Five Jewish Hungarians, now U.S. citizens, tell their stories: before March, 1944, when Nazis began to exterminate Hungarian Jews, months in concentration camps, and visiting childhood ... See full summary »
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Michael S. Berliner,
The year is 1945 and the Germans have just surrendered. An airborne unit is ordered to a nearby way-station to help process German surrenders. Along the way, they cross paths with a broken ... See full summary »
Five Jewish Hungarians, now U.S. citizens, tell their stories: before March, 1944, when Nazis began to exterminate Hungarian Jews, months in concentration camps, and visiting childhood homes more than 50 years later. An historian, a Sonderkommando, a doctor who experimented on Auschwitz prisoners, and US soldiers who were part of the liberation in April, 1945, also comment. Most telling are details: Renée packing her bathing suit, Irene swallowing the diamonds her mother gave her to buy bread, Alice's memorial for her sister Klara, Bill escaping police by jumping into a line of Jews going to Buchenwald, and Tom told by a US soldier to have "all the damn bananas and oranges you can eat." Written by
There is one thing that has troubled me and has troubled the world, that the Germans dedicated man-power and trains and trucks and energy toward the destruction of the Jews to the last day. Had they stopped 6 months before the end of the war and dedicated that energy towards strengthening themselves, they may have carried on the war in London, but it was more important to them to kill the Jew than in winning the war.
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There have been a number of Holocaust films, dramatic and documentary, and all have some measure of success in conveying the immense horror of Nazi psychosis. This film is one of the best I've seen. It sticks to personal stories and that makes the difference. Dry written narration removes the vastness of the evil perpetrated.
It took decades for the real horror of the Nazi extermination to be adequately shown to the public. We should use this film as an example of the mindset that drives current holocausts being perpetrated right now or being openly planned by international leaders. It doesn't matter who is being persecuted, the open hated and psychosis of the perpetrators is on display here, you can easily see the same aberrant thought processes in action right now in Africa and the Middle East.
If only the world could show the courage that was clearly lacking in the 1930's.
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