Oskar Schindler was a complicated man. He was a German industrialist and a member of the Nazi party. He was not exactly loyal to his wife. But he was also responsible for saving the lives of 1200 Jewish prisoners during The Holocaust.
This year, the film based on his life during the war, Schindler’s List, turns 25.
If there ever was a Holocaust film, Schindler’s List is that film. Liam Neeson played the title role. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the supporting cast includes Ben Kingsley and Ralph Fiennes. Filmed in stark black and white for 99% of the film, the movie pulls no punches. It forces the audience to keep their eyes on the screen and screams out that this is what hate and prejudice leads to.
This film is hard to watch, but it is hard to watch for a reason. It is still relevant 25 years later not only because hatred, prejudice and genocide are still happening, but also because there are some who continue to deny that The Holocaust is anything but historical fact.
May this film live on for eternity, as a reminder of what human beings can do to each other and why we must find a way to accept one another, even if one is different.
Madeleine Albright knows a things or two about fascism. She escaped fascist Czechoslovakia twice during her youth and was Secretary Of State under the Clinton administration in the 1990’s.
Her new book, Fascism: A Warning, examine fascist governments/leaders, past and present. She examines how they came to power, the means they used the control the citizens of their respective countries and how these governments/leaders forever changed the history of their respective countries.
The one thing that struck me about this book is that despite the various countries over the years who have succumbed to fascism, the story is the same. A new leader appears on the scene. He is charismatic and knows exactly what to say to get into power. Once in power, this leader subverts the democratic rules and norms until they are no more. Often, this leads to persecution, destruction and execution of those who are deemed to be dangerous or different.
Ms. Albright is also not shy about pointing about the potential fascist leader in Washington DC who, if allowed, could destroy the American democracy as we know it to be. This book is a dire message to all American citizens. Americans must act now and use our voices and our votes before it is too late.
I absolutely recommend it.