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ProfessorPlum's Journal
ProfessorPlum's Journal
July 25, 2014

I got the meaning of "Schindler's List" completely wrong!

In the course of my life, I have read dozens of books and watched dozens of movies concerning the Holocaust. This kind of literature and storytelling is important, because it lets us put ourselves in our imaginations in situations where we haven't been before. It lets us put ourselves in others' places, at least to a first approximation, and think about how we would feel in that place. And so, after reading and watching books and movies like Schindler's List, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, The Pianist, The Diary of Anne Frank, Jakob the Liar, Maus, Night, even The Boys from Brazil, and taking a college course on the Holocaust . . . I thought I had gotten the message pretty clearly, and it was this:

It is wrong to treat people, especially a group of people, in this way.

And that applied to Jewish people, homosexuals, the Romani people, religious minorities, people with physical and mental handicaps - to all people.

I thought.

To now see the state of Israel, born out of the suffering of the Holocaust, demonize, round up, ghettoize, and systematically kill a weaker group of people is so galactically ironic that it blows up everything I thought I knew. It turns out that the message of those movies and books wasn't "it is wrong to treat people this way". It was instead a case of special pleading -

It was wrong for other people to treat US this way.

I'm blown away by how wrong I was.

/sarcasm, I hope, sadly.

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