And, oh yes, this son of a Nazi in the mid 1940's does not know what a Jew is, and whether he is one too!
And after a year of surreptitious meetings with a same-aged nine-year-old Jewish boy who somehow manages every day to find time to meet him at an unobserved fence (!
Yet if we were to believe the premise of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, it was possible to live in the immediate proximity of Auschwitz and simply not know -- the very defense of all those Germans after the war who chose to deny their complicity. The trains traveling with human cargo stacked like cordwood screaming for water as they died standing in their natural wastes without even room to fall to the ground were witnessed throughout every countryside.
Nobody, not even little German children who were weaned on hatred of the Jews as subhuman vermin could have been unaware of "The Final Solution." And to suggest that Bruno simply had no idea what was happening in the camp his father directed yards from his home is to allow the myth that those who were not directly involved can claim innocence.
No, there will never be too many books about this dreadful period we would rather forget.That is, after all, all that will remain of six million victims. They must speak for those who cannot, but whose suffering demands to be remembered and whose deaths cry out for posthumous meaning.Their task transcends the mere recording of history. Holocaust literature, like the biblical admonition to remember the crimes of Amalek, deservedly rises to the level of the holy.Rabbi Benjamin Blech, a frequent contributor to Aish, is a Professor of Talmud at Yeshiva University and an internationally recognized educator, religious leader, and lecturer.He is the author of 19 highly acclaimed books with combined sales of over a half million copies, A much sought after speaker, he is available as scholar in residence in your community. As Elie Wiesel put it, the cruelest lesson of the Holocaust was not man's capacity for inhumanity -- but the far more prevalent and dangerous capacity for indifference. There were "good people" who watched -- as if passivity in the face of evil was sinless.