Education, Documentaries, the Holocaust
I saw a Korean movie a few weeks back. At one point in the movie a boy is gleefully torturing a frog, and a fish by tying a stone to their back and then watching them struggle with the extra weight. His teacher, an old Buddhist monk, watched him do this but said nothing. That night though, he got a largish stone, and tied it to the boy's
back. He told him go back and release the frog and the fish, for they must be enduring the same as you are enduring now, and hope that they are still alive, otherwise you will feel the guilt of having caused their deaths unnecessarily. Indeed the boy struggles back to the creek, hardly able to walk with the large stone weighing him down. He finds the frog and releases it. But the fish is dead. Perhaps if Corporal Hitler, Goebbels, Himmler, Eichmann, Mengele, Krupp, and all the other Nazi degenerates was taught the same way, as the Buddhist monk taught this boy, none of the horrors of Nazi Germany would have ever happened .
I watched many documentaries on the terrible events of World War II. But almost all seem to miss the numbing horror of what that really was like. No wonder that people just can't comprehend the Holocaust, feel it on their own skin and guts. Many compound the enormity of this unprecedented historical horror by denying that it even occurred, the ultimate and most inhumane of insults to the memory of the millions of innocents, babies, children, women and men, old and young, who were systematically, cruelly and mercilessly murdered by the Nazis, without help or pity from the rest of the world (with notable and courageous individual and collective exceptions, that should be honored for ever, like Raoul Wallenberg, Schindler, Christian X and the Danes, and many, many more nameless heroes that acted with courage and humanity in the face of these unprecedented inhumane and unimaginably brutal events.) The perfidy of the Holocaust deniers cannot be overemphasized. Their inhumanity is as bad as that of the Nazis themselves, and deserve nothing but the deepest contempt.
The best documentary that I ever saw on World War II , which did not show a single crematorium, and yet was the most successful in bringing home what the Holocaust was like, is called "Messenger from Poland", shown on PBS. It showed the recollections of a Polish Resistance member, who later became a Princeton University professor after the War, and who was smuggled into the camps by the Jewish Resistance in Poland, to witness what was occurring, and then sent to the West as a liaison between the Polish Resistance and the Allies. He faithfully reported what he saw with his own eyes and passed on messages from the Polish Resistance to the Allies to everyone he met, including Anthony Eden, President Roosevelt, Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter (who incredibly and arrogantly told this most noble Polish man to his face that he did not believe what he was saying about the Camps ). At one point in the documentary he excused himself, unable to continue, later restarting his powerful tale after regaining composure. It is a terrible indictment of the Allies for doing nothing to help the unfortunate millions that were being murdered and massacred at the Nazi camps.
Istvan Simon wrote: The best documentary that I ever saw on World War II , which did not show a single crematorium, and yet was the most successful in bringing home what the Holocaust was like, is called "Messenger from Poland", shown on PBS. It showed the recollections of a Polish Resistance member, who later became a Princeton University professor after the War. Ed Jajko comments: The "Messenger from Poland" was the late Jan Kozielewski, who adopted his nom de guerre, Karski. His remarkable story is well told in the New York Times obituary of July 14, 2000, which may be found at http://www.holocaustforgotten.com/karski.html. I offer the minor correction that it was Georgetown University, not Princeton.
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