Youngest “Schindler Jew” Speaks at UN Ceremony

In light of our recent viewing and class discussion of the film Schindler’s List, I looked into recent news regarding the Schindler Jews. Upon my search, I came across an article from the Times written on January 31, 2018 about the youngest of the Jews that worked for Schindler, Eva Lavi. The article discusses her address at the United Nations Holocaust Memorial Ceremony.

I found it interesting that the article draws attention to the UN Holocaust Memorial Ceremony using one of Schindler’s Jews. As Schindler’s List is a significant part of pop culture as a representation of the Holocaust that many Americans have viewed, it makes sense that a survivor associated with the film is given media attention. While her story is extremely meaningful and serves as an important survivor testimony with or without her associatation with the film, when looking at how the ways in which the Holocaust is discussed in the U.S., it is interesting to look at how Schindler’s List was used to introduce the topic. Notably, Lavi was the little girl explicitly shown in the film “when Schindler told Nazi guards that the child would be useful in his factory thanks to her small hands.”

Eva Lavi. Source: https://news.un.org/en/story/2018/01/1001691#.WnKWda2B3MW

In addition, article demonstrates notable language around the savior narrative of Oskar Schindler. Although the film has been widely accepted by survivors, as a course, we were critical of the heroic narrative associated with Schindler in the the film. While it could be argued that Schindler’s actions were nothing more than what individuals should have been doing to help Jews during the Holocaust, language used in the article to describe his actions include: “Oskar Schindler saved her life” and “Schindler’s list, which helped spare the lives of 1,200 Jews.” This is representative of the heroism used in discussion of the Holocaust.

Link to Times article: http://time.com/5128238/youngest-schindlers-list-survivor-eva-lavi-un-speech/

Link to UN Nation article: https://news.un.org/en/story/2018/01/1001691#.WnKWda2B3MW

2 Replies to “Youngest “Schindler Jew” Speaks at UN Ceremony”

  1. I have done some research on Schindler’s Jews as well. I think it is extremely important that “Schindler’s Jews” speak about their experiences. While many academics and historians can question Schindler’s motives and who he was as a person, it is important to remember the Jews he saved believe that they owe their lives to him and never question him or his character.

  2. I think spognard’s point about valuing the opinions of survivors is essential. I’m doing some research on Schindler’s List, and most of the criticism comes from small circles of academics. The question is: how do we balance the criticism with the positive value of the film in an appropriate way?

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