Remembering the Holocaust
By: Louie Volpe
With the observance recently of Holocaust Remembrance Day, a number of companies, using new technologies, are presenting some interesting ways in which we can remember to "not forget". Using these tools of the times we can explore the past, present and future of the Holocaust by way of CD-ROM, the World Wide Web and on video tape. Some ask us not forget the horrific events that took place earlier this century, while another reminds us not to feel too secure as the rumblings of hatred once again are at bloom in the "Motherland."
A multimedia CD-ROM entitled "Lest We Forget [A History of the Holocaust]", by Endless Interactive and Logo Research Systems, has been released in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day. This exquisitely produced, designed, and researched project presents a powerful look at the history behind, during and after the rise of the Nazi party and Hitler's final solution to the "Jewish question".
Playable on both Macintosh and PC/Windows systems "Lest We Forget" is a beautiful and haunting CD containing an original soundtrack, interactive and detailed maps, original text, audio, over 30 minutes of video and more than 500 photographs, many never seen before by the public, from the Yad Vashem Memorial Archives in Jerusalem.
With a powerful and sometimes emotional interface, "Lest We Forget" divides the Holocaust timeline in four main categories:
"The Jewish People" - A look at the background of the roots of Judaism and it's spread throughout the world.
"Hitler's Germany" - A background to the events that led to the rise of the Nazi party in Germany, it's racial agendas and it's ultimate takeover of Europe.
"The Holocaust" - The implementation of of Hitler's final solution to the "Jewish question", with an examination of the camps, ghettos and mass extermination of Europe's Jews.
"The Aftermath" - The criminal prosecutions and world reaction after the secrets of the Holocaust were revealed. Including the ethical, moral and political ramifications that exist to this day.
Because of it's subject matter and the strong and powerful way in which it is presented, it might be difficult for some to experience what is presented and is thus not be suitable for all audiences. "Lest We Forget" is a well done and highly recommended CD-ROM. For more information you can visit them on the World Wide Web at http://www.logos.com.
"Will history repeat itself?" asks the video documentary "Then They Came For Me - Intolerance in Modern Germany." Produced by Pearl River Television and hosted by Robert Culp this documentary focuses our attention on the growing increase of intolerance and hatred in Germany since the fall of the Iron Curtain. Along with the Reunification, the joining of East and West Germany, came a marked increase and almost public presence of Right Wing extremists, Neo-Nazis and the Skinhead movement.
This level of intolerance is particularly evident in the actions of the so-called "established" religions, the Catholic and Lutheran/Protestant churches. It is not uncommon for these established churches to choose individuals in each town, called "sect experts", to keep an eye on the "bad religions". These individuals, one from each church, are supported by church taxes which are "voluntary" but which would result in excommunication and banishment from the church if it is not paid.
The "bad" religions are allowed to practice but are considered "dangerous" to their members. The Church of Scientology, Jehovah Witness, Muslims, and 7th Day Adventists are some of those mentioned as "bad" religions. Though never mentioned directly as a "bad" religion in the documentary Judaism is seen part of the problem.
Outright discrimination is felt by most foreigners in Germany and in particular the Turkish Muslims. Examples of this harassment include a 15 year old Turkish girl who was greeted each day in the schoolyard with "Hiel Hitler". Even with this phrase being outlawed, the other parents did not consider it a problem and only after intervention from the government did the harassment stop.
Jews are becoming the targets of these attacks with the damage and toppling of headstones in Jewish cemeteries and the burning and destruction of Germany's oldest synagogue in the city of Luebeck on the eve of Passover in 1994.
"Then They Came For Me - Intolerance in Modern Germany" is a strong documentary worthy of viewing. Distributed by Janson Associates, you can find more information by visiting their website at http://www.janson.com/thentheytv.html
The Jewish Post of New York, in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, has put together an online exhibition at it's website. "Don't Let the Light Go Out - A Multimedia Remembrance" features animated onscreen movies, images, Quicktime movies and sound to bring visitors a little closer to the horror that is and was the Holocaust. A message board invites the visiting public to add their thoughts, memories, and opinions to this exhibition.
Our website has been visited by hundreds since it went online and has become a recommended visit by other Jewish organizations and websites. "Don't Let the Light Go Out - A Multimedia Remembrance" uses historical images and movies courtesy "Lest We Forget - A History of the Holocaust" CD-ROM. You can visit this special exhibition at http://www.jewishpost.com/jewishpost/holocaust.
"Lest We Forget [A History of the Holocaust]"
Distributed by Logos Research Systems
"Then They Came For Me - Intolerance in Modern Germany"
Distributed by Janson Associates
"Don't Let the Light Go Out - A Multimedia Remembrance"
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