Friday, June 27, 2014

Violations in Europa Europa

Europa Europa, a film highlighting the exploitation of the Jewish culture during World War II, shows the inner conflict of a Jewish boy as he struggles with the choice to remain loyal to his faith and family, or to survive the devastating Holocaust. The Holocaust and World War II served as prime examples of a horrific violation of human rights in many different aspects.
The most prominent violation of human rights during this time period was the right guaranteeing freedom of religion, along with the belief that all men were born equal, and viewed equal under the eyes of the law. Although antisemitism was not uncommon in Europe, specifically during World War II, Hitler and the Nazi's brainwashed the Germans into believing that the Jewish people were not ordinary humans. For example, in the Nazi Youth School that Solly attended, the teacher attempted to demonstrate to the class what distinct physical features characterized Jews by using a tool to measure the length of a Jews forehead, nose, and other physical elements. The irony of the demonstration was that these tools were horribly insufficient and completely useless, in that it determined Solly as an Aryan, when in actuality, he was a born Jew. 
Another right that was repeatedly violated in the film and during the years of the Holocaust is the right that protected all people from cruel or unusual punishment. Not only were these individuals being punished when free of crime, they were being punished in such ways that are entirely inhumane and especially cruel. Towards the beginning of the film, shortly after Solly tricked the Germans into believing that he was a German himself, Zenek Dracz, a boy that Solly had spent years with at the Soviet orphanage rightfully accused Solly of faking his identity as the non-Jewish Josepf. Due to this outreach to Solly, and what the Germans viewed as a false accusation, with slight consideration, the Nazi's ran Zenek over with a truck, killing him instantly. Another example of inhumanity in the film is seen in the ghettos when Solly went back to Lotz and realized what the Jews were experiencing under Nazi control. Many of them were underfed, malnourished, poorly sheltered, hung, and killed. While Solly seemed to be in utter shock, this belief of German superiority was very evident in the film, as Europa Europa did a superior job in depicting the lives of both the German and Jewish people during the Holocaust and World War II.

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