Buried Prayers

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Buried Prayers
Directed by Steven Meyer
Opens November 18, Quad Cinema

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No matter how often recounted in documentaries, first-person testimonials about concentration camp experiences still shock, though Buried Prayers’ horror stories— cackling SS guards shooting prisoners while they use the toilet, a boy forced to hang his own father—are merely one component of its portrait of remembrance and defiance. Steven Meyer’s film focuses on a small collection of Melbourne-relocated survivors of the Majdanek death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, who reveal thaT, during the early months of 1943 when thousands of Jews were being slaughtered in the gas chambers, many inmates surreptitiously buried valuables six inches below open-field soil as a small, silent act of protest against their doomed fate. Half a century later, these now-elderly men and women return to recover the items, a simultaneously heartbreaking and stirring process of exhumation that’s paralleled by the survivors’ unearthing of traumatic memories they’d long ago buried within themselves. With the survivors’ physical presence amongst Nazi slaughterhouses as its own powerful statement, Buried Prayers is a nonfiction work that confronts Holocaust atrocities from a piercing ground-level view.

 
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8 comments
Me
Me

IR u guys 5 yrs old? Highly offensive? Everyone knows that the extermination camps set up by the nazis were in most cases located in poland. Deal with it. Who would for one second think that they were polish invented? I mean c'mon!

John Smith
John Smith

Nick - please get your history straight and/or learn to write correctly. Your writing is misleading and offensive to those that perished and those that saved others from perishing. Clearly state that death camps were German.

Polishamerican1984
Polishamerican1984

This was NOT Poland's camp. Using The possessive is historically 100 percent incorrect. Shame on The Village Voice, a paper I love.

Michal Karski
Michal Karski

The problem with the use of the possessive and its meaning of 'belonging to', is that Majdanek, of course, did not 'belong to' Poland.

Since there was no Polish state at the time in question - (Poland had been divided out of existence between the Third Reich and the USSR) - therefore Majdanek belonged to Nazi Germany even if it was situated on Polish soil.

The Village Voice's formulation may be true in the strict geographical sense but it does make it seem as if Poland somehow either constructed, or at the very least acquiesced in the construction of the camp.

It's all a matter of nuance and subtlety. And good will, of course.

Mark Krawczyk
Mark Krawczyk

I agree with the previous two comments. Please correct.

PolishAmerican
PolishAmerican

Majdanek wasn't "Poland's" - it was Nazi Germany's. To call a Nazi camp "Poland's" - including "occupied Poland's" is factually incorrect.

The camps were set up and run by Nazi Germany, not Poland.

Please correct this highly offensive factual error.

Alex Storozynski
Alex Storozynski

Dear Mr. Ortega,Today’s review of Buried Prayers by Nick Schager engages in Holocaust Revisionism by referring to “Poland’s Majdanek death camp.” Majdanek was a German concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. By using this phrase, the Village Voice confuses impressionable and undereducated readers, leading them to believe that the Holocaust was executed by Poland, rather than Nazi Germany. We urge the Village Voice to change its style guide to avoid use of phrases such as Polish Concentration Camps of Polish Death Camps. The New York Times style book says: “Concentration camps. Given the sensitivity of this topic, take extra care in historical references to the Nazi concentration camps of World War II. For camps in countries occupied by Nazi Germany, avoid ambiguous or misleading phrases like ‘Polish concentration camp’ or ‘Polish death camp,’ which could give the mistaken impression that the camps were run by Poland.” The Wall Street Journal style guide says, “Concentrate on this: There were no Polish concentration camps in World War II. Auschwitz and other such camps in Polish territory were operated by German Nazis.” More than 274,000 people have signed a petition posted online by the Kosciuszko Foundation which asks newspapers to be historically accurate when writing about concentration camps, http://www.thekf.org/ This petition has been signed by the director of the Auschwitz historic site, and people such as the President of Poland Bronislaw Komorowski, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Lech Walesa, Chief Rabbi of Poland Michael Schudrich, Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee David Harris, several members of Congress, and Auschwitz survivors who were imprisoned by Germans. We request that The Village Voice print a correction and also change its style guide. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

All the best,Alex-- Alex StorozynskiPresident & Executive DirectorThe Kosciuszko Foundation15 East 65th StreetNew York, NY 10065212-734-2130

Jim Przedzienkowski
Jim Przedzienkowski

The term 'Poland's Majdanek death camp' is incorrect. Majdanek was a German Nazi concentration camp on the outskirts of Lublin, Poland, established during the German Nazi occupation of Poland. Please correct the offending remark.

 

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