SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) — Lani Silver, founder of the Bay Area Holocaust Oral History Project, has died.
Silver died Jan. 26 in San Francisco after suffering from brain cancer. She was 60.
Silver began taping and collecting Holocaust survivors’ stories in 1981 while a professor of political science and women’s studies at San Francisco State University, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. She served as the project’s executive director until 1997, collecting the memories of more than 1,700 survivors. Her work inspired Steven Spielberg to create his Shoah Foundation, on which she consulted.
Silver is also known for bringing to light the story of Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese consul general in Lithuania during World War II who saved thousands of Jews by giving them travel visas to Japan. She ran hundreds of exhibits and programs about Sugihara, and co-wrote an opera about his story.