Tom Cruise's Holocaust awareness mission

By Jennifer Lipman, May 6, 2011
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes

Hollywood star Tom Cruise has been honoured by a Jewish human rights organisation for his work raising awareness of the Holocaust.

Mr Cruise, 48, was given the Humanitarian Award for his philanthropy work by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre at its annual dinner last night.

A longtime supporter of the centre and its work, he attended the event with his wife, actress Katie Holmes, his son and the film producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

The Mission Impossible star said the award was a "tremendous honour", especially because it came from the institution of Simon Wiesenthal, a man "who stood up for all of us, in humanity's darkest hour and dedicated his whole life to the pursuit of justice".

He used his acceptance speech to call for people to "make sure that we do all in our power to see to it that there will be no more Auschwitz/Birkenaus, no more Rwandas, no more Darfurs on our planet".

The actor also expressed the hope that "our children and their children may be free to live in a world where men and women are judged by their accomplishments and deeds rather than by their race or religion."

Quoting physicist Albert Einstein, he said: "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

Last updated: 3:06pm, May 6 2011