This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 24 April, 2019

#Say It With Dance

# say-it-with-dance - Friday 16 July, 2010

THE MAN at the centre of a viral video which showed him dancing with his family at the sites of major Nazi concentration camps has defended his work.

Adolek Kohn (89) was featured in a video that showed him dancing with four younger members of his family at camps including Auschwitz and Dachau, to the tune of Gloria Gaynor’s 1978 disco hit ‘I Will Survive’.

The video – made by Kohn’s daughter as an art project –  has since been removed from YouTube following a copyright claim, but not before Jewish community leaders attacked the ‘offensive’ and ‘inappropriate’ video.

Speaking from Melbourne where he now lives, Kohn explained:

Why did I do that? First of all because I came with my grandchildren. Who could come with their grandchildren? Most of them are dead.

We came to Auschwitz with the grandchildren and created a new generation. That’s why we danced.

But the head of Poland’s Jewish community said that the reactions of his congregation were mixed.

“It’s extremely difficult to judge Holocaust survivors in places like that,”  said Piotr Kadlcik. “Maybe he needs it; maybe it was important for him to do something like that.

“If someone else were to do it, I would find it highly inappropriate, but in the case of someone who is Jewish and who is a Holocaust survivor… these people lived through things that we, fortunately, cannot imagine.”

One commenter on the YouTube video said it was “disrespectful to all those who perished”, while others described the joyful video as a “life-affirming middle finger to the Nazis”.

# say-it-with-dance - Tuesday 13 July, 2010

A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR, his daughter and grandchildren have made rather a unique memorial to those who survived the Nazi death camps. Three generations of the family danced to “I Will Survive” at a number of concentration camps in Europe.

At the end of the video a voiceover, presumably that of the elderly man at the centre of the video, says:

“If someone would tell me here, then, that I would come sixty something years later with my grandchildren, so I’d say, “What you talking about?” So here you are. this is really a historical moment.”