Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Intolerance

Intolerance, what does that word mean to you? No, don't look it up just yet in a dictionary, what images in your mind does the word intolerance envision? Do you picture bigotry, racism, or hate? All humans have an intolerance to something: child abuse, animal abuse, poverty, or maybe high gas prices. Some humans have an intolerance to other humans because of the color of their skin, or their religious beliefs. Intolerance is generally looked at as negative, most of the time it probably is, although it would depend on what you are intolerant of. What I picture in my mind when I think of intolerance is hate and bigotry. What causes bigotry? Ignorance? Fear?
A deep hate? Caused by what? What is the root of it? These are questions I can't answer.
Their are those who believe that the Holocaust did not happen, or that it was overly dramatized;
their are so many eyewitnesses to the contrary. The book "Suite Francaise" by Irene Nemirovsky, is a panoramic view of what happened in 1940 when the German's invaded France. The story of how the book came to be is awe inspiring, that Irene's two young daughters took their mother's manuscripts into hiding with them, keeping them for many years, until sixty-four years later they were published into the book "Suite Francaise." The book is actually two books entitled "Storm in June" and "Dolce." "Storm in June" is a sweeping look at several families and individuals, from all socio-economic classes, and diversity, all trying to escape Paris, knowing that Germany's invasion and occupation is imminent. The second book "Dolce" is converged on one family that was apart of the first book. The protagonist a young woman that is already in a complicated and hapless situation, is now faced with an arduous assignment. My dad was an American soldier in Europe during World War II, I have talked about some of his experiences before. In a book that my dad has, are pictures of what some of the town people did to women that had affairs with the German soldiers: their heads were shaved, they were striped of their clothes, they were spit on, and degraded. These women had slept with the enemy. Even as a little girl when I would look at the pictures of these women I wondered why did they do what they did: were they hungry, destitute, lonely, forced, did they fall in love. I am sure that all of the reasons could be true. My dad has expressed to me that I cannot imagine how horrible it was for the civilians during and even after the war.
I am grateful for the witnesses that have stepped forward to tell "their stories."

3 comments:

Elizabeth Sinnreich said...

I recently read your post about Irène Némirovsky and wanted to let you know about an exciting new exhibition about her life, work, and legacy that will open on September 24, 2008 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage —A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York City. Woman of Letters: Irène Némirovsky and Suite Française, which will run through the middle of March, will include powerful rare artifacts — the actual handwritten manuscript for Suite Française, the valise in which it was found, and many personal papers and family photos. The majority of these documents and artifacts have never been outside of France. For fans of her work, this exhibition is an opportunity to really “get to know” Irene. And for those who can’t visit, there will be a special website that will live on the Museum’s site www.mjhnyc.org.
The Museum will host several public programs over the course of the exhibition’s run that will put Némirovsky’s work and life into historical and literary context. Book clubs and groups are invited to the Museum for tours and discussions in the exhibition’s adjacent Salon (by appointment). It is the Museum’s hope that the exhibit will engage visitors and promote dialogue about this extraordinary writer and the complex time in which she lived and died. Please visit our website at www.mjhnyc.org for up-to-date information about upcoming public programs or to join our e-bulletin list.

Thanks for sharing this info with your readers. Let me know if you need any more.
-Elizabeth Sinnreich (executiveintern@mjhnyc.org)

MissDaisyAnne said...

Thank you so very much Elizabeth Sinnreich, I was so pleased that you left your comment. I have visited the site and was so happy to see a picture of Irene. I now have her face pictured in my mind when I think of her. Thank you.

Bible Doctrine Study Page said...

I enjoyed this story very much. I have seen movies about these woman. I think some of them did what they did for survival. Had I been a town lady I would be glad someone else was satisfying the soldiers. I think some of the woman were in the business and didn't care who their clients were. My husband reads books about Hitler. I have read some of them.Doylene