Friday, June 27, 2014
Persistence of Beliefs
Europa, Europa is an enlightening film about the holocaust produced in 1990 that depicts the thrilling survival tale of a Young Jewish Boy who masquerades as a member of the Nazi youth. Since this film depicts the holocaust, there are uncountable human rights violations. The most prominent of these in the film however, is oppression of religious beliefs. This Crime was committed by the Germans and Soviets alike. The highlight however, took place in the orphanage in Soviet Russia. A fair northern European Boy, who would have been proudly been accepted into the Nazi youth, stands up against the leader of the Soviet Orphanage claiming there is a God and that communism was evil for depriving them of their right to express their religion. The leader of the Orphanage then publicly humiliates the boy by having him pray for candy publicly, and when none came, she had workers release candy from the ceiling. This clever manipulation rapidly squashes any notion of religious rebellion in the Orphanage. The whole exercise was meant to brainwash the children and make them believe that communism is more reliable than God. The Russians beat into their heads that religion really is the Opium of the Masses. When most people think of human rights violations during World War 2, the Germans and the Holocaust are the only things that come to mind. This film shows how religious persecution was committed not by just the Germans, and that religious oppression can be just as harmful as any concentration camp. Solly meets the same boy that stood up for his religion later in the film, and when the other boy sees that Solly has joined the Germans, he becomes enraged and attacks Solly. Unfortunately, the Germans chase him down and he is hit by a car. This is when Solly truly starts to see the crimes that the Germans are committing against humanity. This raises many questions on to what extent one should compromise saving one’s self just by surviving is highlighted at the end of the film, and Solly realizes the extent to which the Jews were persecuted. The Main character, Solly, Witnesses individuals standing up for their beliefs all through the war, and wonders if dying for what you believe in is better than sacrificing your ideals. The true gravity of the situation hits him when he sees what his brother had gone through for his beliefs, and made him question why he gave his up so quickly.