Spare me the answer
We had talked in class last week about the trouble and hesitance of some of the soldiers in battalion 101. How when it came to shooting Jews, they either opted out or turned to drinking and other means to forget about their actions. Some didn’t want to admit to what they had done, and I honestly wouldn’t want to either. Which is why I couldn’t help but make a connection to the documentary. Around I believe 34 mins or so, there is a older gentleman being interviewed. He is asked about people being taken away and what ensued. He says, “…brought in…questioned…then I’d hear shots…and I knew they’d been shot.” When asked if he participated he replies with “…Do I have to answer that?…Spare me the answer.” (1) This response made me feel for the gentleman in the documentary. This answer makes me wonder if at that time he was at all hesitant in his actions. He seems to be filled with regret, yet as he describes what led up to the shootings, his thought process at the time was probably a little different. Like him, the soldiers in battalion 101 were doing a duty they were told to do. Some of those who continued the task of shooting Jews, knew the process but at the time probably didn’t think it all the way through. He could have just left the question at “Do I have to answer”; but by adding “Spare me the answer” he intensified his connection to the shootings. With something that strong it is interesting to wonder how the thought processes developed and extended to that exact point of view. As well as how long it took to get there. If you were given the task of shooting someone(s) and doing it just on command without a thought. Would I have to, spare you the answer? or would you be able to tell me that you did it?
“Germany’s WWII Offensive against Russia, 70 Years Later | Germany | DW.COM | 19.06.2011.” DW.COM. Accessed November 20, 2015. http://www.dw.com/en/germanys-wwii-offensive-against-russia-70-years-later/a-15154398.
- Mein Krieg. Directed by Harriet Eder. Kino on Video, 2000. Film.