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Dancing, laughing at Auschwitz: who has the right?

WARSAW, Poland – Who has the right to dance at Auschwitz, to make light of the Holocaust, to shoot videos set amid cattle cars and gas chambers?

A home video that has gone viral on the Internet showing a Holocaust survivor dancing at Auschwitz and other Holocaust sites to the disco classic "I Will Survive" with his daughter and grandchildren has brought such questions to the fore.

To some, images of Adolek Kohn and his family shuffling off-beat at such hallowed places is an insult to those who perished; to others a defiant celebration of survival. The incongruous juxtapositions have struck many viewers as funny and chilling at the same time.


Link below.


Asked by mancosmomma at 9:24 AM on Jul. 17, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Level 19 (7,315 Credits)
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Answers (22)
  • I had tears running down my face thinking about this...if anyone has a right, certainly this man does. He gets to cope how ever he needs to. I doubt it was his first time back that brought laughter and dancing. I imagine him as an exhuberant old coot, with a lust for life, the kind of grandpa or uncle that is slightly embarrassing to the entire family but everyone adores.

    The healing process isn't always PC.

    Answer by lovinangels at 10:44 AM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • I'd say of all the people, a Holocaust survivor has more right than anyone to do it.

    Answer by Kiwismommy19 at 9:26 AM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • I think he ABSOLUTELY has the right. I think that most things in life are not so clear cut, and that things need to be taken in context. I think that if, say, the people who were the guards there were dancing and so on (in a mocking way) with their families, then that would be a HORRIBLE desecration of those who died and suffered there. But for him, a person who suffered and struggled but still survived against such horrible odds and in such a horrible environment, and went on to live a long and productive life, and to see his grandchildren grow up - it's a celebration of life and of the resilience of the human spirit and the will to live.

    I think that you will find that, to certain degrees, that many people who have suffered a tragedy - even if it wasn't to the scale of the holocaust - do similar things


    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 9:30 AM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • cont

    It's like a breast cancer survivor who, instead of hiding the loss of her breasts, gets a beautiful tattoo across her chest. Or a rape victim who doesn't allow what happened to her to stop her from having a healthy sexual relationship her spouse, or an adult who grew up abused who celebrates that they were able to break the cycle and live a happy, healthy, non abusive life.

    Personally, while I have not experienced the holocaust, I have experienced some of the other personal tragedies that I mentioned, and I don't think that the victims that died would be offended - I think they would be glad to see that, in spite of it, in defiance of them - there were people who lived and went on "to live" - that they, as a people, were not destroyed - that they did, in fact, "survive".


    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 9:35 AM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • to me, at first thought, its like laughing at the enemy..dancing on the 'tomb' of the enemy's ill-fated desire, if you will. however, i am one of those who can't even go to civil war sites because of the emotion attached to the dead/their families/etc. i frequent OKC, but can't bring myself to visit the bombing site/memorial.
    if i put myself in a survivor's shoes, i could understand wanting to celebrate. if i put myself in the shoes of a non-survivor's family, i'd feel punched. different strokes for different folks, y'know?

    Answer by dullscissors at 9:28 AM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • He's a survivor; I think he has the right.

    Answer by tinamatt at 9:36 AM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • This man is a survivor. This is the ultimate "F U" to those who tried to wipe out him, his descendants and the Jewish people. While I understand that many perished in these camps, those who survived have the right to celebrate the victory over the Nazis. He survived, he had children, he had grandchildren. He managed to do exactly what the Nazis didn't want him to do--reproduce. You go, dude!! Keep celebrating your life. You earned it.

    Answer by layh41407 at 9:44 AM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • If anyone has the right to, he does...he isn't making a mockery of something he didn't go through. He's celebrating that he actually made it out alive.

    Answer by Mortiferouslatt at 9:39 AM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • sailor, that whole thing made me cry. Anyway I agree 100%! I think the poor people who perished in that tragic time would be laughing the the Nazi's faces about that." See he had a life. He STILL has a life. He's danceing on your grave persay." I think that is what they would say! You know what I think people are sadly forgetting is how hard it must have been for him to go back there. Think about THAT one for a min or two!

    Answer by delilahsmom1177 at 9:42 AM on Jul. 17, 2010

  • My grandmother survived Auschwitz she lost three children, her husband, parents, siblings and other family. I am sure if she could have joined him in dancing she would have. She passed many years ago and was a survivor and not Hilters victim. If anyone has a right to dance there it is him.

    Answer by momtolucas2002 at 11:01 AM on Jul. 17, 2010