See the film DEFIANCE I know that there are those of you who are tired of Holocaust Films per se.
But there is a change in the content and context of recent such films. THE READER is remarkable because it offers the perspective of the post WWII generation of Germans who are struggling with the metaphysical and moral implications of their parents and grandparents actions. DEFIANCE speaks to the capacity to defend oneself and retaliate on whatever terms possible.
I believe that sixty plus years after the most brutal action of Western civilization, we just beginning to be ready to truly deal with the implications of such heinous acts. It has taken sixty years to pass through the shock of the event. The generations that follow will ponder what it takes to perpetrate such devastation and murder. All of which was calmly and dispassionately planned. There is no possibility to invoke the passion that surrounds spontaneous acts that arise out of emotional turmoil.
I recently heard of such an example of calculating evil. A good friend was one of the youngest survivors of the Auschwitz death camp. Kept alive as a young boy by the efforts of Oscar Schindler [of Schindler's List fame] he bears the tatoo of his numbers to this day.
He related to me a story recently told to him by a woman who survived the gas chambers.
Apparently the Nazi's preferred their victims to enter the gas chambers unaware of their fate. They were to believe that they were merely taking showers. The possibility that they might suspect some perversity could send them into panic and possible revolt. The proof of this policy is the survival of this particular woman.
She survived the gas chamber because of 'technical difficulties'. The gaseous discharge didn't work. Instead of returning these particular women to the rest of the group where they could tell the truth of the 'showers' they released them instead!
Yes, as much as they plotted and calculated the destruction and annihilation of European Jewry, they were willing to let a few go free rather than disrupt their plans.
The depth of planning to exterminate innocent human beings must never be forgotten. This is not a story about Germans and Jews. It is truly about human beings and their capacity for such calculated evil that it truly boggles the mind to ponder.
When we talk about 'never forget'—-let us never forget !