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Monday, January 24


On the 27th of January, 1945, soviet troups liberated the Nazi death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau, where somewhere between 1.1 and 1.5 million people were murdered. Tonite, and all nite, French TV is airing the 9 and a half hour documentary Shoah from 1985. I have seen it twice already, and I am watching it again. There is not one second of archive footage in this film. It is hours and hours of interviews of survivors, of nazis, or polish witnesses, and 1985 footage of what is left of the sites of these atrocities. It is beyond horrifying. I've read Raul Hilberg's Destruction of the European Jews, and many other books on Nazi horror. I've seen many documentaries on the same subject. Nothing comes close to Shoah to force you to face it for what it is. Horror. Human. Incomprehensible. Even boring in the massive, unending, enormous monotony of that many deaths industrially engineered and administratively organized. If you have a chance to see it, take it upon yourself to do so. Location : Beauvais, France

2 Insights :

Blogger Julie intuited...

Unfortunately, here in American unless it has something to do w/ us, or has been big in the media, they don't show documentaries like this except on specific cable channels. Our country is very egocentric unfortunately, we don't seem to care about the world unless there is something in it for us :(

1/25/2005 01:12:00 PM  
Blogger Mathieu intuited...

Hi Julie,

Keep in mind that we Europeans let the Shoah happen, and in our case (the French) actively participated by supplying the Nazis with victims who thought they were safe on French soil. Our own police arrested and deported jews, including in the part of the country that wasn't under direct occupation.

Plus we still have a problem with century-old antisemitic actions, and decades-old revisionist thought, coupled with resentment from our population of arabic origin for Israel and the plight of the Palestinians, and a general lack of knowledge/interest of our history amongst our youth.

We can't let that stand, and our media, and our politicians and intellectuals, have been busy for a week reminding us of this. We are fortunate in that we still have some survivors who can bear witness, but soon, that will no longer be the case.

In other words, there is definitely something in this for us, and we're doing this for very selfish reasons.

As for the US, I watched another show on how the perception and knowledge of the Shoah in America evolved over time, particularly with Hollywood's take on it, up to Schindler's List. It was quite interesting, and showed that your country is far from ignorant or disinterested.

Have any of you seen any coverage of this anniversary on American media recently?

1/27/2005 08:27:00 AM  

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