Memory of The Holocaust and Its Impact

The deliberate and systematic destruction of a people or ethnic group is considered from the international legal perspective the most atrocious crime among all crimes. We call it genocide. A crime against humanity. A crime that we can not understand. And, despite everything, it has been present repeatedly, under various forms, in our recent history.The movement for the recovery of historical memory has been a broad and strong movement, with a deep social base in different social and generational layers of the population. The memory of the Holocaust and its influence has not been casual or direct. It has not been direct because the influence of the Holocaust speech has not come directly from Germany or just central Europe, but has come through several different places. We have got the chance to see the Holocaust Museum in different places of the world. We also have books that have from written their biography of the events and how it affected people of different origins, such as France.

One of the many unique ways to create memory of the Holocaust is through cinema. How is it possible that a comedy has a concentration camp as a setting? Roberto Benigni presented “Life is Beautiful.” This affirmation is more radical, more provocative than Benigni’s visual jokes. Although his film takes place during one hour in a kind of concentration camp, where Guido tries to make his five-year-old son Giosuè to believe that it is a game, to win a tank, for the spectator that ‘concentration camp’ is always recognizable as a scenario. Both the story and the set do not allow any doubt: what we are seeing is not the reality of a concentration camp, but pure fiction. The film is not the Holocaust or the Nazi regime only, but the affection of a father for his son, which leads to represent that parody, to invent absolutely implausible stories so that his son continues to believe that life is beautiful and the love of Dora, who, without being Jewish, follows her husband and her son voluntarily to the concentration camp.

Imre Kertész, a Hungarian Jew, who was deported to Auschwitz at the age of fourteen, from where he passed to the Buchenwald camp; there he lived for about a year, until the liberation at the end of the war. Buchenwald played a key role from the point of view of the monument memorial and as an ideological element. Imre Kertész wrote several books about his stay in the concentration camps. Imre Kertész also went on to write his view about the movie “ Life is Beautiful,” where he goes on to say “We now understand that, somewhere else, the “game” would be called civilization, humanity, freedom—everything that humans ever regarded as valuable. And when the boy, reunited with his mother and suspended in her arms, cries out “we won!” his words come to resemble, through the power of this moment, an elegy shot through with grief. “In this sense, the film has profound humanity that brings it closer to How beautiful it is to live!

Probably, the first hour – in which the ‘prehistory’ is narrated, that is to say how Guido knows the teacher Dora, a story full of humorous blows in the slapstick style and a thousand adventures until he manages to marry her. All in all, “Life is Beautiful” is really worth seeing. The allegation for the innocence of children and their family, and one of the most beautiful love stories in the history of cinema. Since the turn of the millennium, it is no longer meaningful to speak of memory discourses as something limited exclusively to a national context. It must be recognized that reception is local and that the effects and political repercussions are carried out within a local or national scope.

Memory discourses can adopt transnational narrative patterns, but at the moment of interpreting their functions and political and social effects we have to contextualize them in a local and national context. In the prevailing idea is that the act of telling the stories of the forgotten victims, giving them back their individual stories, remembering their names and acknowledging their sufferings, is a way of making reparations. In this sense, the act of making memory becomes part of the work aimed at compensating for the injustices committed and the fact that during the transition no transitional justice has been made, it converts this demand into a political accusation, both to current society and to the same transition process.

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Memory of The Holocaust and Its Impact. (2022, Aug 23). Retrieved September 28, 2023 , from

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