The Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration Committee is hosting its latest FILM & SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS DVD SERIES. The theme is Seeking the Truth Through Documentaries. The first film in the series is SACCO & VANZETTI [
Film-maker Peter Miller did the first full-length documentary treatment of this infamous case. In 1920 two Italian immigrants, Bartolomeo Vanzetti and Nicola Sacco, were accused of the April 15 robbery of the payroll of the Slater and Morrill Shoe Factories in South Braintree, Mass. and the murders of the paymaster Frederick A. Parmenter and his guard Alessandro Beradelli. At the start of the trial the Great Red Scare was in full swing, and the defendants, painted as anti-American radicals, bore the brunt of it.
Doors open at 7 PM, and the DVD starts at 7:30 PM. There is no charge, and refreshments will be available. A discussion will follow.
January 29, 2010
Out of Auschwitz
SIXTY-FIVE years ago this week, the Soviets liberated Auschwitz, while the Americans were approaching
In the early winter of 1944, World War II was coming to an end. But we in the camps knew nothing. We wondered: What is happening in the world outside? Where is God? Where is the pope? Does anyone out there know what is happening here to us? Does anyone even care?
It took a long time for the news of the American-led invasion of
One gray, frosty morning, our guards ordered those of us still capable of slave labor to line up and marched us out of the camp. We were to be shunted westward, from
We marched from camp to camp, day and night, until we and our torturers began to hear distant explosions that sounded like artillery fire. One afternoon we were strafed by a squadron of Allied fighter planes that mistook our column for Wehrmacht troops. As the Germans hit the dirt, their machine guns blazing in all directions, someone near me yelled, “Run for it!” I kicked off my wooden clogs and sprinted into the forest. There I hid, hungry and cold, for weeks, until I was discovered by a group of American soldiers. The boys who brought me life were not much older than I. They fed me, clothed me, made me a mascot of their regiment and gave me my first real taste of freedom.
Today, the last living survivors of the Holocaust are disappearing one by one. Soon, history will speak about
And it is why those of us who survived have a duty to transmit to humankind the memory of what we endured in body and soul, to tell our children that the fanaticism and violence that nearly destroyed our universe have the power to enflame theirs, too. The fury of the Haitian earthquake, which has taken more than 200,000 lives, teaches us how cruel nature can be to man. The Holocaust, which destroyed a people, teaches us that nature, even in its cruelest moments, is benign in comparison with man when he loses his moral compass and his reason.
After so much death, a groundswell of compassion and solidarity for victims — all victims, whether from natural disasters, racial hatred, religious intolerance or terrorism — occasionally manifests itself, as it has in recent days.
These actions stand in contrast to those moments when we have failed to act; they remind us, on this dark anniversary, of how often we remain divided and confused, how in the face of horror we hesitate, vacillate, like sleepwalkers at the edge of the abyss. Of course, they remind us, too, that we have managed to stave off the irrevocable; that our chances for living in harmony are, thankfully, still intact.
Samuel Pisar, a lawyer, is the author of “Of Blood and Hope.”
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs