Limina : a journal of historical and cultural studies
University of Western Australia, Department of History
Place of publication
This paper explores the issue of how Jewish victims who occupied so-called 'privileged' positions during the Holocaust are represented in fictional films. Such figures, particularly Jewish policemen in the ghettos, may be seen to inhabit the 'marginal' in two ways, both in terms of the unprecedented ethical dilemmas they faced, and the relative lack of attention such figures have received. Taking Primo Levi's paradigmatic essay on the 'grey zone' as a point of departure, this paper analyses how Jewish policemen are represented in mainstream, 'Hollywood' fictional films, namely Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List, in order to reveal that the narrative concerns of such works preclude any serious engagement with themes of moral ambiguity and 'compromise'. Attention will also be given to a more recent trend in the genre of Holocaust film that directly confronts these issues, nonetheless such films may themselves be viewed as marginalised due to their subject matter.
Field of Research
210307 European History (excl British, Classical Greek and Roman)
Socio Economic Objective
970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology