Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Minister of Industry, Trade and Employment Ehud Olmert with benefactor Daniel Steinmetz
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01 November 2005
Established through the generosity of Daniella and Daniel Steinmetz (Israel) and The Righteous Persons Foundation headed by Steven Spielberg (USA), the Visual Center is dedicated to creating the world's most comprehensive resource center of film related to the Holocaust, adding a unique dimension to Holocaust remembrance. The Center collects, catalogues and offers viewing facilities for Holocaust-related film of all genres, and provides access to testimonies and Yad Vashem's extensive online resources. It will also hold seminars, conferences, symposia and special events focused on the role that film plays in memorializing the Holocaust and exploring its role in Holocaust awareness.
In remarks taped especially for the inauguration, Steven Spielberg said:
"The new Visual Center compliments the remarkable new Museum and all the various components at Yad Vashem that provide a complete picture of the Holocaust and remembrance. The Center has an ambitious and remarkable goal that inspired my own support of this project: to be the primary portal for viewing films and testimonies related to the Holocaust."
Through cutting-edge technology, all films made on the Holocaust will be available for viewing. In addition, all survivor testimonies filmed by Yad Vashem over the years, as well as those recorded by other organizations around the world including the Shoah Foundation, will also be accessible through the Center. Visitors to the Center will be able to search the database by title, topic or location, and then watch the chosen work at one of the 50 personal screens available and at a small theater.
The inauguration ceremony took place in the presence of Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Minister of Industry, Trade and Employment Ehud Olmert, Benefactors Daniella and Daniel Steinmetz, President and CEO of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation (established by Steven Spielberg) Douglas Greenberg, Chairman of the American Society for Yad Vashem Eli Zborowski, and Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev. The Visual Center operates under the direction of Liat Ben Habib in coordination with the Yad Vashem Library.