The Unknown Righteous Among the Nations at Yad Vashem [Avishai Teicher, PikiWiki]
Movie reviews are the last refuge of those who cannot write, and at least in this case, those who cannot buckle down to finish writing something he would rather not, long after the original élan
for the project has left. So, this is what you are going to get instead.
So to strike while the iron is still hot enough to strike without significant risk of it becoming overwrought [in the metallurgical sense of the word] here we go.
Actually, we do not do movie reviews as such here at MemeMerchants – we are not that sort of a blog – what we do on occasion is watch movies and then comment upon what ever we find interesting, noteworthy, or worthy of commentary or critique. Atani is usually the one who tackles commentary on cinema and ‘the arts’, but in this case since the subject at hand intrudes upon one of my own departments and a set of topics near and dear to my heart which is: Nazism, the holocaust [in its broadest sense], and the difficulties of post-war European society in dealing with their collective responsibility for it, I’ve decided to take this one on myself. I’m also looking for a good excuse for not dealing with finishing the piece I’m supposed to be writing – other than watching movies.
The question for today is: what do we do about what our parents or grandparents did, or did not do during the holocaust? What a question? How do you deal with something that really can’t be dealt with? How do you ‘deal with’ guilt or remorse? What is the appropriate verb here? The Germans have an especially great word for this process, vergangenheitsbewältigung, ‘processing of history’, or ‘the struggle to come to terms with the past’.
The German language, gotta love it, I cannot pronounce it properly, but they’ve got such great words.
For newcomers to this blog, this vergangenheitsbewältigung is a subject that I have written about on several occasions here at MemeMerchants, most recently: Poison in the Well of Culture-slightly off topic reflection on Collective Guilt, and also: The Rosenstrasse Protests, Victims of Their Own Oppression, and The White Rose of Munich.
The subject of today’s essay was stimulated by watching Gilles Paquet-Brenner’s 2010 movie Sarah’s Key, which is based upon the best selling novel of the same name [Elle s'Appelait Sarah in the original French] by Tatiana de Rosnay, which deals with the subject of the July 1942 Vel’ d’Hiver Roundup and the deportation of some 13,000 Jewish men, women, and children from Nazi occupied Paris – by the French police.
Well, that ought to be interesting.