After attending the first movie screening for this class, I was really glad that the chosen movie was The Seven Dwarfs of Auschwitz because I was able to learn something new about the Holocaust. I have seen most movies and documentaries about the Holocaust, but this touched on a new topic. The documentary was well done, yet seemed a bit rushed. The researcher went into little detail about the Ovitz’s experiences while inside of the concentration camp. If this documentary had been longer, it would have been able to go further in depth about the family’s struggle. The researcher/narrator was able to connect on a personal level to the Ovitz family because he is also a dwarf and a performer, which was interesting because it allows the viewer to see how the Nazis viewed people with deformities and how things have changed since then. One interesting thing that this film addressed was the creation of a Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs-themed propaganda film by the Nazis to address the need for a perfected race.
Prior to seeing this documentary, I had read a little bit about Josef Mengele’s experiments, particularly on twins, but I did not know that one of his targets for experimentation was little people. The survivor, one of the Ovitz sisters that presented their story, was obviously still struggling with her experiences from Auschwitz, but stated that she could not hate Mengele because as long as he did tests on their family, they were kept from the gas chambers. It is a heart-wrenching idea to give thought to. When the survivor mentioned the kinds of things that Mengele did to her and her family, everyone in the room grimaced with disgust. Our readings for this class, so far, have mentioned and discussed the Holocaust, but none have talked about Dr. Mengele. This was an eye opening experience to see this film; I learned not only about the targeting of little people in the Holocaust, but also the impact that having a special talent had in keeping prisoners alive. Just like the Ovitz family, many others were spared because of their gift for music and performance.