Celebrated actor Sir Ben Kingsley who starred in many award winning films, including Schindler’s List said that Europe has yet to express sufficient grief over the Holocaust and is in danger of “sliding back” without internalizing the lessons of the Shoah.
At the Let My People Live conference in Prague, Kingsley spoke of his involvement as an actor in several films related to the Holocaust, as reported by Arutz Sheva, “I was privileged as an actor to have my costume embellished … dare I say…signified, dignified, possibly humiliated sadly with the yellow star on three occasions. And it is because of that … the great Jewish diaspora and Israel itself has allowed me to be a witness, a story teller, a voice.”
Kingsley said that he welcomed the opportunity to communicate the legacy of survivors and to tell the story of the Holocaust, through acting, to young people who otherwise may be unfamiliar with the history of the Shoah. He added that Europe simply went on like business as usual after the war ended. “Europe did not grieve in 1945, ” said Kingsley. “It moved on. It found another enemy. It found other issues. The first step is for us to collectively grieve–we have missed that crucial step.” The danger of not having a “catharsis” is that Europe is in danger of “sliding back.”
To bring the point home, Kingsley told a story about filming in Hungary. An elderly man approached the filming crew and asked what they were filming. When they told him it was a film about the Holocaust, the man exclaimed, “It never happened! And if you don’t shut up, it will happen again.”