Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Goodmorning, Auschwitz

I woke up groggy this morning because I took too much Nyquill last night. When I arrived at my client's house, there was an inexplicable bottle of dish detergent sitting on the bath chair in the shower.

His wife thought it'd be nice to start the morning with a cheery movie about the Holocaust starring Kirsten Dunst. The phrase, "It's just like Schindler's List!" passed her lips. Just what I want to watch at 6:15 am. What a way to start my day.

Now don't get me wrong. I love the Jewish people. Probably more than anyone even realizes. I've been fascinated with their history as a group, even as a small child. But waking up with scenes of a concentration camp is not how I like to roll out of bed.

As the movie progressed, a bit of irony struck me. The movie was about a shallow American teenager (Dunst) who doesn't care about her Jewishness until she magically is transported to Poland and lives and dies in a concentration camp saving her best friend/cousin (played by Brittney Murphy with a horrible accent) who actually turns out to be her aunt. Honestly, it was a terribly acted movie, partly because of the fake Polish accents and partly because the script was stilted and forced.

Anyways, the overarching theme of the movie was "never forget."

But how short our memories are.

The Jewish community is always saying, "Never forget. Never forget." And we shouldn't. But should "never forget" only apply to Jews? The world certainly forgot Rwanda. The world is forgetting Darfur.

I wish the American Jewish community would speak up full force, to extend "never forgetting" beyond the Jewish community and into other worlds and peoples that are suffering the same horrors they did 50 years ago.

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