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A week to remember

by admin November 3, 2009

It is nearly seventy-one years after Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, and many are concerned that we have already begun to forgive and forget the atrocities of the Holocaust.
I walked out of last week’s screening of “Triumph of the Will” at Cinema du Parc, enveloped by a feeling of disgust.
“Triumph of the Will” is a Nazi propaganda film directed by Leni Riefenstahl and commissioned by Adolf Hitler himself. The film depicts the so-called “glories and strengths” of Hitler’s Nazi party.
Not only was I disgusted by the movie, but I was appalled at the timing of the showing of this film. The airing of such a propaganda film does not force the viewer to reflect on the atrocities committed by the Nazis; on the contrary, it allows the ignorant viewer to justify the thought process behind genocidal behaviour.
As we enter into Holocaust Education Week, such films that skew facts should be taken off the shelves. While some may say these films provide an insight into the history of cinema, or the power of propaganda, or even entertainment, those who are truly sensitive to the history of humanity know that screening such films does more harm than good.
This week should be a week of reflection, of remembrance and education. This may be more important than ever this year, with the rise of anti-Semitism and the growing number of world leaders who deny historical fact. Leaders of countries such as Libya, Iran and Venezuela have denied the Holocaust. There seems to be a campaign to desensitize the world in regard to the atrocities of the Holocaust.
This week, you should take it upon yourself to get educated and informed. Remember the 11 million people who were killed in Nazi internment camps. Remember that the Holocaust happened in our time, in the lifetimes of our parents and grandparents. Even though we weren’t directly involved, we should consider ourselves responsible. As human beings, we are collectively responsible for the Holocausts and hundreds of other crimes against humanity because we see them happening but refuse to take action.
On that note, we are also responsible for standing up and educating ourselves on the history of the Holocaust. Without education, we are bound to let history repeat itself.