With this new CD-ROM, students will have immediate access to experiences and memories of the Holocaust. The program weaves together archival footage and an original music score with survivors' personal testimonies and photographs, describing life in pre-war Europe, the devastating impact of nazism, the liberation of the prisoners from concentration camps and life fifty years later. Survivors: Testimonies of the Holocaust will engage students in an examination of racism, hatred, and anti-Semitism in order to promote tolderance.

"…[People] are more dramatically affected by moving images," says Shoah Foundation Founder and Chairman, Steven Spielberg. "To learn history, you have to look in history's eye. Here we have the unique opportunity to see the participants and witnesses of an event look us in the eye and say, 'This happened to me.'

We who are in the position to move people and ideas forward have to all get together to make sure the information collected becomes part of a standard curricula. If it doesn't, ignorance, and through ignorance, racial hatred is going to betray our trust of the human condition," Spielberg continued.

"Maxell Corporation shares Steven's and the Foundation's goal of teaching tolerance to future generations. We see the CD-ROM as an important tool in the sending of this message," says Tim Purnell, National Accounts Manager, Studio Sales.

"As an educational tool, this CD-ROM stands as unparalleled for exploring the Holocaust," said Dr. Hubert Burda, whose cmpany is one of the first in Germany and Europe to develop and distribute digital media.

The English language CD-ROM will be available for distribution to schools in North America for the fall 1998 semester. In addition, Facing History and Ourselves, a national educational and teacher training organization, is creating a study guide to assist in developing Holocuast curricula. Andersen Consulting LLP provided development assistance to the CD-ROM project.

Survivors: Testimonies of the Holocaust was executive produced by June Beallor and James Moll. They are the Shoah Foundation's Founding Executive Directors who initially launched the worldwide organization with Spielberg.