Arab Today, arab today new documentary interrogates jewish elders in holocaust
Last Updated : GMT 16:23:25
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

The Last Of The Unjust premieres at Cannes festival

New documentary interrogates Jewish elders in Holocaust

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today New documentary interrogates Jewish elders in Holocaust

Controversial Theresienstadt elder Benjamin Murmelstein
Cannes - Arabstoday

Controversial Theresienstadt elder Benjamin Murmelstein When your enemy is sworn to exterminate every one of you, can you -- should you -- try to cut a deal with him to at least save some lives knowing that others are doomed? The question lies at the heart of a new documentary by Claude Lanzmann, author of Shoah, the hugely-acclaimed tableau of the Holocaust.
The Last Of The Unjust, premiering at Cannes on Sunday, explores a moral dilemma that Lanzmann briefly touches on his 1985 masterpiece.
For three and a half hours, the viewer is taken through an exploration of Benjamin Murmelstein, the last president of the Jewish Council in the "model ghetto" of Theresienstadt in Nazi-annexed Czechoslovakia.
Set up by SS colonel Adolf Eichmann as a bogus town run by Jews themselves -- a Potemkin village designed to dupe the world -- Theresienstadt was one of the grimmest chapters in the long record of Nazi atrocities.
It housed 50,000 Jews at its peak periods. Over four years, more than 150,000 inhabitants were killed, many of them shipped to the gas chambers of Auschwitz.
"It was the peak of Nazi cruelty and perversity...a unique combination of lies and naked violence," Lanzmann, aged 87, said in an interview with AFP in February.
To run Theresienstadt, the Nazis formed a Jewish Council, comprising 12 members and a leader, "the Elder of the Jews," or Judenaeltester in German. Those who refused the appointment were killed.
The first Elder was sent to Auschwitz in 1943 and killed six months later; the second was executed in Theresienstadt in 1944.
The documentary describes the extraordinary and controversial tale of Benjamin Murmelstein, a former Grand Rabbi of Vienna who became the third and final Elder in Theresienstadt and the only one in all of eastern Europe to survive the war.
Survival meant that he became a target. In the early 1960s, Murmelstein was bitterly attacked by some Holocaust survivors, who accused him of collaboration. There were even calls for him to be hanged, like Eichmann, whom Murmelstein knew intimately from Vienna.
The documentary is based on hours of filmed interviews that Lanzmann had with Murmelstein in 1975, 14 years before his death.
In it, Murmelstein comes across as hugely compelling, a man fiercely intelligent, courageous and ironic, harsh with others but also with himself.
Every day, he faced demands from the Nazis that he was obliged to comply with -- but he did his utmost to delay or subvert them, and in the process enabled some to avoid the death marches ordered by Hitler, yet knowing that others were doomed.
He is far from being a stooge or power-mesmerised monster, as other Elders in the eastern European ghettos were and as he himself was later portrayed.
"By taking huge risks (in Vienna), he managed to get 120,000 Austrian Jews out of the clutches of their persecutors, and what he recounts is a magisterial lesson in history," said Lanzmann.
"(...) One of the lessons of The Last Of The Unjust, in my view, is that at a certain point you no longer have any other choice than to comply and obey, that all resistance becomes impossible.”
"That said, Benjamin Murmelstein fought tirelessly right to the end against the killers. As he said, the Nazis wanted to make him into a puppet, but the puppet had learned to pull the strings."
As the holder of a diplomatic passport issued by the Red Cross, Murmelstein could have fled abroad after the war.
Instead, he voluntarily put himself forward for arrest by the Czechoslovak authorities after a number of Jews accused him of collaborating with the enemy.
He spent 18 months in prison before being acquitted of all charges. He went into exile in Rome, where he found life tough, but he never went to Israel.
Murmelstein's recollections, said Lanzmann, are doubly precious, as they prompt a new interpretation of Eichmann, who was kidnapped by Mossad agents in Argentina and hauled to Israel for trial, culminating in his execution in 1962.
German philosopher Hannah Arendt, in her account of the trial, described Eichmann as the stereotypical bureaucrat, embodying "the banality of evil.”
But Murmelstein portrays Eichmann as a "demon," fanatical in his anti-Semitism, violent and corrupt.

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today new documentary interrogates jewish elders in holocaust Arab Today, arab today new documentary interrogates jewish elders in holocaust

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today new documentary interrogates jewish elders in holocaust Arab Today, arab today new documentary interrogates jewish elders in holocaust

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Arab tradition glitters in Colombia

GMT 12:59 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Arab tradition glitters in Colombia
Arab Today, arab today Second US judge orders freeze

GMT 08:04 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Second US judge orders freeze
Arab Today, arab today Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts

GMT 17:52 2017 Sunday ,03 September

Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts
Arab Today, arab today Writing's on the wall for Trump, Zuckerberg

GMT 09:05 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Writing's on the wall for Trump, Zuckerberg
Arab Today, arab today Hiring not part of Alibaba pledge

GMT 11:26 2017 Wednesday ,18 October

Hiring not part of Alibaba pledge
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Sidem reveals plan to improve education

GMT 15:52 2017 Friday ,06 October

Sidem reveals plan to improve education
Arab Today, arab today Ex-French minister Dati wants tough action

GMT 10:54 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Ex-French minister Dati wants tough action
Arab Today, arab today Climate-disrupting volcanoes helped topple

GMT 16:00 2017 Wednesday ,18 October

Climate-disrupting volcanoes helped topple
Arab Today, arab today The history of solar eclipses

GMT 05:16 2017 Sunday ,20 August

The history of solar eclipses
Arab Today, arab today Mercedes says recalls 400,000 UK cars

GMT 06:56 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Mercedes says recalls 400,000 UK cars
Arab Today, arab today Britain's Vauxhall to cut 400 jobs

GMT 10:53 2017 Sunday ,15 October

Britain's Vauxhall to cut 400 jobs
Arab Today, arab today Hussein Fahmy happy for honoring in festival

GMT 07:47 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Hussein Fahmy happy for honoring in festival
Arab Today, arab today Three killed, 360,000 without power

GMT 05:11 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Three killed, 360,000 without power

GMT 09:31 2017 Monday ,16 October

Dalal Abdel Aziz happy for “Seventh Neighbor”

GMT 18:15 2017 Monday ,16 October

British actress becomes fifth woman

GMT 18:29 2017 Sunday ,03 September

Designer produced new set of ornaments

GMT 18:49 2017 Monday ,16 October

India to close colonial-era military farms

GMT 10:46 2017 Saturday ,05 August

Nanis reveals simple ideas for home renovation

GMT 23:42 2017 Monday ,16 October

Better Marriages Make

GMT 06:52 2017 Monday ,16 October

Airbus CEO says won't cling to job

GMT 17:12 2017 Monday ,07 August

Al-Shawaifi reveals secrets of total solar eclipse

GMT 03:59 2017 Sunday ,15 October

US mobile carriers Sprint, T-Mobile to merge

GMT 19:29 2017 Tuesday ,29 August

Yomna: decoration leaved positive effects
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday