postHolocaust Generation

I just saw the film ‘Amen’ about SS Officer Kurt Gerstein’s attempts to expose the Nazi atrocities to the world. Although the fictional film moved me, it was only because a single repeating theme appeared throughout the film; the sight of cattle cars passing laden [with Jews] and returning empty.

Oh sure, there was frustration at the desire of everyone to close their eyes at the atrocities being committed by Nazi Germany. But never did I feel sorry for or empathize with the main characters portrayed within the film. The reason, I believe, is the same reason I cared little for ‘Inglorious Bastards.’ The film is a portrayal of a “what if?” scenario: nothing within rings of truth.
Yes, the film is based on historical fact. It’s about enough to drizzle upon the fakery portrayed to make it appear tempting. I find it annoying.

I find it annoying because suddenly the phrase: “there is no business like the shoah business” rings so true. Film and theatre have taken the Holocaust and romanticized it. Suddenly the Holocaust is all about theatrics and drama instead of the slaughter of humans in a systematic manner.

We as a culture have taken the truth of the horror of the Holocaust and reduced it to fantasy and pretty film making.

We as a society are turning the Holocaust into nothing more than a fictional story.

The sad part is we don’t even realize it.

We gladly flock to the movies that portray fictional accounts so we can sit with our friends with a bowl of popcorn and laugh or cry accordingly. Then afterwards we comment on the quality of the movie we just saw. No thoughts are left to the Holocaust and those who perished.

I think I’ve had enough.

I think I’m going to watch a documentary and leave the film making and special effects out of the conversation.

About the Author
Meir is a Political Science graduate of Lander College for Men (A Touro College branch in Queens NY) and a recent Oleh