“In my memoirs I wrote: “I was born in paradise, then I was banished, just like Adam and Eve.” I was born in 1930, and I was nine years old when the Germans arrived in the Republic of Czechoslovakia. The occupation started with various decrees - we were not allowed to go to the park or the cinema. Then Jewish children were barred from attending school. We were not allowed to study and I only went to four classes. In late 1941 they began deporting Jewish families to the Theresienstadt ghetto. My family was taken there in March 1942.
“Trains were leaving all the time. We had no idea what was happening to the people that were taken away. In 1944 they took us: my mother, my father and my sister. My brother was already gone by then. When we arrived in Auschwitz the women were put into one line, the men in another. That was the last time I ever saw my father, standing there among the other men. When you arrived in Auschwitz, the camp physician, Dr. Josef Mengele, decided who was fit to work and who wasn’t. Those who weren’t were sent to the gas chambers immediately. He declared myself, my mother and my sister fit to work. They sent us to a barracks where we had to undress and hand over our clothes. Then they sent us to the showers and gave us very thin clothing. The next day Mengele came in and once again decided who would be sent to work.
"When my sister and I returned home my brother was already there. But the house was empty. I told my brother and sister that I was going to Israel. I didn’t want to stay someplace that I was not welcome. But it took two years before I could go to Israel. Eventually I traveled from Marseille to Jaffa. The date was May 15, 1948 - the first day of the state of Israel.
"It is very important to me [that people remember what happened] because there are always people that say we made it all up. I have been to Germany a couple of times to speak at schools. It is important that our memories aren’t forgotten. My generation is the last of those who survived Auschwitz. It is really difficult to understand what was done to Jews, and why. That should never be allowed to happen again, and one must share that message with the world. You cannot kill people because of their religion.”
For all the “Jews Own Hollywood” BS people like to spew around, portrayal of Jews in movies has not been great. If you ask me to list major films with heroic explicitly Jewish characters in prominent roles over the last 20 years I could give you one example. This guy:
David Levinson from Independence Day. Sure you could head canon any Jeff Goldblum role as Jewish until proven otherwise but outside of the Independence Day Films we have a Chanukiah in the background of the Grimm house in the awful Fantastic Four movie from last summer to signify that Ben Grimm is Jewish if you know to look. Kitty Pryde has been given short shrift in the X-Men films.
Magneto is an anti-villain and the most prominent Jewish character in contemporary cinema.
There is no shortage of Jewish actors, but when Jewish characters show up in movies they tend to be weak, nerdy, criminals, neurotic and, self-loathing and tend to be leads in comedies as far as mainstream films with major Jewish characters are concerned. Because as far as the movie going world is concerned we’re all nebbishes, schlubs and Holocaust victims.
So J.K. Rowling is doing us a solid here by making two of the lead characters of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Jewish.
We now have Queenie and Porpentina Goldstein.
I don’t know if the movie will be any good. I heard horrible things about Rowling’s portrayal of magic in North America in that thing I didn’t read. But the fact of the matter is that, for better or worse, this is the first major international blockbuster film to feature heroic Jewish protagonists that aren’t David Levinson in what feels like forever. And there will be three of these movies.
What will we get from this? We’ll have Jewish and gentile kids buying action figures of Jewish characters, dressing up like them for Halloween, possibly controlling them in Video Games (where Jewish representation is even WORSE than movies), role-playing as them with friends, and even *gasp* admiring them. That matters.
We’re not getting coded Jews, or head canon Jews or Jewish stand-ins. We are getting genuine Jewish characters at the center of a movie that will be seen by millions of people around the world.
I wish this weren’t a big deal, but it is. I’d prefer an X-Men film where Kitty Pryde has a major role but given the direction that franchise has gone in that won’t happen any time soon. I would’ve preferred if they were played by Jewish actresses, but they’re not. They’re what we’ve got. They’re real. And with all the Jews in Hollywood it was a goyische writer who gave them to us..
Silent Soviet adaptation of Sholem Aleichem’s ‘Mendel the Matchmaker’, starring the eminent Yiddish actor Solomon Mikhoels in his film debut. Mikhoels travelled all over the world as the head of the USSR’s 'Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee’ drumming up support for the Soviet Union in opposition to Hitler. Communism being Communism, of course, Mikhoels’s reward for his efforts was his assassination in Minsk in 1948, when he was beaten to death and then run over to make his death seem like a traffic accident. Intertitles for 'Jewish Luck’ were written by the great Isaac Babel, who after a life of military and literary service to the USSR, was tortured, shot and dumped in a mass grave.