Sunday, July 18, 2010

A TRUE Survivor

Last summer of 2009, Adolek Kohn, an 89-year-old Jewish survivor of Auschwitz returned to the death camp with his daughter and three grandchildren --- and he danced. And he didn't just dance, he had his daughter Jane Korman make a video of him dancing (with her and her three children) to the rousing tune of Gloria Gaynor's hit, 'I Will Survive'.

Needless to say, this video has provoked anger from many who fear it trivializes the Final Solution. That is a valid fear, especially given the fact that the groups which released this video to the Net have turned out to be Neo-Nazis. (It's obvious their intent was to mock this terrible moment in history.)

However, I am siding with Mr. Kohn in this matter. Like him, I see his dance as a victory over the Holocaust. The Final Solution destroyed its victims in one of two ways - body and soul. Obviously Auschwitz did not destroy his body - but they would have succeeded in destroying his soul if they'd reduced him to a bitter old man, incapable of ever again taking pleasure in the scent of a flower, the touch of a loving person's hand -- or the sound of music. But that didn't happen. Instead, Mr. Kohn returned to the camp, to the ovens, the showers and the trains - to everything which tried to destroy him; and in front of each and every one of them, he danced.

As I see it, Mr. Kohn has triumphed. Since the greatest triumph of the human spirit is to be able to still experience joy, Mr. Kohn's dance proves he has truly done that. God bless him. L'Chaim.


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