The Human Spirit Unvanquished: The Holocaust in Literature, Art, and Film

October 15, 2013

In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death.” – (Anne Frank)      

The Holocaust had a major impact on world literature, film, and the arts. It has been the subject of poetry, books,  documentaries and such films as “The Pawnbroker”, “Schindler’s List”, “Shoah”, “Europa Europa”, ‘The Pianist”, ‘Sophie’s Choice”, and more. While known for its most horrific elements, this cataclysmic event has also served to show the indomitability of the human spirit under great duress. Here, Melissa Weininger discusses her upcoming class, “The Holocaust In Literature, Art, & Film.”

WIH Reporter: What is important for us to know about your class?

Weininger: The class will cover a wide range of material, from non-fiction and fictional accounts of the Holocaust to contemporary film.  We will explore the various ways the Holocaust experience has been represented and discuss some of the literary and artistic techniques used to represent it.

WIH Reporter: What things would surprise us to know about the Holocaust Art and Literature? 

Weininger: A great deal of Holocaust art, literature, and film reflects upon the way that artistic expression itself is essential to retain one’s humanity in conditions of extreme inhumanity and dehumanization.  Indeed, art is often seen as a saving grace, as the thing that keeps the survivor alive in unimaginable circumstances.

WIH Reporter: What is the biggest misconception we have about this subject?

Weininger: Some people probably think that Holocaust art and literature is depressing, or only expresses extremity and deprivation, but in fact much of it is quite beautiful, rich, and instructive.

WIH Reporter: What media will you use in your class?

Weininger: I will be using PowerPoint presentations, and we will be reading literature, looking at works of art, and viewing films.

For more information about this class which begins on 10-21-13, from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm, click here.