Holocaust in Literature and Cinematography

Holocaust in Literature and Cinematography History Essay

Oct 28, 2018 at History Free Essays

Holocaust in Literature

Nowadays the notion of holocaust is considered to be a horrific phenomenon of the 20th century. Holocaust is genocide of Jews and people of Jewish origin during the World War II. It is claimed that the mass homicide resulted in approximately six or even more people during the Nazi regime. Apparently, after the end of the actions the appalling consequences of the massacre found their reflections in a vast number of films and literary works in order to remember the terrors of the warfare and decimation of Jews. For instance, “Schindler’s List”, or “Night” by Elie Wiesel are deemed ones of the most notable illustrations. Besides, a plenty of other pictures and writings immensely contributed to the apprehension of the mass murder. Therefore, the horrors of holocaust are vividly represented through the prism of numerous films and literary creations.

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Holocaust was masterly depicted in both “Schindler’s List” and “Night by Elie Wiesel. The illustrations of the mass murder seem to have some peculiar similarities as the sequence of principal events and the development of the storyline. Firstly, the main characters are of Jewish origin, and they face the horrendous realities of existence in the camps. Concerning the book issues, “Night” is mostly autobiographical, i.e. the author used to be a prisoner of the camp, and he encountered the deaths of his relatives and fellows. Additionally, Wiesel recounts his experiences through the perspective of the protagonist in the story. As for the film, Steven Spielberg focuses on the life of the main character, Oscar Schindler, who is willing to save the people from the dreads of the local camps. He, as well as Elie Wiesel, depicts the German authorities and the military forces as the representations of evil. Besides, both reflections depict the same topics and dilemmas as, for example, disdain in relation to the prisoners, lootings of the valuables, forbiddance to have one’s own views or convictions, and contempt towards Jewish people, even though they are the same people as the Nazi soldiers (Bergen, 2003, p.1).

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Additionally, a spectator or a reader might observe these aspects in some particular scenes in either the book or film. In the first chapter of “Night”, Elie Wiesel describes the invasion of German forces into the Jewish habitations, their involuntary resettlement and the disrespectful attitude of the troopers towards the inmates. As for the “Schindler’s List”, the Jews are also sent to ghettos in two major camps, Sighet and Cracow, where they experience atrocious jeers and cruelties because of being of Jewish origin. However, cinematographic works seem to be more influential on illustrating the flouts and the human disrespect. In comparison with literature, a spectator is able to observe the real scenes of life of those days while writings give the reader an opportunity only to imagine the places of action. Besides, “Schindler’s List” rather faithfully represents the specific objects, locations (the camps, for instance), or the appearance of the prisoners. At the same time, literature is rather unclear, especially, in terms of describing the chaos of German encroachment, for example. Therefore, both reflections of mass homicide are similar in terms of depicting the same problem and life realities but they portray the realities in a different manner.

Apart from the two examples of illustrating the massacre, holocaust is regarded as a unique phenomenon in the history of human civilization. The number of victims, methods and techniques of oppressions, and the attitudes towards primarily Jewish people are the features characteristic mostly for the period of World War II. In fact, the realities and consequences of the disastrous events are more vividly and precisely imaged in the cinematographic works as the audience is capable of apprehending the peculiar objects, settings, characters, and other details that form the entire picture of a particular historical notion. Hence, holocaust is a brand-new historical notion that is masterly depicted through the prism of films rather than literary creations.

Holocaust as an unrepeatable experience of the humankind is genocide of more than six million people during the World War II. A vast number of writers and directors attempted to portray the realities of the mass murder in their works. Particularly, “Schindler’s List” by Steven Spielberg and “Night” by Elie Wiesel are the most prolific reflections of the notion. They imaged the horrors and the experiences of the protagonists in their creations. Besides, various other writers and filmmakers also portrayed holocaust, yet cinematography is considered more precise in describing the peculiarities. Thus, holocaust is a horrific notion of the 20th century, especially, through the prism of the creations of Steven Spielberg and Elie Wiesel.

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