Thoughts on the Film: "Forgiving Dr. Mengele"
I originally wrote this review last December. I hope you enjoy. :)
“... to forgive that God of Auschwitz. Me, the little nothing... I might as well forgive everybody.”
“It time to forgive, but not forget. It is time to heal our souls.” - Eva Kor
“... the pain of the shots that Mengele did to us...” - Pearl Pufeles
“Most of my fellow survivors are so hurting, they do not even have the ability to even understand what I am talking about. And so many of them will die without ever feeling free from that pain” - Eva Kor
“Forgiveness has nothing to do with the perpetrator, has nothing to do with religion- it has only everything to do with the way the victim is empowering him or herself and taking control of their lives” - Eva Kor
When watching and listening to the other survivors and their stories and emotions as they flowed forth, the overwhelming thing I felt was anger. They talked about sorrow and grief, but the tone of anger was interwoven throughout every word and motion they made. In some situations it was so palpable that I felt like I could reach out, touch it and even pick it up and hold it for a closer look. While I feel like sometimes Ms Kor pushes people too quickly to accept her thoughts and she acts defensive, I can see how she must find herself verbally confronted by many people about her choices. Not only does she have to deal with the deniers and the revisionists, but she must also deal with those who feel like she is giving the Nazi's and those who worked with them excuses or justification for their misdeeds. Few people have to deal with the challenges of the process of forgiving others while being criticized for participating and utilizing that process for their own healing. I couldn't figure out how anyone could criticize her and after that was mentioned in class and how her forgiveness was 'controversial', I decided I needed to see this film only to try and understand that. It feels so sad that people who are stuck can feel so much anger about someone working to loosen themselves from the grief and anger. I felt some anger listening to the arguments that forgiving was forgetting and forgiving was accepting and absolving the perpetrators of the crime. I can tell I'm still angry because I want to argue for the defense even as I write this. ;) Watching this has made me even more convinced that the process of reconciliation is so important to the well being of the survivors, the offenders and the communities which surround them both.
“... and not create a catastrophe for the Palestinians... and say what have we done”
Thank you so much for mentioning this film. I am very glad I watched it and that I have the opportunity to share it with others. I am also happy to learn a little more about Holocaust awareness and how Dr Mengele's experiments affected people long after the war was over.
pictures from: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0489707/, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lhAU868230, https://www.tumblr.com/search/forgiving%20dr.%20mengele, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2807743/How-Angel-Death-saved-mother-s-life-creator-world-s-iconic-dress.html, http://gauredevta.blog.com/2014/06/26/dr-mengele-experiments/, http://tmcnews.tendenciapp.com/articles/survivor-of-nazi-experiments-speaks-at-medical-ethics-conference/, https://googlingtheholocaust.wordpress.com/tag/forgiving-dr-mengele/