After watching Schindler’s List and looking at news articles regarding the Holocaust, our group came to the conclusion that no movie or news article can express the full terror and dehumanization of the Holocaust. There has been much controversy over the movie, with many people angry over the so called “Cinderella” version of the Holocaust. The movie focused on a few positive stories and connected the viewer with a few characters who ended up living, which creates a sense of satisfaction for the audience. In reality, the Holocaust is one of the biggest genocides in history, and 6 million people were killed.
For example, the audience was drawn in by the man who made door hinges in the camp. The SS guards tried to shoot him, but were unsuccessful because of a faulty gun. That moment in the movie was like a train wreck, horrible to watch but impossible to look away from. The audience is relieved when the man is not shot and later survives the war as a Schindlerjuden. This man’s story is an example of the Hollywood touch on a terrible event. The audience is relieved and given a sense of that Hollywood “happy ending” we as movie-goers seek.
The New York times covered the events of the Holocaust fairly accurately. The unfortunate part is that the repetition and effective placement factors were missing. Most people pick up the paper and read the front headlines, and then make the decision whether or not to keep reading. The percentage of readers who made it to page 6 or more, which most stories were on, was slim. These horrifying stories were not told often enough in the paper either.
If the average person relies on Schindler’s list for information on the full Holocaust concentration camp terror, the viewer will be sorely mistaken. The movie leaves the viewer with a sense of hope and comfort, when in reality, the survivors and victims of the terrible events were never left with even the slightest feeling of hope.
This film teaches us that extreme nationalism and totalitarianism can cause decent humans to become monsters of murder. It also teaches us that the government has a huge amount of power over the people. None of the guards could stand up to the power of Hitler or else they would become another casualty of war. Power can be evil and make people do terrible things, even when they don’t want to. The film also teaches us that our race and religion are such a huge part of who we are. The problem will never go away.. if it isn’t one group of people, it is another.