Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Passing on Shoah

I've had the documentary "Shoah" out from the library for a week or so now and I tried to watch the first disc last night. I made it 20 minutes into the film before I knew that this just wasn't the time to watch it. This is a four disc, 9 hour 30 minute documentary on the Holocaust and is comprised entirely of first person accounts by the survivors of what happened to them. It is something that I've wanted to watch since the Spring of 2000 when Professor Kugler showed 40 minutes of the film in his class on Nazi Germany. I'm putting the movie back in my queue and I'll get back to it in another year or so and I suspect when I do I'll be more ready to watch it.

Some historians and some Jewish people object to the term "Holocaust" because the word means a "burnt offering" and in the Old Testament sense of the word when the Jews would sacrifice and offer a burnt offering to God, that was a holocaust and to say that the six million murdered Jews were a sacrifice, a burnt offering up to God is something that can be deeply offensive. Instead, the word "Shoah" to describe what happened. "Shoah" is a Hebrew word for "Catastrophe".

There's your history and linguistic lesson for the day.

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