On February 22nd, German figure skater, Nicole Schott took to the Olympic ice using a piece from the score of Schindler’s List to accompany her performance. The performance received tremendous backlash on Twitter and prompted the TMZ article that asked “how did she Nazi this coming?”. A similar article came out of the Jewish Daily Forward and was my first exposure to the issue. Schott’s performance received backlash from many, among these was a rather spirited tweet from comedian Leslie Jones which received 1.4
thousand likes. It is worth noting, however, that Schott is not the first figure skater to use the award winning score as accompaniment. In fact, Johnny Weir, a figure skater who has appeared in another student’s blog stating that in a past life he was a Jewish Girl from WWII Poland, has also skated to the score.
While I am not offended by the choice, I do find it odd especially for a German skater. Therefore, I am interested in Schott’s reasoning behind the song selection. I wonder how much of the backlash can be attributed to a heightened awareness given recent events such as Charlottesville. While the choice does strike me as a odd, I do believe that there must be room to honor the Holocaust through artistic expression. .
If society makes the Holocaust off limits on the world stage, doesn’t that amount to a kind of collective denial? If the reason we are adverse to hearing a song associated with the Holocaust utilized in an artistic form is because it forces us to remember what we wish to forget, then perhaps Ms. Schott has accomplished more than she is being credited for.