sábado, 18 de novembro de 2006

«Auschwitz: The Nazis & the 'Final Solution'»

A BBC survey has suggested that almost half the adult population – 45% – claim to have never heard of Auschwitz.
Amongst women and people aged under 35 the figure is even higher – 60%. Among those who have heard of Auschwitz, 70% felt that they did not know a great deal about the subject.
Most of them – 76% – were unaware of its roots as a concentration camp for Polish political prisoners.
The majority – 74% – did not know that people other than Jews – Gypsies, homosexuals, Soviet war prisoners – were killed there and only a few recognised the name of the camp commandant – Rudolf Höß – or knew who finally liberated the camp at the end of the war – the Red Army.

Written and produced by Bafta Award-winning producer Laurence Rees and to mark the 60.th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz in January 2005, «Auschwitz: The Nazis and the 'Final Solution'» offers a unique perspective on the camp in which more than 1,100,000 people were ruthlessly murdered.

"The research reinforced the importance of making this series and trying to ensure the atrocities that unfolded at Auschwitz are never forgotten," says series producer Laurence Rees.

The series is the result of three years of in-depth research, drawing on the close involvement of world experts on the period, including Professors Sir Ian Kershaw and David Cesarani.

It is based on nearly 100 interviews with survivors and perpetrators, many of whom are speaking in detail for the first time.
Sensitively shot drama sequences, filmed on location using German and Polish actors, bring recently discovered documents to life on screen, while specially commissioned computer images give a historically accurate view of Auschwitz-Birkenau (Polish: Oświęcim-Brzezinka) at all its many stages of development.

"The name Auschwitz is quite rightly a byword for horror," says Laurence Rees. "Our series is not only about the shocking, almost unimaginable pain of those who died, or survived, Auschwitz. It's about how the Nazis came to do what they did. I feel passionately that being horrified is not enough. We need to make an attempt to understand how and why such horrors happened if we are ever to be able to stop them occurring again."

As I said, I had already watched this magnificent series when it was first released in January 2005. Watching it a second time – one episode a day – only made me realise better how such a tremendous catastrophe occurred by human hands. If I say I realise it better now it doesn't mean, however, I understand it. Because I don't and I believe I never will.
How can one cope with the fact that "normal people" turn into monsters, act as monsters, send about 200,000 children to death according to a spectral plan, and in the end, when they know they're reaching death themselves, claim the righteousness of their acts without a blink?

"After Auschwitz poetry is no longer possible," a poet said.

9 comentários:

kevin disse...

Auschwitz, a truely horrible episode in the life of humanity. I dont understand why more people do not know about it.

Kev in NZ

RIC disse...

Hello Kevin! You seem to be one of the few who aren't afraid of facing History's darkness...
Well, I thought it was somehow my duty not to let something so serious fade away into oblivion. But I begin to suspect not so many agree with me...
Thanks a lot! Wish you a wonderful Sunday!

Fourhorsemen disse...

...then there are those who survived, and were suppsoed to carry on with a normal life, as if nothing had happened. Marry. Have children. Go shopping. Would this table cloth match the kitchen walls? Look, the roses are in bloom.

And the same can be said of the willing participants...

I am not sure how either side of that equation goes on without their consciousness eating at them from teh inside. When normal people become inhuman monsters, indeed. The most terrible form that humanity can morph into: inhuamity.

Fourhorsemen disse...

sometimes i go here and just look at photographs and documents.


RIC disse...

Hello Will! Well, the truth is they did carry on with their lives. Whether normal ones or not, nobody knows I guess. Even though «everything» had happened to them alone.
As to the perpetrators, they did carry on with their lives as well... Strange, isn't it? In their case, there was no consciousness to eat them from the inside.
In the Yad Vashem you'll find a Portuguese: Aristides de Sousa Mendes. His story is worth while reading.

Fourhorsemen disse...

i iwll look him up. I did tonight see several others with Lisbon connections. A friend had aunts and uncles who survived.

Sometime listen to Baba Yar -- the first movement of shostakovich's 13th symphony.

must do the sleep thing now.

this is a 2 1/2 day work week!!!

Gray disse...

If we do not learn the from the past then we are bound to relive it!

Auschwitz! The horror! We know of it but do nothing when modern day tyrants try to emulate the Auschwitz perpetrators (viz: Bosnian Serbs Radovan Karadzic's and Momcilo Krajisnik's death camps. The on-going genocide in Darfur, Sudan, etc., etc.).

When the world finally reacts, often years after the onset of known death camps or known efforts of genocide, hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people have already been killed.

Alas, in America, civics and history lessons must now be "politically correct" and glossed over (not to mention: brief). Supposedly intelligent university students now believe these things cannot happen in today's world!

When some groups or individuals deny the existence of past or present death camps, the *world* must respond with one voice! Every government *must* admit that the Nazi camps existed! That the Bosnian-Serb reports of genocide were real! That Saddam Hussein's systematic acts of genocide really did happen!

Auschwitz II's over 1,400,000 dead deserve to be remembered! The Nazis' murder of almost 4,600,000 people at eight camps must never occur again.

Every time I see photographs or read stories about any death camp or attempted genocide, I am saddened, disgusted and angered!

[Mendes' decision to grant visas to all persons requesting them may have gotten him dismissed by the his govenment but, I am sure that, his actions earned him a special place in heaven!]

RIC disse...

Thank you, Will, for reminding me of Baba Yar! And in turn that reminds me of the beautiful «Schindler's List» soundtrack!!!
Have a quiet micro-week!

RIC disse...

Hello Gray!
I posted on this subject not because I have any special preferences for the Jewish people nowadays, or only because I watched the documentary last week, but mainly because I was really shocked by the BBC survey's results. I guess people prefer to forget what they should always bear in mind not as a burden, but as a warning... I wonder how many on-going (micro-)genocides are kept in silence and in the dark... In Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, North America (the native Americans' history...), and so on, and so forth...
As to Aristides de Sousa Mendes, he was a great man indeed, who ended up his days on earth in absolute poverty... But he must have died rich!...
Have a great week!