Posted by olvlzl
In the movie The Sorrow and the Pity, Marcel Ophuls shows the case of a merchant named Klein who, under the Vichy occupation, took out ads in the papers to announce that, despite his name, he wasn’t Jewish. The scene dealing with Klein is painful to watch, his squirming explanations and the awful moral conditions under Nazi occupation it demonstrates are devastating and unforgettable.
What I did while arguing here last week was to correct the mistaken impression that I was a Christian. I’d done this several times in the past and it never really sat well with me. I didn’t realize why until I remembered the movie. What I should have said was that any religious affiliation I had was irrelevant, that only the truth or reasoning of what I had said was relevant. What if I had been a Christian? Would that have changed anything that had been said? Would it have changed any of the meaning of it? No, no more than if I’d been of any other religion or a member of any other group. Mr. Klein might well have been in danger of his life, which strikes me as at least an excuse. I’m not. What people say, if it’s true and if it makes sense, should be the only consideration. I’m sorry I ignored that fact.