Surviving Hitler: a Comparison of Night and the Pianist in the Portrayal of the Holocaust Essay

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The Holocaust is the name applied to the systematic state-sponsored persecution and genocide of the Jews of Europe and North Africa along with other groups during World War II by Nazi Germany and collaborators. "Early elements of the Holocaust include the Kristallnacht pogrom of the 8th and 9th November 1938 and the T-4 Euthanasia Program", progressing to the later use of killing squads and extermination camps in a massive and centrally organized effort to exterminate every possible member of the populations targeted by the Nazis. The Jews of Europe were the main victims of the Holocaust in what the Nazis called the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question". The commonly used figure for the number of Jewish victims is six million, so much so …show more content…
He continues to pray to God—he prays not to become as cruel as Rabbi Eliahou's son, for instance—and his vocabulary still reflects a kernel of faith in God. It seems that Eliezer, at his core, still maintains a kind of belief in God (Weisel).
The Pianist, a film by Roman Polanski, teaches its audience that a certain law of film--that a movie should have a proactive hero--doesn't apply. The Pianist is based on the memoir of Wladyslaw Szpilman, a noted Polish classical pianist who survived the Holocaust. He made it through, not because of his ability to fight, but because of a fortunate string of accidents. Szpilman spent the length of the war in various closets and sealed-off flats; at one point in the film, he sleeps cramped in a cold fireplace, wedged in by a bookcase next to some live ammo and mortar shells. Wladyslaw has one strong characteristic. His solitude as a classical musician helps him--barely--to survive this nerve-racking isolation, particularly when he's like a ghost haunting a cleared-out city. The word "heroism" has no meaning in such a deadly situation. The moral of The Pianist is "God wants us to survive. At least that's what we have to tell ourselves" (The Pianist).
During the German blitz, Wladyslaw is recording Chopin for the Polish radio. A bomb blast breaks open the studio, signaling the arrival of the Nazis. The occupation begins with a series of nuisance laws and ends with the formation of an official ghetto on Halloween