I genuinely don’t know what to make about the controversy over Adolek Kohn, the 89-year-old survivor of the Nazis who danced with his family to ‘I will survive’ at Auschwitz. The video is here
On the one hand can there be any more of a repudiation of all that National Socialism stood for than dancing on the spot where genocide happened? But on the other is it disrepectful to those who never got the chance to sing and dance like this ? Personally I found ‘Life is Beautiful’ to be an incredibly sad film, mostly because of its message that even in the extremes of cruelty there must be humour and the will to live on- but even so, that film that was art, I’m not sure what this amounts to.
Vanessa Gera for AP has some slightly more detailed thoughts from historians and Jewish community leaders as well as cultural anthropologist Mark Auslander who:
notes that while dance might be considered trivial in Western societies, throughout history it has been used to ease “human responses to traumatic loss — from initial overpowering grief, towards mourning, towards joy in the regeneration of life.
As the final survivors of the worst atrocities of a bloody century pass away is this sort of thing really appropriate? Your thoughts please.