I thought of this before and I was reminded of it again. When I watched the film Schindler’s List, I noticed something. It wasn’t that I laughed more at that movie than I did in all of Dodgeball which is complete fact. Schindler’s List had one funny scene in it and it got my goat. Oscar is in need of a new secretary and holds a tryout of sort. He is very interested in all of the young and attractive women who come out for the job. Many of them type poorly, hunting and pecking. Then, it cuts to a fat woman typing marvelously. Oscar Schindler could care less. It’s not a genius comedy moment, but in such a serious movie, it was nice to see Speilberg say how crazy fat women are, even if they are efficient at their jobs.
The rest of the movie was very serious except for the scene where the Three Stooges have to disguise themselves as S.S. Officers. Larry accidentally swings a ladder and knocks Hitler out of a German castle, thus ending the war.
None of what I have said so far is the point that I want to mention. What I want to say is a question. I began watching Band of Brothers and there was a concentration camp scene in it. That re-sparked that question in my head. Where do they find these actors to play Holocaust victims?
I can’t imagine a human being much thinner than those I have seen in the stripped pajamas in film and television. They look very realistic. Like they really had been through a lot of concentration camp horrors. You can see all of their bones, some of the men must weigh 80 pounds. I guess some of it is CGI (I use that word having no idea what it means), but it all still looks incredibly real that I don’t buy it.
There must be an agency out there in Hollywood. They only hire very thin actors for such a role. They give them diets of apple cores and are only allowed to drink whatever they can lick off a celery stick. That’s the only way to get a Holocaust film body at least as far as I know.
It’s got to be a tough gig to be an actor who plays someone living through the Holocaust. You really have to treat your body poorly for that one non-speaking role. Your whole film career involves having dirt on your face and crying over a fake dead body that’s supposed to be your brother. In a way, actors who play Holocaust victims are the Holocaust victims of actors. I know that’s a stretch, probably insensitive to people who actually did survive the Holocaust to compare the two. But I don’t know. If I survived the most famous genocide in human history I wouldn’t really care what people thought about me. Being compared to a no-name actor wouldn’t bother me very much. I survived months or years in a Nazi work camp. I’m the fucking shit.
There are still so many questions I want to ask these actors. Are you always that thin? Does it hurt to look that way? Are you even Jewish? In a way, it sort of mocks what the people went through in those camps by treating your body the same way. I know it’s essential to prove a point visually, but still, why not make all of the Germans really fat and the Jews can just be kind of thin? If all the Nazis were 250-300 pounds, a 130 pound twink would look like he was knocking on death’s door. But then we always have ourselves to compare it to and we’ll just hate the Germans even more for being fat. There really is no solution.
I did some research online to see if there was an easy answer out there. I was met with a dead-end and gave up after the first link I clicked on didn’t fully answer my question. Make this is one of those questions that has no answer. Like the meaning of life or the real average size of a man’s penis. We’d all love to know these things, but we’re not meant to. To you Holocaust Survivors and actors who play Holocaust Survivors, I salute you. The former for being brave and strong for through the toughest of times. The latter for making me scratch my head as to where your origins lie.