Sioux Falls Atheists
Sioux Falls Atheists and Atheism, Agnostics and Humanism

Sioux Falls Atheists endorse Come And See for showing the courage
and bravery of the many Jewish partisans that fought the German Nazis.

Come And See

Come And See (1985) - 142 minutes
Come And See at Amazon.com

A crowning achievement of 1980's Soviet cinema, Elem Klimov's Come And See is perhaps the ultimate WWII film. This savage and lyrical fever dream of death, rage and terror experienced through young eyes is a virtual primer for the subsequent, similarly psychedelic intensity of Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line and Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan. Klimov's elegant harrowing union of unflinching ferocity and dreamlike clarity moved Empire Of The Sun author J. G. Ballard to declare Come And See the greatest war film ever made. Time Out New York agreed, saying, "Come And See's nimble balance of the sordid with the elegiac makes Peckinpah's Cross Of Iron seem like newsies.

When young Florya willingly joins a group of Partisans fighting the Nazis in Byelorussia, USSR, he little suspects that he is plunging through the looking glass. Separated from his comrades during a paratroop attack and struck deaf by German artillery, Florya - in the company of Glascha, a beguiling peasant girl - wanders a battle-scorched Russian purgatory of prehistoric forests and man-made slaughter. Florya's journey takes him and us through a gallery of exquisitely poetic imagery and brutal human atrocity.

Unlike traditional war films, Come And See never stoops to convenient heroic catharsis or genre movie narrative symmetry. Images of a beautiful girl's impromptu dance in the rain and a SS unit's spontaneous, self-congratulatory applause at their own butchery haunt with equal power. More than any other war film, Come And See unites the powerful truths and inescapable dilemmas that lurk behind both the raptures of youth and the horrors of war.

628 peasant-farming villages in Belarus were exterminated by the German Wehrmacht (regular army) troops. They'd surrounded a village, drive all the people into their church or synagogue, bar the doors and burn everyone alive. They even made a betting game out of shooting the babies, before they hit the ground, being thrown of church windows by the baby's mothers hoping the Germans would spare them.

There were very few innocent German soldiers!

4-1-19 Uncovering Nazi massacre of Jews on Belarus building site
Slowly, gently even, young soldiers scrape away the dirt of decades from human bones. Tangled with the remains are shreds of cloth and the soles of shoes. They're uncovering a little-known chapter of the Holocaust on a construction site in western Belarus. The mass grave was discovered as building work began on an elite apartment block. Since then, specially trained soldiers have unearthed the remains of more than 1,000 Jews, killed when the city of Brest was occupied by Nazi Germany. "There are clear bullet holes in the skulls," says Dmitry Kaminsky. His military team usually searches for the bones of Soviet soldiers. Here they have removed the small skulls of teenagers instead, and a female skeleton with the remains of a baby, as if she'd been cradling it. Before World War Two, almost half the 50,000-strong population of Brest were Jews. Up to 5,000 men were executed shortly after the German invasion in June 1941. Those left were later crammed into a ghetto: several blocks of the city centre surrounded by barbed wire. In October 1942, the order came to wipe them out. They were herded on to freight trains and driven over 100km (62 miles) to a forest. At Bronnaya Gora, thousands were led to the edge of a vast pit and shot. It's thought the grave discovered within the old ghetto includes those who managed to hide at first, only to be rooted out. "When my parents returned, the city was half empty," Mikhail Kaplan says, flicking through black and white snapshots at his kitchen table. His mother and father only escaped the massacre because they were away when the Germans overran Brest. Mikhail's photographs are of aunts, uncles and cousins who were all killed. "My father never spoke about what happened, it was too painful. But my grandmother cried all the time remembering Lizochka, Lizochka," he recalls, reaching for a photograph picture of his Aunt Liza dressed up for a night out with friends. (Webmaster's comment: They are still finding mass graves of people murdered by the Nazis after 73 years. The Nazis killed so many we will never find them all.)

9-16-17 Storm over 'pride in WW2 soldiers' remarks in Germany
Storm over 'pride in WW2 soldiers' remarks in Germany
A candidate of Germany's right-wing nationalist party has said the country should "be proud of" its soldiers in both world wars and people should no longer "reproach" Germans for World War Two. Alexander Gauland's words have been met with some scorn. What pride are Germans likely to muster for the Wehrmacht? Germany is "very devoted to a discussion of its past", Andrew Cohen, a Canadian journalist and professor, tells the BBC. "I have not seen a country anywhere that is as committed to a frank and painful discussion of its history as Germany is." Making a Nazi salute or denying the Holocaust in Germany could land you in jail - alongside swastikas and other Nazi symbols they are illegal. And the country takes pains to make sure the horrors of World War Two are remembered, respectfully, with a view to preventing them happening again. Cities are full of sites dedicated to the Holocaust, from big museums and concentration camp memorials to tiny plaques in the ground, the size of cobblestones, that you may notice by chance when in the middle of something else. Some have said it is too much - a decade ago already Der Spiegel published an article decrying the "mania for commemoration" and quoting the essayist Wolf Jobst Siedler saying: "If the Germans were once the greatest sinners, they now apparently want to be the greatest penitents." The army (Wehrmacht) did not run the concentration camps - that was the role of the SS. But it committed atrocities of its own including shooting thousands of Polish people. "The mainstream approach is that the Wehrmacht was a willing instrument of the Nazi perpetrators as an institution," says Michael Wolffson, an Israeli-German historian at the University of the Armed Forces in Munich. "Many things are commemorated - resistance to the Nazis, victims such as Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals - but not the Wehrmacht." (Webmaster's comment: The Wehrmacht (the German regular army) murdered 18 million Russian civilians. They slaughtered them wholesale! They machine gunned them into pits, bulldozed and buried them alive, burned them alive in their churches and synagogues, from their airplanes they machine gunned fleeing refugees and bombed peasant villages into rubble. Hitler ordered that no more than 20% of the slavs should be left alive and THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT THE WEHRMACHT DID! They are still discovering mass graves in Russian and in the Ukraine. The farming landscape is full of them.)

Come And See

Sioux Falls Atheists endorse Partisans of Vilna for showing the courage
and bravery of the many Jewish partisans that fought the German Nazis.