The Girl in Red Symbolism

The Girl in Red is very symbolic of the knowledge of the Holocaust around the world. Just like the girl in red, the Holocaust should have been so obvious, but was so forgotten. During WWII, the Holocaust was kept very quiet in the media so as to keep the power in Germany. The secret was either very well kept, or people just didn’t want to admit that something that terrible was actually happening. The girl running throught the ghetto during the raids went unnoticed by all those around her even though she was so visible. Schindler was overlooking the raid on a hillside and noticed the girl. He was perplexed by her stealth as she walked straight through the crowd without being discovered. Just as Oskar Schindler noticed the girl in red that day in the Jewish ghetto, he was aware that the actions of the Nazi party were not acceptable.

–As surprising as it seems, the Girl in Red was a real person and this story wasn’t just a creation of Steven Speilberg to show forshadowing and symbolism. The girl’s name was Genia and she was being passed around in hiding during the raids.

In the book:  The child arrived at the Dresners’, on the eastern side of the ghetto, late in the afternoon. She had been returned to Cracow by the Polish couple who had been taking care of her in the country. They had been able to talk to the Polish Blue Police at the ghetto gate into allowing them entry on business, and the child passed as theirs.

They were decent people, and shamefaced at having brought her up to Cracow and the ghetto from the countryside. She was a dear girl; they were attached to her. But you couldn’t keep a Jewish child in the countryside anymore. The municipal authorities – never mind the SS – were offering sums of 500 zl. and upward for every Jew betrayed. It was one’s neighbors. You couldn’t trust you neighbors. And then not only would the child be in trouble, we’d all be. My God, there were areas where the peasants went out hunting Jews with scythes and sickles.
The child didn’t seem to suffer too much from whatever squalors the ghetto now imposed on her. She sat a little table among screens of damp clothing and fastidiously ate the heel of bread Mrs. Dresner gave her. She accepted whatever endearments the women sharing the kitchen happened to utter. Mrs. Dresner noticed how strangely guarded the child was in all her answers. She had her vanities, though, and like most three-year-olds a passionately preferred color. Red. She sat there in red cap, red coat, small red boots. The peasants had indulged her passion. (read more on page 107-109)

*This is an interview with the director, Steven Spielberg that explains very clearly the symbolism of the Girl in Red. (1:00-2:30)

Spielberg Discusses Making Schindler’s List – Video Dailymotion.


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