When you see Holocaust era films, how do they affect you?

Home Forums Decaffeinated Coffee When you see Holocaust era films, how do they affect you?

Viewing 19 posts - 1 through 19 (of 19 total)
  • Author
  • #596190

    When you see dead bodies lying around on the streets, the barracks, the skeleton looking people, the lines of Jews leaving the ghettos, the cans of gas, etc., is your Emunah strengthened or weakened?

    I just saw the Yaakov Shwekey – Rachem clip on Youtube (the one thats only Holocaust scenes) and I’m filled with strong but confused emotions, 50+ years later.

    What about you?


    When I see the films, pictures or read stories I am filled with a mixture of anger and awe. Anger at the barbaric animals who could treat human beings this way, and awe at the people who managed to survive with their emotional health intact, and more impressively, their emunah strengthened.

    As a side point, (I know this is not what the OP had in mind…) when watching Hollywood produced Holocaust era movies, it is interesting to note that many of them focus on the few Nazis/Germans who helped the Jews, instead of the rest who did not. ex: Schindler’s List, The Pianist


    These films always make me think about how I would’ve dealt with it if I were to have lived through all that. I often wonder if I would be as brave and strong as our grandparents who went on to raise new families after all they went through.

    It kind of nudges me to try to develop the strength and Emunah of that generation.


    There is a reality

    Dead men tell no tales and its very difficult to tell the story of the holocaust from most jews because they were killed.

    Obviously the most famous holocaust tale is Anne Frank, but that took place before the camps.

    Even the story of the Warsaw Ghetto, There were very few survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto (Less than 1000), They put their archives in Milk Cans for retrieval. They found 2 of the cans, but the third was never found.

    There are 12 known pictures of Treblinka and One Photographic log of Auschwitz (Some Nazi took photos of one transport and thats the only one that survived)


    It is very difficult for me to watch and yet I do with an understanding of knowledge. My mom a”h and her sisters were in Auschwitz. I grew up on stories of their experience. These films are visuals of their stories and it reminds me of the horrors they went through. How can anyone deny it happened????? That is what goes through my mind.

    Feif Un

    Just to note, my grandmother told me that the movie Schindler’s List did a great job re-creating what the camps looked like. She said that when she watched it, it brought everything back to her. It was like watching a video that was actually filmed during the Holocaust, that’s how accurate it was.

    I had always pictured Auschwitz as a dirty, cramped place. Not so. It was meticulously cleaned, and the grounds were well spaced (except for the barracks where the Jews slept, but that was by design – they wanted to remove any trace of humanity from them).


    On tisha b’av when we watch the films about the war, we all end up crying.


    i dont mean to argue on your grandmother, but other survivors have said that for a non-survivor to watch the most realistic of these movies even the most gruesome documentary footage does not even begin to give any understanding whatsoever of the Holocaust.

    in addition it is very unfortunate because it causes us non-survivors to think we DO have a little idea of the horrors and what happened to the Neshamas and personalities of those that were there. can you imagine how a survivor feels when non-survivors think they understand what happened to them and actually have no idea whatsoever.


    MOD i agree with you 100%. I personally spoke to Mrs. Pearl benish (she came to speak in my school and I went to visit her after that at her home in BP) and I just cried when I walked out. We cannot imagine what they went through. it is beyond our comprehension. I shudder when I think about it- how could they have been so strong and I cant be strong in things that are so much easier to give up for Hashem. They gave their lives so that their friends/children can survive…. Very scary to think about! I remember in HS my principal did not let us watch some parts of a Holocaust video because she said we will automatically go back to regular life in a few days and then there is a taana against us. if we dont watch it then there is no complaint about the fact that we just go back to regular everyday life.


    Mod 80, can you imagine how a survivor feels when non-survivors think they understand what happened to them and actually have no idea whatsoever.

    Absolutely! Ive read that when people are trained as psychologists, or bereavement counselors, etc theyre told not to say “I totally understand”. No one but the victim understands. Thats painful to hear.


    i have nightmares after..


    ive been in their possition enough times to know just how they felt. in relation to emunah i guess i would say strengthened though it depends on my mood and other circumstances


    I have a number of feelings that I will try to summarize as follows (in no particular order)…

    1) EXTREME anger at our sub-human enemies (past and present).

    2) Some of us feel a sense of “disappointment” (for lack of a better word) at those Yidden who lost their emunah from what they experienced, – I am awed and amazed by those that did not.

    3) Terrible sadness and distress at the fact that I feel that most of us have not learned much from this horrifying chapter in our history. Every time I hear someone say “Oh, but it COULDN’T happen here”, I want to SCREAM!

    4) Frustration with my fellow Jews who feel that because (for whatever reason) the Shoah was some kind of gezaira min haShamayim, that WE don’t have to do OUR histadlus, (spiritually AND) physically to prevent it (in any form, to any degree) in the future.


    Ain, …that WE don’t have to do OUR histadlus, (spiritually AND) physically to prevent it (in any form, to any degree) in the future.

    What we can do spiritually, is understood, but what do you think we can do physically?


    I would NEVER pick up a holocaust book, let alone a movie to see those horrible images. I seriously don’t think I can handle it.

    And yes, I know it’s not right, but I know very little about that dark era.


    Mod-80; You’re right on target. Because, in addition to the (designed) physical appearance of confinement of the camps, the goal of the nazis yms”h was to break the spirit of the Jews and take away the last trace of their humanity. What’s amazing, though in this entire situation is, that (all) the germans have this ability to switch from cruelty to self-indulgence. I’ve seen clips where those beasts were catered to like pampered guests in a Five Star hotel. It’s also said about Hoess ??”?. The commander of Auschwitz that at the end of every day he went home and was totally relaxed and enjoyed his life. Where a couple of Hundred feet away the gas chambers and crematoria worked 24/7.


    Pumper; You might have a point about the movie producers in Hollywood. But we shouldn’t minimize the role of Oscar Schindler in saving those Jews that he did. All of his actions were taken at great personal risk, not to speak of the fact that he didn’t turn any profit in his factories. He possessed a rare Neshama and his only goal was to save as many Jews as he could. When the war was over, he cried that he could have saved even more Jews. I’m sure that he is in Olam Haba together with all the Tzaddikim of the nations, like Raoul Walenberg of Sweden and Ambassador Sugihara of Japan, who were Moser Nefesh to save as many Jews As possible.



    Please don’t misunderstand.

    I am NOT suggesting by what I am about to say, that we could have (in the past) or can (in the present or future) overcome HaSh-m’s decrees by ‘kochi v’otzem yadi’ –


    I still believe we DO have to do OUR hishtadlus.

    Since you said you understand the spiritual aspect, I will answer regarding the ‘physical’ aspect.

    By that I mean…

    First of all, just realizing the need to be on ‘konenut’, on alert, to what is going on in the world, in Eretz Yisrael, in our own home country and city. To NOT hide our heads in the sand regarding dangers that are arising for Klal Yisrael, and to NOT either delude ourselves into thinking everything is OK, when it is NOT, or to consciously or sub-consciously be somaiych on nissim to save us from trouble.

    Secondly, YES, I DO mean that Jews should also learn to defend themselves physically, and to (legally) own (and know how to use) firearms.

    Now, you might ask “Do you really think that if some Jews own guns that will prevent another Holocaust?”

    NO, I do not.

    But I do think that since HaSh-m does NOT want us to be somaiych on a nais, and DOES want us to do our hishtadlus, that part of that concept involves having the appropriate pride in ourselves as the AM HaSh-m, meaning that He does NOT want us to think of ourselves or act like a bunch of little nebishes.

    Remember, a big part of the chaiyt of the meraglim was when they said they were ‘k’chagavim b’ainainu”, that they viewed THEMSELVES as little bugs/grasshoppers compared to the big, strong K’na’anim. They forgot who they were, they forgot they were the Am HaSh-m. They were meva’zeh themselves, and thereby they were meva’zeh Shaiym Shamayim.

    HaSh-m wants US to KNOW who we are, to do OUR part, and THEN, HE will do His.


    Ain, Secondly, YES, I DO mean that Jews should also learn to defend themselves physically, and to (legally) own (and know how to use) firearms.

    Perhaps along the lines of R’ Meir Kahane a”h’s thoughts, who said many years ago, that NOTHING will ever appease a Jew hater, and there will always be virulently angry Jew haters. How right he was! I think he felt that way about Jews arming themselves and being prepared for the worst, and at the same time learning Torah.

Viewing 19 posts - 1 through 19 (of 19 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.