The Holocaust is not your metaphor

Monday, 27 January 2014

Yad Vashem

Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and I’ve written an article for the Guardian on why we shouldn’t use the Holocaust as a metaphor: The Holocaust is not your metaphor to use in modern political debates. Here’s a small excerpt:

“Enough dehumanising violence was done to second world war victims during their own time; we have no right to add to that violence by further reducing them to nameless images in our current advertising and social media campaigns. Their bodies and lives are not our public property.”

If you would like to read the rest, click here.

I’ve already received nasty emails about this article. While I respect the fact that people will disagree with my position on this, if you’re planning on emailing me, please note that: a) I will not respond to abusive emails, they will be immediately deleted; and b) don’t expect me to change my mind. I’ve formed this opinion based on knowledge, personal experience and the experience of others. I’m not looking to be convinced otherwise.

But let me reiterate what this article and post are about: remembering the victims.


callie b said...

When I first read your article in the Guardian I wasn't so sure, (maybe there were some gray areas?) but then I clicked over to the PETA link. Could anyone who looked at those pictures really miss your point, or think that kind of use of those images is okay? Shocking. Thanks for bringing my attention to it. I'll think more carefully about using that kind of metaphor in the future. Which I'm guessing was your desired end.

Hila said...

Thank you for reading it.

Michal said...

I realized I never commented on this post (I've been much worse at commenting lately, although please know that I am still reading), but I feel I have to say something.

I won't ever forget going to the Jewish synagogue the first time I went to Prague (the one attached to the old cemetery) and reading the last names of two of my childhood best friends written on the wall amongst so many names. Reading those names that I associated with two beautiful people I loved, helped to further burn the horror of the Holocaust onto my mind. All of those names on the wall belonged to individuals, each with his or her own mind, own experiences and own life that was brutally taken away.

The appropriation of the Holocaust is something that has long bothered me. It happens all over the place and it makes me sick. Your article was able to put my thoughts into words, so thank you.