Friday, June 27, 2014
My response to Europa Europa
Adolf Hitler promised to rule a thousand year reich, but that was not his only goal. Steadfast on his belief that the Jewish population in Germany was what ruined his great country and what lead to the loss of the first world war, Hitler used everything at his disposal to strip away the Jewish people’s rights and dehumanize them. I enjoyed watching the film Europa Europa in class because I believe it gave an unique perspective of the human rights violations that occurred during World War II and what it took to avoid persecution. I found myself on the edge of my seat while watching Solly desperately attempt to hide his true self.
In the beginning of the movie, multiple Germans participated in Kristallnacht, a horrific night when Jewish shop owners were terrorized. These actions violated the Jewish people’s rights to life, property, and business. Not only did they have to close down their shop, but Solly’s sister was killed. In the aftermath, many Jewish families sent their loved ones out of the city to find refuge in the East but had to cross a river at night due to the fact that their citizenship and right to immigrate and move freely throughout the country revoked. While Solly pretended to be a “pure bred” German in both the military and the Nazi youth, he witnessed more abuses. Jewish people that were captured were shot with no warning and Communist students were hung. These killings went against articles of human rights discussed in every declaration, from the US Bill of Rights to the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights. Solly ventured into the ghettos where the Jewish people were treated inhumanely, and viewed from a trolley how the Jewish people were abused, starved, and beaten. In order to keep his promise of a thousand year reich, Hitler had to force his citizens into his system of beliefs. Women became viewed as objects only to produce desirable children.
Agneiszka Holland narrated the story of a brave young man who gave up his own identity to fit into a fascist and evil community to survive. Holland included the gross human rights violations that shocked the rest of the world in the aftermath of World War II. This movie shows us why it is so important to study human rights to prevent something among those lines again.