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Spielberg Visits Nazi Death Camp

September 9, 1998

ORANIENBURG, Germany (AP) _ Steven Spielberg toured a former Nazi concentration camp today, one day before the prizewinning director is to receive a German medal for his film making about the Holocaust.

Spielberg, whose 1993 film ``Schindler’s List″ won seven Oscars, said it was his first visit to a concentration camp in Germany.

``I am very moved to see so many young Germans here,″ Spielberg said after touring the former barracks and museum at the Sachsenhausen camp in Oranienburg, about six miles from Berlin.

During the war, the Nazis detained 204,000 mostly Jewish prisoners in Sachsenhausen. About 120,000 inmates died of mistreatment and starvation, and many others were deported to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland.

Spielberg, wearing a gray suit and a blue yarmulke, signed the camp’s visitors book and made brief comments. On Thursday, he is to receive a medal _ the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit _ at a dinner given by German President Roman Herzog.

The medal honors Spielberg’s Shoah Visual History Foundation, an archive of filmed interviews with Holocaust survivors, as well as ``Schindler’s List,″ the story of how a non-Jewish industrialist saved the lives of thousands of Jews.

By late last month, Spielberg’s four-year archive project had nearly reached its goal of 50,000 interviews. When completed it will be made available to schools, libraries and other users around the world.

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