Friday, June 27, 2014

Europa, Europa and Infraction of Human Rights

Europa, Europa was intriguing right from the moment it began. This film was capturing, but at the same time it was devastating to watch some of the horrible treatments the Jews received. Although, I have previously learned about the Holocaust, some events in the film took me by surprise. It was astonishing to watch the class at Hitler Youth where they learned about ways to identify Jews, sang murder songs about Jews, and filled poison about Jews in the minds of the students. Hitler Youth exposed the extent to which Hitler was going to ensure that Jews would be abhorred by the Nazis. Along with facing the external struggles due to the Holocaust, Solly was in a dilemma about lying about his religion for the sake of his survival or being killed by revealing the truth. Ever since he had lied about being a German, he felt as though he was losing his own identity and betraying his people. He was accompanying the people who were after his own family and religion. There were several instances when he considered telling the truth about being a Jew, but in order to survive he realized he had to live with the lie. Leni, the girl Solly liked, was completely Anti-Semitic, and in one scene she told Solly that she would slice a Jew’s throat which made Solly slap her. He was overwhelmed by his guilt of lying about his identity, and at this moment he firmly stood up for the Jews. After that he travelled to the Jews ghetto in order to look for his family while observing the extremely unpleasant environment and conditions the Jews were forced to survive in thus causing him more remorse and disgust. Towards the end when he couldn't take it anymore, he broke down in front of Leni’s mother and told her that he was a Jew.Throughout the course of the film there were many instances shown when human rights were being violated. The most prominent one was dehumanization and persecution due to religion. According to Article three of Universal Declaration of Human Rights “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.”. This was clearly violated when the Jews were either killed or put in gruesome conditions just for being a Jew. Some people were pretending to be Nazis in order to survive while others stayed with the Russians like Isaac, Solly’s brother.  The Jews were forced to live in ghettos or taken to concentration camps where they were treated in an atrocious manner. This movie highlighted the most significant violations that occurred during this time which was completely dehumanizing the Jews and taking away Jew’s right to live. Europa, Europa provided a true depiction of what it was like to be a Jew during the Holocaust along with supplying insight into the relationship that Nazis had with other Nazis while telling a true story of a survivor of the Holocaust. 

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