Sunday, February 2, 2014

Hitchcock’s horrendous Holocaust film

In Claude Lanzmann’s “The last of the unjust” we receive a rare glimpse into the perspective of Benjamin Murmelstein, the last head of the Jewish Council in Theresienstadt, whom many saw as a collaborator. Murmelstein comes across in all his complexity; a rabbi and intellectual, a learned scholar, knowledgeable but not fully reliable, telling his story, with conviction, exemplifying that all victims were martyrs, but not all martyrs were saints.

Theresienstadt. Women and children in prison uniforms.
Yad Vashem 

The cast of the children's opera Brundibar by Hans Krasa.
The opera was performed 55 times in Theresienstadt. 

Memory of the Camps” is the unbearable horror ‘movie’, narrated by Trevor Howard, that Hitchcock could not bear himself to watch. It truly IS unbearable.

It forces disgrace on the coldest of evil, and shame on Holocaust denial.

From 'Memory of the Camps' 

After you watch it, I suggest you listen to Patrick Gordon Walker reporting from the liberation of Bergen-Belsen. From the horrors of human evil and of human suffering, from the ashes of the mass-graves, spring the grains of Hope.

The Nazi evil of the Holocaust forced human beings to encounter the unimaginable, turning many of those who did survive the Shoah, that grand projection of shadow, of dehumanization, into mere silhouettes.

And yet, there were those that rose from the ashes, who fleshed out the silhouettes, who stepped out of the machinery of evil, forever wounded and scarred, yet embracing life.

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