1. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Surviving Auschwitz

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Halcyon, Jul 19, 2010.

    Hi guys

    I just wondered how many of you (if any) have watched the current YouTube video made by an old Jewish survivor of the Nazi Death Camps, who has taken his grandchildren back to the scene and carried out an amusing dance routine outside the gates (and at various other strategic locations) to the tune of "I Will Survive".

    The video appears to have split opinion, with some saying that it trivialises what happened in these places and disrespects those who died and the families that they left behind, while others are proclaiming it as a joyous celebration of life. I must admit I fall into the latter camp myself.

    I can't post a link on here obviously, but if you are curious, simply go onto YouTube and type in "Auschwitz I Will Survive" or similar. It's definitely worth watching. :)
     
  2. Donal
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    Donal Contributing Member

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    I've seen it. Amazing stuff. He sums it up at the end where he says that if we told him 63 years ago that he would come to this place, feel happy, dance and have children and grandchildren with him he would think you crazy. It's a really beautiful celebration.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I'm afraid I have to side with the first camp. Too many families did not survive the Holocaust, and the cheery disco sound and dancing seems completely inappropriate, dancing on the ashes of the many who perished in agony and dehumanization, and were then incinerated like trash.

    Although I understand, and even agree with, celebrating life in the face of atrocity, this is far too frivolous in tone for my taste.
     
  4. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I agree; I think it's too soon to try and deal with the Holocaust in such a light yet. I admire him for trying to do so in a way, but he could have handled the video a little better.

    But since it's made I guess I have to hand it to the guy. Returning to the place is in itself a pretty brave act.
     
  5. LadyLazarus
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    LadyLazarus Senior Member

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    Speaking as someone who has elderly relatives who were in concentration camps - not Auschwitz, but still - it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

    I understand the sentiment. And I agree in a lot of situations I support the light heartedness. But not for this. Never for this.
     
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  6. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    I didn't watch the video, but I agree with those who think it's in poor taste. I can understand being happy to have survived, and I agree with Lemex that it's very courageous to even be able to go back, but I really feel like making a video like that is tacky and insensitive. There are other, far better, ways to celebrate survival.
     
  7. Nonnie
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    Nonnie Contributing Member

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    Unless any of us were in the camp with him, then I don't thnk we have any right to have bitter feelings towards him or judge the way he wants to deal with what he had to go through. I figure if that's the way he wants to celebrate surviving such an awful thing than we should be able to respect that.

    Why would we try to shame him for being able to make light fo his situation? No, no. BE sad about it, some people didn't survive so how dare you feel victorious and how dare you actually show it.

    God.

    Sure, it may be tacky but damn, it's his life and his victory and I think if the poeple who died could see it they'd want to dance with him! For some reason I highly doubt they're offended.
     
  8. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I do agree with you; but I think some people might not (as evidenced by the comments on this thread) see it as a celebration; but simply a parody of it. I think there will always be that sensitivity about the Holocaust, because it's more than just a horrific act; it's now a symbol of the dark side of humanity.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I don't need to be raped to empathise with rape victims and feel outrage at any attempt to defend the act.

    We have minds and the ability to communicate, and we have a sense of right and wrong. Of course we can hold opinions. It's deplorable to step back and say, "It didn't happen to me, so I cannot form an opinion."

    So, with all respect, I cannot agree with what you are saying, Nonnie. Yes, he can express his joy at being alive, but I still think it is disrespectful to the memory of those who did not. Because they are not here to speak, nor would anyone be who shared their experience, should no one speak for their dignity?
     
  10. Donal
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    Donal Contributing Member

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    Nobody here or indeed anywhere related to this video has attempted to defend the things that went on in Auschwitz.
     
  11. Nonnie
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    Nonnie Contributing Member

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    Well I don't think the Holocaust should ever be taken as a joke or without some semblence of seriousness-- as a girl who has been taken to the holocaust museum over and over again since I was a child by the few Jewish members of my family, I do have an intense respect for evrything that happened, but seeing this old man dance around (and jews do love to dance, no joke intended, they just do) made me intensely happy for him, and for humanity, because as a human race we have the amazing ability to take the great evil done and spit in it's face once we've survived.

    Even if it were a joke, he was there, so it's his right to joke about it.

    And I'm not saying we can't have an opinion, but because we were. not. there. we can't judge. There's a difference.
     
  12. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Personally, I think it stands as testimony to how the human spirit can survive the darkest horrors that evil men can visit upon it, and return many years further down the road and smile in the face of those memories, even at the gates of where it all took place.

    I salute this man, while respecting that these places still cause pain to many.
     
  13. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I never said you did.

    I was just pointing out no matter what his intentions were, others will not see it the way he does; some may even be offended by it. I don't think I even expressed any opinion in the post you responded to outside of a conjecture or two.
     
  14. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think anyone is saying he should be sad about anything...I just think there's a difference between being grateful and happy to have survived and being disrespectful to those who didn't...
     
  15. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think the guy's perspective on what happened to him is wonderful. It's awesome to see people who have overcome the greatest of traumas emerge victorious. I'm very happy that he has a positive perspective on life and can look back on what happened and not break down.

    However, genocide is just not something you can condone or ignore or make light of, and I dont think it is ever appropriate to take such a horrific event and joke about it. The day people start joking about things like this is the day we make it easier to happen again.

    As such, it makes me very sad to know that most people say that we should never forget the horrors of death camps and genocide, yet arent even aware of the Armenian Genocide, also known as the Armenian Holocaust and the Great Crime.
     
  16. Nonnie
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    Nonnie Contributing Member

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    I was expounding a few thoughts, I wasn't directing it all at you.

    Yes but those who didn't survive are dead. You can't disrespect the dead. Sure, some of the living may feel it disrespectful but I honestly can't see why, nor can I see why they would care what a happy old man chooses to do.

    I think the whole experience should be respected and it should never be erased from history or be taught that it wasn't a big deal but I mean, I think this guy has earned the right to be a little tacky.
     
  17. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I guessed, I just wanted to clarify something without bloviating, even if I am the only one that needed it. :)
     
  18. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hmm...I disagree. But everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion.
     
  19. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it should have been an entirely private thing... what's tasteless and disturbing is making it public, which smacks more of grandstanding and exhibitionism than anything more lofty...
     
  20. Nonnie
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    Nonnie Contributing Member

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    Who are you to say whose happiness should be kept private? Obviously that's his take on the whole ordeal and he's allowed to have that thought of it. It's like the happy thread on ****ing video for Gods sake. Surviving the Holocaust would definately be something I'd like to share with the world.
     
  21. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    There is no reason to be aggressive; she was just stating her opinion that it was a bit tasteless.

    I think that in time the Holocaust will be made light of, in one way or another. I mean, the Spanish Inquisition was made light of by Monty Python.
     
  22. Nonnie
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    Nonnie Contributing Member

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    I just find it so frustrating that people can look at things which such incredible lack of thought or I don't know, understanding?

    Even more so frustrating from a group of people who are usually so gung-ho about happy feelings and rising above and all that.
     
  23. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think anyone is looking at this with "incredible lack of thought." Not sharing your opinion doesn't mean that any of us aren't understanding...it just means that we disagree. Nothing to be upset about.
     
  24. LadyLazarus
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    LadyLazarus Senior Member

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    I don't think it's a lack of thought. Just a different way of thinking.
     
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  25. Nonnie
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    Nonnie Contributing Member

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    No, no, I definately think it's a lack of thought or maybe the inability to do so. Maybe I'm close minded all of a sudden but I think anyone who was not also a survivor like he is and is upset at this guy is ridiculous. It isn't a distaste for difference of opinion by any means it's just a frustration I get when I think an opinion is so stupid.

    I'm not trying to say anyone here is, but that's as much of an explanation I can give as far as where I'm coming from.
     

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