Saturday, August 31, 2013


As we continue discussing The Tin Drum, and the Holocaust, my mind keeps flashing back to the banana massacre scene in One Hundred Years of Solitude. The banana massacre reminded me of a smaller scale holocaust, in which the banana company unjustifiably killed around three thousand innocent men. However, the banana company managed to conceal their miniature holocaust; whereas, the Nazis killed on such a large scale that it was impossible to cover their tracks. Instead, the Nazis tried to justify their massacres by racial superiority. 

2 comments:

Ian Kuehne said...

In one scene of The Tin Drum, Vittlar calls Sister Dorothea's ring finger a "corpus delicti", which is legal jargon for proof that a crime was committed, regardless of who committed it. I definitely see a parallel between the Oskar's inability to conceal Sister Dorothea's death (not that he tries) and the physical proof you mentioned of the holocaust and other war crimes of the Germans. I think Grass leaves Oskar's personal guilt somewhat ambiguous as a reflection of the ethical question of the responsibility of individual Germans for the collective crimes of the Nazis, which were impossible to conceal.

Amy Clement said...

I definitely agree that there are some obvious similarities between events of the Holocaust and the Banana Massacre described in One Hundred Years of Solitude. When reading the scene in the novel, I immediately thought of the book I read for the independent study project last year, The White Hotel. In the final chapters of the novel, the author vividly depicts the events of the Babi Yar Massacre through the execution of the main character, Lisa. Thousands of Jewish civilians in Kiev were called to the Babi Yar ravine under the guise of resettlement. Once there, the men, women, and children were stripped of their jewelry, clothes, and dignity, then were mercilessly killed. Within this initial two day massacre, over 33,000 people were killed. Like with the Banana Massacre, the horrifying account in the novel seemed only able to exist in fiction, but further research showed that the main character's experience in the Babi Yar massacre mirrors the tale of one of the few survivors.