Friday, 30 September 2011

Confessions and Ghettoes

The Spielberg collection did me proud again yesterday.
There was some interesting footage from inside the ghettoes. Many of the players, though, were quite obsessed with appearing on camera so it was hardly fly-on-the-wall material. It did strike me though how different these people seemed from the ones I’d seen earlier enjoying a Sunday afternoon in Vienna and a family summer holiday in Zandvort. Yet they were presumably the same types of people. Those people not angling to be included on the film could be seen in the background. Many looked bored. Others were working hard at something – inevitably with the wrong tools – often suing a sledge hammer to crack a nut.
It was sobering listening to the interview with MauriceRossel who was one of the Red Cross inspectors who had visited Thereisenstadt and approved what was going on there. He admits he was wrong. However, arguably, the Nazis had made a good job of making it look fine whilst inspectors were there and no inmate dared say otherwise.
There was also a lot of footage of interviews with RichardGlazar who had worked in Treblinka. He had come to realise what was going on and where the tunnel that went to the gas chambers was leading. Yes, people were hit on the head and sent straight into the ovens. This happened especially to children. The inmates in the know feared having to do work that involved them in the death of others. They feared this more than dying. Glazar did manage to escape.                

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