Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

The Scroll

No. 17: Shoah

The Holocaust as a human event

Print Email
A scene from Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah (Les Films Aleph/IFC Films)

1985, dir. Claude Lanzmann. How to understand an event so momentous and monstrous as the Holocaust? Claude Lanzmann’s approach, which he described as “fiction of the real,” was to insist that people speak. By which he meant all people: those who drove the train to Treblinka while drunk on vodka, those who somehow survived unimaginable terrors, and those who stood by and did nothing. Sometimes, the speaking was cajoled, even purloined—like the SS officer who agreed to speak to Lanzmann off the record but was instead taped with a hidden camera and forced onto the historical stage. By pasting together nearly 10 hours of testimonies, Lanzmann not only preserves these accounts of our darkest hour in perpetuity, but also manages to tear off the veil of mystification. He shows us the Holocaust as a human event—complex, intricate, but eminently understandable, which is to say, the kind of event that can be studied rather than forgotten or, worse, abused.

Print Email

COMMENTING CHARGES
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at letters@tabletmag.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

No. 17: Shoah

The Holocaust as a human event

More on Tablet:

Affleck’s Ancestor Owned Slaves–Now What?

By Jonathan Zalman — What the movie star could learn from the story of a woman who shared with her family, over Passover, that they had once owned slaves