President Obama honored by Steven Spielberg, Bruce Springsteen at genocide survivors benefit

Director Steven Spielberg hugs President Barack Obama after Director Steven Spielberg hugs President Barack Obama after presenting him with the Shoah Foundation's Ambassadors for Humanity, its highest award for his global efforts to protect human rights at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel on Wednesday, May 7, 2014 in Century City, Calif. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Pool

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LOS ANGELES - President Obama shared a table with Steven Spielberg and Bruce Springsteen at a benefit dinner, but broke away to chat with Barbra Streisand and Samuel L. Jackson.

The president was the guest of honor Wednesday at a fundraising gala celebrating the USC Shoah Foundation, which Spielberg established 20 years ago to collect video testimonies from survivors of the Holocaust and other genocides. Inspired by the making of "Schindler's List," the video archive Spielberg created now includes more than 50,000 personal accounts and is available to schools across the globe.

"As long as we fail to learn, our work will be urgent work," he said of the foundation's mission. "This institute exists because we know that the future can always be rewritten."

Obama accepted the foundation's Ambassador for Humanity award at the private event at the Century Plaza Hotel. Springsteen provided musical entertainment, tucking his black tie into his white shirt to perform two songs with his acoustic guitar.

"I think anyone who has a boss wishes it was you," Spielberg told the stalwart rocker, who sang "Promised Land" and "Dancing in the Dark." The filmmaker called Springsteen "this nation's hardest working lyrical poet for our common humanity."