martes, 1 de febrero de 2011

Dancing to the Song of Survival

I guess most of you have already started reading The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. Here´s a video filmed in the same concentration camp where the story takes place, Auschwitz. Read the story of the video before watching it.

Last year, on a trip across Europe, a Holocaust survivor, 89-year-old Mr Adolek Kohn, and his family (his daughter, Israeli film maker Jane Korman, and her three children) visited several concentration camps and danced to Gloria Gaynor's hit “I Will Survive.” They were videoed in different parts of Auschwitz, in the grounds of the Dachau concentration camp, in Poland's Lodz Ghetto Memorial, outside a synagogue and at the Theresienstadt concentration camp in the Czech Republic. Click here to listen to BBC´s interview with Adolek Kohn and Jane Korman, where they explained how and why they did it.

This video was the subject of big controversy when it came out: some people were outraged but most were touched by it. I am one of the latter; I think people who have survived the horror of genocide are entitled to celebrate their survival as they please but only they can go and dance in places that represent such horror and not be disrespectful or insulting. Mind you, only a special type of person would like -or be able to- to celebrate survival like this: most of us haven´t got what it takes to go back to places where we felt bad and were miserably treated - or a place that could have been his grave, as it is the case here- and start dancing there. We cope with pain in very different ways but no one is better or worse than the others.

You can see the video below now and let me / us know what you think. By the way, watch it until the end, to hear Mr Kohn´s words on this video

8 comentarios:

  1. I've seen the video and I felt "the joy of living" of these people. Grandpa is here, and grandchildren too, and they have motives to feel lucky.
    It is also a way to tell the jailers: "You don't have overcome us. You killed many, but you are the losers. And here we are showing that"

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  2. Enrique, I agree, this video reflects the joy of living, that´s why I find it such a happy video -and moving, too.

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  3. Jessica López Santiso nº16 1ºB (BAC)
    I also agree with dancing in this way in those places now shouldn't mean an insult for anyone because there were people who had a hard time there and we should celebrate that our society has developped, so nobody can treat another person like this. As the grandfather says, no one could have imagined at that time that this video would be recorded in so exciting way someday, but I think victims would be happy to see their grandchildren or great-grandchildren won't go through it.

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  4. You are right, Jessica, we are very lucky not only to live right here and now but to know about these hardships only through books and films and not from experience. Thanks for your comment!

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  5. Sara Pardo - 1ºE
    I believe that the people who has decided to make this video have made it alone to show his happiness of having survived to such horror, so I think that people shouldn´t think that this is an insult or anything similar.
    In addition, in the case of the grandfather, he´s a person who has suffered to be in a concentration camp and his relatives are the persons who have lived these history very closely and they know about what they speak. People who see this video should feel identified or to familiarize itself with them and we all should think that this way of genocide is a big injustice that nowadays we have overcome.

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  6. María Rodríguez Armas - 2ºB09 febrero, 2011

    It really is such an awesome video! We've talked about it in class but it's even moving now that I've watched it. I think it's not that easy to say whether is right or not what they are doing, because we haven't lived the situation that he has. I guess that place it's an awful part of his life and this is a way to make it a little bit better, or just a sort of celebration for his luck.
    I know it can be kind of a shock if you are visiting the concentration camp and you see a group of people dancing... However, if you know their story maybe you will feel proud of them and you will really understand they way they are feeling.

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  7. I´m glad you enjoyed it and you found it moving, too, María. Next time you watch it, pay attention to the lyrics: the song was a very good choice.

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