The Jewish Cardinal

“The Jewish Cardinal tells the amazing true story of Jean-Marie Lustiger, the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants, who maintained his cultural identity as a Jew even after converting to Catholicism at a young age, and later joining the priesthood. Quickly rising within the ranks of the Church, Lustiger was appointed Archbishop of Paris by Pope Jean Paul II – and found a new platform to celebrate his dual identity as a Catholic Jew, earning him both friends and enemies from either group. When Carmelite nuns settle down to build a convent within the cursed walls of Auschwitz, Lustiger finds himself a mediator between the two communities – and may be forced at last to choose his side.”

I have to admit to watching this film 4 times and each time realizing the significance of another issue raised .

This probably has as much to do with trying to read the subtitles in time as well the many serious talking points of this movie.

For me the most important point of this film is the role the Cardinal played in securing Auschwitz as a solely Jewish Cemetery and in this way ensuring that the Holocaust is never forgotten.

Also very interesting was being privy to the feelings of Pope John Paul II views on communism and his dream that the Berlin Wall would one day fall.

It was also interesting to see how Communism had played down the Jewish tragedy of the Holocaust and represented it to the Poles and others as a camp that affected everyone to the same degree.

At times I felt as if Cardinal Lustiger was a modern day Joseph.

In much the same way as Joseph is sold by his brothers and eventually lands up as the “Prime Minister” of Egypt and thus being in a position to help his family when they come down to Egypt because of Famine, so too is Cardinal Lustiger present to urge the Pope to ensure that Auschwitz is kept as a Jewish memorial to the Holocaust. This has been vital in keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive and as living proof to deniers

A film well worth seeing!

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