This week marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, and commemorates what the six million died for and the survivors went through for being Jews. Yet it’s not been 70 years, and the Holocaust is being downsized, universalized, revised, and denied. For sons and daughters of Holocaust survivors and World War II vets who served in Europe, as did film director Alfred Hitchcock, it is no secret that the eyewitnesses to the most researched, documented, studied and memorialized event in the history of humanity are old and fading fast. The burning question in Holocaust Education is, “How will we teach it without survivors?”
The film that will be shown on Tuesday night on HBO, Night Will Fall, is one way. It will open viewers eyes to the horrors the survivors didn’t want to talk about. The British literally canned those films, made under Hitchcock’s direction, until they were recently dug up and made into this very important film. Why is it important? Because in this ugly world, we need to remember where we were a mere 70 years ago, and use film as a strong weapon in fighting denial of the Holocaust, a denial used as the tool to deny the legitimacy of Israel. It’s that simple. And in this day and age, it’s that complicated.