The Decline of Society: Nazi Germany vs Children of Men Prt.3

After being relocated both Foogies and Nazi undesirables were forced to dwell in what essentially amounted to slums; barely stable structures without running water, ample food supply or electricity. These areas were often in a state of over capacity, with two to three families living in a single room (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum). This close proximity to one another combined with the lack of basic resources created a utopian like environment for the breading of disease and starvation.  The ghetto created by the Nazi forces in Kaluszyn, Poland is a prime example of these malfeasant events. In Kaluszyn the Jewish population, which was the majority of the town, was forced into an area only a few square blocks in size. The part of town that had been selected as the site of the ghetto had been decimated by Nazi bombing raids during the invasion. Nearly five thousand Polish Jews were forced to survive in only a few structures that remained standing (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum- Morgensztern). Typhus spread rampant in the ghettos by lice, allowed to flourish because of the lack of hygiene in the slums. The typhus was extremely fatal in combination with victims who were already vulnerable to disease due to malnutrition, and were denied access to medication of any kind. Holocaust survivor, Abraham Lewent, gives testimony the presence of death in Warsaw- “every day you walked out in the morning, you see somebody is lying dead, covered with newspapers or with any kind of blanket they found…”  Although some workers in the Nazi ghettos did receive pay for work, it was so  minute when compared to sky rocketing inflation caused by the scarcity of goods in the ghetto, a family could barely , if even at all afford to by a small loaf of bread.

In the film, many people are crowded into a bazaar type of courtyard haggling over scraps of food and goods.  Overpopulation is evident as the films characters are caught in the crowd as they attempt to find shelter. Shelters portrayed in the film range from makeshift lean-to formed from scraps of wood and tin, to apartment buildings stripped of doors, windows, and whatever valuables that might have been left behind from the original inhabitants. Whatever shelter was to be found, it surely was not one of cleanliness or sanitation. It seems that in every scene depicting a shelter, some type of animal life was present, either a dog, cat, horse, or bird.  This is symbiotic with the manner in which residents of Nazi ghettos were forced to survive.

Humans are polar creatures; with every act of human evil, there exists acts of pure human kindness. When comparing the aspects of the decline in society in “Children of Men” (2006) and the decline of society in Germany during the Nazi era, importance in discussing both the depravities and the acts of true kindness can be found.

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