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Jul 21, 2010

I Will Survive: Dancing Auschwitz (video)

On a recent trip to Europe, a family of three generations (a Holocaust survivor, his daughter and his grandchildren) dance to Gloria Gaynor's pop song - 'I Will Survive' at concentration camps and memorials throughout Europe.

This clip was first edited with the help of my friend Pisithpong Siraphisit who runs Compeung Art Village, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

This dance is a tribute to the tenacity of the human spirit and a celebration of life.

Despite the systematic brutality and cruelty endured, we have still survived.

(Kol Isha (recorded singer) and Mixed (family) Dancing alert..)




I really wanted to post this video before Tisha B'Av. I think the message relayed in the video is very appropriate for Tisha B'Av. If not for the fact that the music and dancing was very strong in the video, and not just in the background, I would have posted it (though then the video would not have been quite as appropriate in its message - it is the performance that makes it a powerful message).

The video has sparked a debate about whether or not it is appropriate to be dancing in front of what were concentration camps.

My opinion on this is that for anybody but a survivor to do this would have been irreverant, disrespectful and inappropriate. Because it is a survivor and his immediate family, that makes it not just appropriate, but even a powerful message to the Nazis and to anti-semites.

The survivor in the video is sending a message to Hitler and his cronies, and those today who support them and would like to follow in their footsteps, that we have survived, we continue to live and we will dance on your grave. You wanted to destroy us, but we live life to the fullest.

11 comments:

  1. I had such mixed emotions as I watched this clip, unsure whether to laugh or cry. In the end I did both.
    I hope that Hitler and his cronies are spinning in their graves...

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  2. the link is dead

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  3. Try here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7PtrFJtseg

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  4. The link is fine. Youtube has removed the video. It was posted again here.

    If that one has been taken down also, try searching "i will survive auschwitz".

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  5. I found another clip. It is up until they take this one down as well

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  6. C'mon the song is about a girl that got dumped. I can't tell a survivor how to relate to what he went through, but regarding others who are posting/celebrating this video,I think it shows a lack of taste and perspective. It is sad that as opposed to singing זדים הליצוני עד מאוד or the Partisan Song these folks need Aret Franklin.

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  7. who cares what song they chose? I didnt even pay attention to the words..
    I was discussing the sentiment of what they were doing, not what music they chose to run the clip to..

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  8. Eli,

    What's even sadder is that you couldn't do a simple internet search to find out that Aretha Franklin had nothing to do with the song.

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  9. (not G)
    I understand the sentiment, but I found it to be in bad taste. The words of the song are irrelevant if not insulting and the image of people dancing on the site of Auschwitz was to me inappropriate. I only watched the first half a minute, so I don't know if it got better afterwards.

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  10. ok the chick dancing it up is a bit much, but she probably hasn't done much simcha dancing yet....

    what's the rationale for you tube pulling it????

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  11. LOVED it! For all you who feel it's in bad taste, you are entitled to your opinion. But they are entitled to theirs as well. Your opinion doesn't make you right, despite the behavior of our current frum leaderships examples.

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