Literature of Witness- Avraham Tory’s “Memoir” Avraham Tory is a Jew who survived the holocaust and his countless days that he spent trapped in the Ninth Fort. As a survivor, he bears witness to the atrocities encountered at the camp in his work titled, “Memoir”. He attempts to use language to depict horrors so deeply profound that literature fails to capture the intangible intensity of suffering at the Ghetto. The passage, taken from Avraham Tory’s “Memoir”, depicts the Master Sergeant of the Gestapo, the Rauca, at the Jewish Ghetto deciding without mercy or order, which Jews would be spared their lives momentarily or which would be led to the Ninth Fort. Master Sergeant Rauca sent those who were doomed to leave that day to the right while those sent to the left could live yet another day in the hellish Ghetto.
It is evident throughout the film that Szpilman was a selfless man towards his family and that he loved them very much. As the oldest child, Szpilman always put his family first and tried to protect them. When they are forced to leave their home and move into the Ghetto, Szpilman gave all the money he earned from playing the piano to feed his family and pay for living costs. In the scene where a German officer orders his family to stand, Szpilman stands up to the officer and tells him that they all have work permits and in a two shot we see the officer slap Szpilman on the face. We can see that Szpilman loves and cares about his family very much.
Other moves took the Weisses to Milwaukee and, eventually, New York. But the family remained poor. Completely devoted to his mother to the point of obsession, the young Erich sought ways to ease her hardscrabble life. At one point, he took to begging for coins in the street. True to his illusionist ways, he hid the coins around his hair and clothing, then presented himself to Cecilia with the command, "Shake me, I'm magic."
The movie, The Pianist, shows how a Polish native of Jewish religion has suffered throughout a period in his life when the Nazi's regime had controlled Poland. Wladyslaw Szpilman was a determined Jewish Pianist focused on survival for himself, he wanted to bring his family name and culture through this devastating period. This man survived, just barely, by the good will, graciousness and generosity of those around him who were not completely for Hitler and his racist proclamations. This film shows how not every non-Jew in Poland supported Hitler and his policies, they still secretly did what they could for the Jews because they, themselves, found nothing wrong with them. There was the polish resistance, who helped Szpilman escape death by the hands of the Germans several times; they save him from being loaded unto the train, which was to transport the Jews to the concentration camps, he was hidden in apartments from the Nazi SS officers.
Once the Jewish prisoners lost their faith, which is the symbolic silence, they had no reason to live. On the other hand, the silence often symbolizes Jewish passivity in the face of such violence and oppression. For example, in the film Guido’s uncle, Eliseo, comments after he is burglarized that “Silence is the most powerful cry” (Benigni). In other words, passive resistance is the most moral response to violence, rather than retaliation or revenge. There are also many powerful moments of silence in the film, such as the scene at the end when the American liberation forces arrive and the prisoners simply and silently walk out of the concentration camp.
A monster called a div, with horns and tail and shining red eyes, invades the village one day, according to this story “Families would pray that the div would bypass their home, for they knew that if the div taped on their roof, they would have to give it one child.” The main thread is the story of Saboor and his descendants, with Abdullah ending up in the United States owning a restaurant called Abe’s Kebab House. This last part of the novel is narrated by Abdullah’s American-born daughter, a familiar type in this sort of literature — the child torn between America and the restrictive culture of her parents. In this case Abdullah insists on his daughter learning Farsi and undergoing instruction in the tenets of Islam, much against her inclination. Abdullah and his wife can hardly be blamed for this. Back in Afghanistan, even the poorest of villages has a mosque and a mullah (Islamic priest) to impart literacy and the teachings of the Quran.
Akiba Drumer was an inspirational young Jewish boy who tried to keep his faith and hope by playing his violin but sadly loses faith and gives up. The Holocaust brought out people inner courage and faith. Elie is a young 12 year old Jewish boy who has strong faith. “why did I pray?...why did I live?...why did I breathe?” throughout his experiences of the Holocaust his faith begins to fade away “never shall I forget…”. His “father’s presence was the only thing that could stop” him from giving up because he was the only support for his father and gave him courage to survive through each day.
Isaac’s family is fairly small, consisting only of his father, mother, and younger sister. Judah Asimov, Isaac’s father, was an intelligent Hebrew man who taught Isaac to read in Yiddish. He enthralled Isaac with the numerous tales from the Bible and the Talmud, but despite that, Isaac chose to be Atheist. After somehow failing to be drafted into the Russian army, he decided to move to America for the benefit of his children. Once there, Judah opened up a series of candy stores, creating a fairly profitable income.
More than anyone, a boy needs his father to approve of him and teach him how to be a man. Well, his father did not show him the love he required growing up. In all of Paul’s efforts to please his father, he was ignored and inadequate to his father’s expectations. In fact, his father praised a young man that worked as a clerk and insisted that Paul ought to be more like that gentleman. His father refused to give Paul money and argued that he has a job, so he can pay his own expenses.
That next year he was sent to The Hague to work for an uncle who was an art dealer, but van Gogh was unsuited for a business career. Actually, his early interests were in literature and religion. Very dissatisfied with the way people made money and imbued with a strong sense of mission, he worked for a while as a lay preacher among poverty-stricken miners. Van Gogh represented the religious society that trained him in a poor coal-mining district in Belgium. Vincent took his work so seriously that he went without food and other necessities so he could give more to the poor.