Actor Ben Kingsley, winner of numerous prestigious awards, speaks out about the need for greater Holocaust awareness, saying Europe did not properly grieve the Shoah.
In this fascinating video, famous actor Sir Ben Kingsley discusses the importance of Holocaust awareness.
Kingsley was among celebrities and dignitaries who attended a Holocaust remembrance forum in Prague, titled: “Let My People Live.” Discussing the importance of Holocaust awareness and education with Arutz 7 news site, he shared his theory that “Europe did not grieve in 1945. It moved on. It found another enemy, it found other issues.”
“As a result we are in terrible danger, because of missing the step of grieving, of sliding back,” he warned.
Relating to his portrayal of characters in movies on the Holocaust, Kingsley, in this video posted by Arutz 7, said he felt “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.”
He spoke of his “gratitude and awareness of the profound responsibility I do have as an actor and a storyteller in bringing the Shoah, the Holocaust, to the minds of young people who knew nothing about it,” and he urged everyone to be “vigorously persistent in telling the story of grief-stricken Europe.”
There are strong movements in the world seeking to deny the Holocaust, claiming that it did not happen at all or that it has been greatly exaggerated, he added.
The situation must be rectified, Kingsley said. “The first step in healing is for us to collectively grieve; we have missed that crucial step,” he asserted.
Actors Could Play a Key Role
Kingsley said that actors could play a key role in helping Europe achieve “catharsis” by “triggering grief” through their work. However, he cautioned producers and directors to stick to the historical facts and not stray into the realm of fiction.
“Don’t make funny stories up, don’t make ‘what if?’ stories up. Stick to the facts, and allow Europe to grieve,” he said.
He believes that the Holocaust could be repeated and therefore must be remembered.
“Hitler said ‘who will remember the Armenians?'” he noted, in a reference to the lack of international response to the Armenian genocide, which played a part in emboldening the Nazis’ actions. “We must never never ever allow somebody in the future to say ‘who will remember the Jews of Europe?’ Everybody will.”
He related a personal experience Budapest, Hungary, which in his opinion exemplifies the danger the world is facing.
An elderly man approached the movie’s cast to ask what they were filming. Upon hearing that the production would be about the Holocaust, he declared: “It never happened, and if you don’t shut up it will happen again!”
“How about that? Isn’t that totally screwy?” said an incredulous Kingsley.