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Spielberg Arrives for Israeli “Schindler’s List” Premiere

March 4, 1994 GMT

JERUSALEM (AP) _ Steven Spielberg said he was happy to be in Israel because he could relax: people here know about the Holocaust.

″What’s good about this country is I don’t have to sit down and explain it to you, I feel I’m among friends,″ Spielberg told reporters after arriving in Tel Aviv for the Israeli premiere of his Oscar-nominated ″Schindler’s List.″

The director attended a special screening of ″Schindler’s List″ with Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on Thursday night. The film debuts in theatres Friday.

″Schindler’s List″ is based on the life of Oskar Schindler, a Nazi party member who used his influence and money to save more than a thousand Jews.

Spielberg has said he hopes the film will be used as an educational tool to address Holocaust ignorance in the United States.

Meanwhile in Geneva, diplomats and others attending the annual session of the 53-nation U.N. Human Rights Commission watched the movie Thursday evening at the invitation of the U.S. delegation.

Daniel L. Spiegel, U.S. ambassador to U.N. offices in Geneva, said Schindler’s ″courage and will″ to act provided an example to the commission to attack human rights abuses still being committed around the world.

″Neither state-sponsored genocide nor the murder of innocent civilians by states for political purposes has ceased to exist as this century comes to a close,″ he said.

The commission tries to curb abuses around the world by bringing the worst offenders to public scrutiny.