Movie Clip Wednesday

Best documentary, Boxer saied.

Shoa (Ger., Eng.)  by Claude Lanzmann (Ger., Eng.).




19 thoughts on “Movie Clip Wednesday

  1. xl says:

    I have always been interested in history and read a lot about WWII when I was a kid. Did not know about the death camps until the time when Adolph Eichmann was brought to trial. There were several documentaries on TV exposing the entire system. Every time I hear a train whistle like the ones in that show, I still get an icy feeling.

  2. XL – The real important thing about Lanzmann’s work is that it is a documentary. He interviewed people who were there, as victims and as doers or perpetrators, and as wittnesses. The film came out 1985, forty years or roughly two generations after the end of the war in Europe, after the liberation of the camps. It was most important to get the oral history. Those who negate or deny the fact of the holocaust can be opposed: There is no space for denying the fact of the holocaust. That may seem strange to you, but remember that there is no written order and that a lot was destroyed by the guards in the last days. Even in Nueremberg it was difficult, other processes came to limits too – in a strictly juridical way of view, not otherwise.
    Lanzmann was critized for filming and taping interviews with people who originally only wanted to speak without this, especially doers. In my opinion he is fully justified: There is nothing to hide. They knew what they did. There is no space for lies.

    I saw it in German tv, I think it was 1986. Two evenings. I still remember some scenes very clear. And Karski

  3. Mago, I was around at that time and I saw news reels.
    I don’t see how anyone can deny it happened.
    When they showed the camps,and some of the survivors it was upsetting to this young girl. I wanted to close my eyes and not look but I did. I probably will not ever watch this film because of it.

  4. Karl
    Quod non in actis, non in mundo.
    What is not in the files is not in the world. One can find heaps of bodies – you need one proof that is undisputable of one person’s guilt.

    I know the films. In Lanzmann’s documentation non of this is shown, nothing. The intensity comes from people remembering, narrating. The clip on this site shows only an old Polish Engine driver who brings his locomotive to a place in Poland called Treblinka.
    He did that very often. In those days.

  5. XL
    Liebherr is the family name of the founder, the family is still involved. They started with cranes after WWII. I think my fridge is a Liebherr. A lot of “Marken”, brand names, are family names. Miele, Benz, Noell, or shortings of names: Adidas, Efka cigarette paper, C&A, that’s what just popped up.

    Dachau was a Ausbildungslager. The real death machines were in the east, Treblinka (I + II) was one of the largest. Was destroyed, see “Aktion Reinhardt”. What evidence? What witnesses? I am not sure whether one man was sentenced in court for this.
    Do you see how it works?
    Lanzmann’s film is on youtube, all 58 parts.

  6. Sobering and sad. I know nothing of this particular documentary, but the importance of collecting and archiving oral histories is critical in preserving a time in history that many would like to forget… for all of the wrong reasons. It’s on Youtube? I think I’m going to look deeper to find a hard copy. Great pick.

  7. Intersting write up on this documentary. I’ve never heard of it and am not sure it’s ever played in the US. I find war documentaries to be the most interesting because of interviews with people that were there. You get to see their eyes as they tell their story and you see the truth in them. Like Boxer, I will have to look it up on Youtube.

    Happy MCW!

  8. Boxer
    Its 580 minutes, nine hours.

    Buzz Kill
    There were some very interesting documentaries about men serving in the eastern theater of war back in the eightiess and nineties. As if people had realized that a whole generation was going and despite the “68s” angry actions the generation of the grandsons knew nothing.
    But do not mix it – Lanzmann’s work is about ha shoa, not the war.

    You are right, wrong is wrong and it is of no matter whether its one victim or a million victims. Ethical and humanistic, based on the idea of a human’s value.
    Has nothing to do with what happens in court. Do not mix these two aspects.
    The deniers always argue that the numbers would be wrong (much exaggerated) and what they question is what is in the core of the holocaust, das fabrikmäßige Töten.
    The numbers show the dimension of what happened throughout the whole of Europe. Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, “Asoziale”, “Erbkranke”, POWs and whoever.
    Its a difference whether you run something like a military pow-camp where some people die or get shot – and hence there is a small number of deaths – or if you run Treblinka II where nobody is meant to come out alive.

  9. A very powerful documentary Mago…
    There is no doub’t that what happended happened. Personal oral history is very powerful particularly from Both sides of an atrocity…and cannot be dismissed as never having occured…what more proof is needed?

  10. Hello dear Princess, historians have a genuinely mistrust again oral history and oral testimonies. Only in the last – 40? – years these kind of sources move from edge into the focus of historical interest, are taken serious. Fact is that based on oral history alone one can not come to an exact and comprehensive delineation of an historical event, “hard” evidence is needed … the time table of a railroad organization can be of more value than an interview with an engine driver.

  11. At first – I say NO.
    She’s a professional – she knows how to pronounce: so no. Show me where or what, the scene … if she speaks with an accent – other than her ususal normal accent what is there because she is German – it may have a meaning. But show me please, so that I can hear it.
    But her German is generally without accent. Please show me details.

    There is a archive of Berlin speak, but I can’t find it now.

  12. Ha – funny! The boys in the backroom. “Geh’ nicht fort” seems to be the German version of a French chanson, and Lili …
    No there is no trace of a dialect, at least I can not hear something of this kind. It is obvious that she did not learn to speak in Southern Germany – there is a different melodie and kind of pronounciation you can not get rid of totally, Franconians for example always have difficulties with “b” and “p”, “k” and “g”. She speaks and sings clear Hochdeutsch, maybe a bit hard “am Rand” / “on the edge”, a very well trained voice.

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