Katy Perry took a break from the European leg of her “Prismatic World Tour” to visit Auschwitz on Wednesday. The pop star posted shared a picture of the concentration camp with her 15 million Instagram followers with the following caption:
“My heart was heavy today.
For ever let this place be a cry of despair and a warning to humanity, where the Nazi murdered about one and a half million men, women and children mainly Jews from various countries of Europe.
Auschwitz - Birkenau
‘>The one that does not remember history is bound to live through it again’ — George Santayana”
No selfies were involved, and for this we are thankful.
I scrolled through the pictures I had just received in an email. I looked at them again. And again. The subject line, I realized, went straight to the point: “The Simpsons go to Auschwitz” — a series of drawings by the controversial Italian artist Alexsandro Palombo, depicting the popular yellow cartoon family as famished inmates of the Nazi death camp.
Marge, Homer, Bart, Lisa and Maggie wearing yellow stars, in striped prisoners’ garbs, and undressed in what seems to be the inside of a gas chamber… you get the idea. The “Arbeit macht frei”-sign, the emaciated legs, the fake showerheads — no question, the imagery was painful and upsetting to look at. And the bright, big-eyed cartoon characters with the funny-shaped heads definitely felt out of place.
Well, I thought, let’s try to find out what the artist’s message is. “We must educate the new generations and tell them what happened,” Palombo said, at least according to the email sent out by his press office. And then: “We have to do it without filters, bluntly, over and over again, through the memory of facts and terrifying images that reflect the horror of the Holocaust and the extermination of millions of human beings.”
While I agree (and who wouldn’t?) that future generations need to be taught about the Holocaust, I don’t think that doing it “bluntly” and “over and over again” is the right approach.
Amnon Weinstein has devoted his life to researching and collecting Holocaust-era violins.
(Reuters) — A violin thrown some seventy years ago from a train transporting French Jews to the Nazi Auschwitz death camp will sound in the concert hall of the Berlin Philharmonic on Tuesday night, along with other instruments once played by victims of the Holocaust.
A French railwayman caught that unknown passenger’s violin and gave it to his daughter to play.
Years later it found its way into the hands of Israeli violin-maker and restorer Amnon Weinstein, whose extraordinary collection comprises violins embodying their former owners’ tragic histories and stories of survival.
Tuesday marks 70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet troops. Around 1.5 million people, mainly European Jews, were gassed, shot, hanged and burned at the camp in southern Poland during World War Two.
January 27, 2015 marks the 70 year anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau and International Holocaust Remembrance day. With many of the survivors getting older, for some this may be the last year to commemorate the horrors and loss. Here are some moving pictures of the commemorations from around the world:
UNITED KINGDOM : Holocaust survivor Ela Weissberger, aged 84 looks at one of only 70 special candles commissioned to mark 70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
KRAKOW, POLAND: (L-R) 81-year-old Paula Lebovics, 79-year-old Miriam Ziegler, 85-year-old Gabor Hirsch and 80-year-old Eva Kor pose with the original image of them as children taken at Auschwitz at the time of its liberation.
OSWIECIM, POLAND: Members of an association of Auschwitz survivors, including one showing a medal given to Polish former concentration camp prisoners, depart after laying wreaths at the execution wall at Auschwitz concentration camp .
Oswiecim, Poland:Polish born oldest known Holocaust survivor and Yehuda Widawski, from Tel Aviv, arrives at a tent build in front of the entrance of the former Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.
PARIS, FRANCE: Francois Hollande with Auschwitz survivor Ida Grinspan speaks with five Jews deported and five young French Jews.
LIMA, PERU: Hirsz Litmanowiczin, octogenarian Auschwitz survivor, where he was a messenger of Josef Mengele, and who emigrated to Peru in 1952 , believes that religion and economics have become the engine of intolerance 70 years after the Holocaust.
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL: Young Israeli soldiers at Yad VaShem on International Holocaust Memorial Day.
(Reuters) — Hollywood director Steven Spielberg said on Monday he hoped that the Holocaust commemorations taking place in Poland on Tuesday will be a warning for future generations, in light of a rising tide of anti-Semitism and intolerance against Jews.
Spielberg was talking to Holocaust survivors in the southern Polish city of Krakow, ahead of the main event marking 70 years since Soviet troops liberated the Nazi German Auschwitz death camp.
“If you are a Jew today, in fact if you are any person who believes in the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom in free expression, you know that like many other groups, we are once again facing the perennial demons of intolerance,” the Oscar-winning filmmaker said.
The director won an Academy Award for Best Director for “Schindler’s List,” his 1993 movie about a German who saved more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust, warned of spreading anti-Semitism.
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