Holocaust And The Role Of Nazis Term Paper

Length: 6 pages Subject: Drama - World Type: Term Paper Paper: #30963652 Related Topics: Nazi Germany, Concentration Camps, Russian Culture, Propaganda
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Nazi Holocaust

The picture shows a larger-than-life gigantic bearded and very hairy naked man wearing a kippah (Hebrew head-covering) with the Star of David on it. He has a large and crooked nose and a ferocious, rather frightening grin as he appears to be gleefully tearing up railroad tracks and wreaking destruction on a city. There is something round, perhaps a large city water-storage tank, which has railroad tracks wrapped around it. Many of the details of the poster are slightly obscured by the glare of the lights, so one cannot be quite sure of what one is looking at. The sketchy 'city' seems to be broken, obviously destroyed by the monster, and this is well-illustrated with broken lines intended to be railroad tracks bent and strewn at random all over the city. At the very bottom of the picture, people are shown running away as they look back fearfully. These 'people' are not well defined, and even seem to be in something like Halloween costumes, as one man has ears like a cat, and another is almost just a swirl of the paint-brush.

The very hairy and naked human-monster is covered in two-types of tattoos: those of communist symbols, the hammer and sickle, and the Star of David again. There are signs of chaos in the city surrounding him as he has destroyed much, giving the impression of almost having 'fun' as he does this. He appears to be reaching out to grab the individuals at the bottom of the picture, with a very large, and again rather frightening, almost claw-like hand. He is very much like a scary troll that one might read about in fairy-tales, and running away from him seems the best alternative!

Immediately one is aware of two stereotypes being presented in this poster simultaneously: first, that of Jews as evil and ugly crook-nosed hairy monsters; and second, the idea that communism is directly associated with Judaism. Possibly, one could take this idea further, saying that the two are united, with both indicating destruction for civilization. The poster is almost too well-done. It is indeed frightening, and the effect it might have had on small children during the Nazi era could readily have caused nightmares and instilled a deep-seated fearfulness as part of the Nazi-propaganda arm, without a single word having to be said. Furthermore, taken in context historically, this was a time when German society was incredibly stressed, with huge inflation and much poverty as the nation struggled with enormous reparation debts from World War I. People at their weakest may tend to seek an 'outsider' to blame for their own problems as well as those of society, and at this period in time, Jews were a convenient scapegoat to blame for all that was wrong.

Prior to seeing this, and the other photos herein, the entire idea of Nazi hatred for Jews was something theoretical and abstract. In this poster, someone talented has used his artistic skills to make a horrible and frightening caricature. The over-whelming presence of red in the poster is probably supposed to be symbolic: communists are called 'Reds', and of course red is associated with blood.

This picture is much more difficult to understand. It is a photo of a board game that consists of a walled city, with several different entrances, each being a 'strasse' or street. The little emblems inside the walled city are different businesses, one with a sign that says "David." On the outside of the walled city are depicted a man, a woman, and a small boy; they seem to be ordinary people, with the man perhaps being a tradesman, such as a butcher because he has on a large apron. The woman has on a surprisingly short dress for the era. The legend under the game states that the 'object' of the game is to 'collect Jews so they can be removed from the town and transported to Palestine'.

Thinking of board games, one immediately thinks of family life and of children playing a game, so this is a particularly insidious type of propaganda disguised as a 'game', inculcating negative attitudes towards Jews, and implying that they must be removed for the benefit of others. Perhaps even worse, sometimes playing board games is a family entertainment, with parents...

...

These ghettos had signs on the outside walls saying "Judischer Wohnbezirk," which is translated as 'Jewish Quarters'. Successful Jewish merchants of the era were often targets and considered to be 'stealing' money from ordinary 'normal' Germans. The thinking of many in that period was that there was a vast global conspiracy having to do with money, and normal people were impoverished because of the greed of Jews.

Having a board game about 'collecting Jews" and shipping them off to another country is insidious propaganda, obviously aimed at children, in a subtle manner so that the child might not realize that his 'play' was actually a form of hatred directed at others. It also makes a group of people, Jews, into mere 'objects' to be collected, like balls or books, but not humans, so it is dehumanizing propaganda.

This picture is subtle and very shocking. First, what one sees are seven pieces of gold, once used as gold crowns/and/or fillings for a living person. Second, the legend tells us that a Nazi (with a Christian wife) used to carry these in his pocket, to pay for things as he traveled, trying to escape from being caught by Allies during and/or after World War II.

However, one must unfortunately imagine the living person from whom these pieces of gold were removed, and the first thing that comes to mind is the likelihood that they were not even given anesthetic before these fillings were removed. Many of us, having spent time in a dentist's chair, know well that removal of gold crowns and/or fillings could not have been done easily or pleasantly to a living person. Possibly they were removed after the person was killed, most likely by being gassed, in a concentration camp. Regardless, there is not only the possibility of what would amount to 'torture' in removing the fillings from their mouths, but also the clear inhumanity of the person having been killed. Second, it's even creepier to realize that the Nazi's were so basically inhumane that they could treat other people in this manner. These pieces of gold are living reminders of humans who once had normal lives, ate dinner, and went to the dentist, now turned into pieces of gold used for bribery. Worse yet, the person who carried these gold pieces actually did 'escape', across many borders before presumably being caught.

The idea that a person could casually have a pocketful of gold, taken from other living beings is just creepy, as well as pathetic and somewhat demoralizing. The legend said that they were used as bribes, implying that the man who had these may have had more. He might even have looked like a 'nice' person, but all along he was horrible, more than inhumane, and just barbaric. Frankly, I have to wonder about the supposedly 'Christian' wife as well. Speaking emotionally as well as objectively, I'm not at all certain that in similar circumstances I would want to know my own life was saved by a bribe of gold that came from the mouth of another human, who was probably tortured, but at the least murdered, and then their corpse picked over to get the valuable gold. Unfortunately, I am reminded of another Nazi horror - I've heard that there were even lampshades made of human skin. Sometimes the depravity to which supposed 'humans' will sink is just appalling. Clearly, the Nazi's who took this gold from other humans, Jews in this case, had gone beyond any sort of morality, and one cannot imagine the tortured logic of self-justification and hatred for others.

There is no 'legend' for the fourth photo - just the horrible pictures of emaciated little boys, wholly naked and being forced to 'pose' for photography. On top of the horrors of seeing these young children in such a state of starvation where almost every rib can be counted, is the realization that other humans deliberately starved them. Unfortunately, since they are naked, one can see that their genitalia appear to be abnormal. It's not possible to be certain, but it is possible that the concentration camp 'doctors' had performed mutilation surgeries on these poor children.

One cannot really guess at the ages of these children, but it seems they are between eight-to-twelve years old; past extreme youth, but not yet in their teens. They should be outside, playing happily with friends, running…

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