At the initial release of “Schindler’s List,” I had the chance to see the Holocaust epic at a theater in Berlin. I am of German descent, yet it is still hard for me to explain how it feels to join a German capacity crowd watching Jews being gassed at Auschwitz.

The audience’s shock wasn’t based on contention: The facts on screen were all known from high school. The main sentiment was distress — a sense of shame for the evils you didn’t commit, yet which, somehow, seem traceable to your person.

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