The idea that the Holocaust belongs to, as White puts it, a "special class of events," is a compelling one (37). Any discursive historical representation has an "inexpungeable relativity," just as any historiography will (White 37). Narratives are certainly one of the many efforts to "lay claim to what and how a nation remembers," which is why it is important to place the object within its social, cultural, and historical context (Hansen127). Added to the problem of representations is the equally as difficult problem of the "real" archival elements: the photos and film objects and the primary sources that are used to piece together historiographies and narratives alike. Wiesel has been quoted as saying that documentaries cannot do the Holocaust justice paradoxically because they show too much. In showing, it denigrates the experience, of "what can never be imagined," that domain of consciousness that only art, music, poetry, and other…… [Read More]
This makes his agument less-than-convincing and too vague and philosophical in tone. Even many of his citations meely note authos, athe than actual page numbes. He efeences the authos' geneal ideas, athe than specific evidence they pesent. And some of the souces ae in Geman, which make it difficult to tace his souces o even ead the titles of many of the aticles used in witing his piece.
The most data-diven aspects of Fei's aticle come at the end, when he examines the diffeences between how guilty Stasi membes wee teated afte the unification with Gemany, vesus how Nazis wee teated at the end of the wa. Thee was widespead condemnation of the Stasi, notes Fei, and the govenment was upfont and honest in allowing citizens to seach the available ecods. But using this libealism as evidence of a changed attitude towads Geman histoical cimes seems like an ovely boad…… [Read More]
Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz
Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz
Reading Primo Levi's book Survival in Auschwitz is an experience which raises a host of important existential questions. These questions refer to the meaning of life and human nature and more specifically to the question of evil that exists in the human heart. This book also explores the other side of human nature and the extreme endurance and strength that lives within the human heart.
Survival in Auschwitz provides insight into the life of Levi during his period in the Auschwitz concentration camp during the Second World War. The narrative begins with his arrest as an Italian Jew in 1944 and his deportation. The book ends with the liberation of the camp in 1945. The horrors of his experience begins when Levi, with 650 other Jews, is loaded on as freight train and has to undergo a…… [Read More]
Survival in Auschwitz, Primo Levi's most important observation was that staying alive depended not only on skill and cunning but also a large measure of good luck. In his case, one example of good fortune was being born in Italy, where the Jews were not deported until after the German occupation in 1943. hatever the faults of the fascist Mussolini regime -- and they were many -- it refused to cooperate with the deportation of the Jews from any of its territory even though it deprived them of many basic civil rights. Had Levi lived in Germany, Holland, occupied Poland or the Baltic States his chances of survival would have been far lower. He was also fortunate in having a basic knowledge of chemistry that the Germans found useful, since the I.G. Farben Company controlled Auschwitz III (Monowitz) and required chemists and technicians for its laboratories. This allowed him access…… [Read More]
Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi. Discussing their daily activities in the concentration camps, their physical and psychological problems that they encountered, how the people behaved, and our own personal reflections on the situation.
Survival in Auschwitz
Auschwitz, Poland is a concentration camp built 150 miles outside Warsaw in May 1940. The commander is Rudolf Hoss and is staffed by SS Death's Head units. Primo Levi, a 24-year-old man who has been a prisoner here since early 1944. He studied chemistry at the University of Turin and graduated in 1941. He moved to northern Italy to join the resistance against Benito Mussolini but was captured in December 1943 and sent to Auschwitz.
He tells us it was a four-day train trip in crammed boxcars with nothing to eat or drink, midnight arrival, the first of many summary interrogations that led to either a slavish existence or swift death. Clothes taken,…… [Read More]
Survival in Auschwitz
One of the most tragic periods in world history was the period in the 1930s and 1940s when certain people decided to turn the world into a graveyard. hen Adolf Hitler took power in Germany, he went about a plan to completely eradicate the Jewish people of Europe, a policy which likely would have become worldwide had he been able to win the war. In Primo Levi's autobiography Survival in Auschwitz, he describes what it was like for him trying to survive Nazi persecution of Jews in the middle of the Holocaust. Levi is an Italian man of the Jewish faith and his book was written in both the Italian and English languages, but many of the terms used throughout the text are German. Throughout, he uses the word Haftling in reference to himself and to other prisoners. There are many reasons why Levi made this choice…… [Read More]
Auschwitz gave to Promo Levi when he dared to ask the "hy?" question. To be sure, the guard was simply attempting to be cynical and sarcastic rather than reflective or philosophical, but LaCapra is also critical of Claude Lanzmann for failing to ask this question enough in Shoah. All of the Germans who Lanzmann interviewed were either perpetrators of complicit bystanders, and they spent a great deal of time explaining what, where and how the Holocaust happened, while also denying or minimizing their own responsibility. Franz Suchomel, the S.S. guard at Treblinka, was a notable exception to this rule, but Lanzmann interviewed him with a hidden camera after promising to keep his identity anonymous. Almost all of the Jewish survivors described what happened in painful detail, and Lanzmann's preference was to make them literally relive their experiences, but they were not asked why. ith a few exceptions the resistance leader…… [Read More]
Somehow his scientific side needs to make sense of the horrors that are taking place about him, regardless that everything seems completely insane. He states he had "the curiosity of the naturalist who finds himself transplanted into an environment that is monstrous but new, monstrously new." He adds that he "thought too much" while in Auschwitz, which only made him continually vacillate back and forth from hope to despair.
Throughout all of his ordeals, Levi continues his writing and scientific analysis for rational answers, to no avail. His goal of finding answers to the cruelty remains unattained. When one of the guards denies even an icicle to decrease a child's thirst, Levi asks in his broken German, 'Warum?' (why?). The guard replies, 'Hier ist kein warum' (there is no why here). At times Levi's observations are so unemotional that he is almost too objective, as if he is going to…… [Read More]
trips that I made to very different places were Mexico City and the Auschwitz extermination camp in Poland, and I will describe the impressions that I remember best from these visits to two very different places. Mexico City stands out in my mind because it was my first trip to a foreign country, but Auschwitz is a place I cannot forget simply because of what it is and the evil that it represents -- and I mean that in the literal sense, because it's no exaggeration to say that evil is just in the very atmosphere of the place. I did see some terrible things in Mexico, too, but Auschwitz was always unique in my limited experience and in a category by itself. I did go back to Mexico more than once after that first visit, but had no desire ever to return to Auschwitz or anyplace like it, since…… [Read More]
Holocaust, and how Primo Levi survived his imprisonment in Auschwitz. Specifically, it will answer the questions: hat perspective does Levi provide on day-to-day survival within Auschwitz? Is there order amidst the chaos of mass murder? Primo Levi's book, "Survival in Auschwitz" is a compelling look at the horrors of the most notorious Nazi prison camp, Auschwitz, but more so, it is a tale of the strength of human character - the very fiber that binds us together as humans. His book not only illustrates just how much the Jews endured in the prison camps during the Holocaust, it should be must reading for any student of the Holocaust who hopes to understand just a modicum of what was endured, and what it took to live through these unspeakable horrors.
Survival in Auschwitz
Primo Levi was one of the lucky few who survived the horrific prison camp of Auschwitz operated by…… [Read More]
For us, on the contrary, the Lager is not a punishment; for us, no end is foreseen and the Lager is nothing but a manner of living assigned to us, without limits of time, in the bosom of the Germanic social organism. (82-83)
The personal choice to leave or to stay, despite desperation was given to civilian workers and completely absent for the Jews, due to no act of their own. The only power they had was to live within the confines of Primo's early assertion in the work; "that man is bound to pursue his own ends by all possible means, while he who errs but once pays dearly." (13) ithin each novel there is a clear sense that choice is derived only from the immediate circumstances, which are entirely outside of one's control and yet almost completely determine even their very survival.
Levi, Primo, Survival in…… [Read More]
Eliezer and his father
Over the course of the novel Night by Elie Wiesel, the narrator Eliezer's relationship with his father shifts from that of a conventional father-son relationship to a relationship in which Eliezer eventually becomes the stronger of the two men. Eliezer quickly becomes a man because of the historical circumstances to which he is subjected. Growing up in a concentration camp he soon learns that his father is far from infallible -- physically, emotionally, and intellectually. At first the son looks to his father for guidance during their confinement in the ghetto and during their initial tenure in the camp. Then he grows impatient with his father's physical weakness, and finally takes the more active, dominant role in the relationship because of his youth and greater physical strength.
Night opens in a Nazi-occupied ghetto in Eastern Europe. Eliezer's father is a source of strength for the other…… [Read More]
The German suffering after the first world war and the humiliation of Germany with other nations gave the Nazis the opportunity to feed hatred of the Jews and at the same time promise that if the People gave in to the Nazi ideology, they would be in the land that would hold them a superior way of life. That the followers of Hitler followed the Ideals as true and that they also created in their own minds the need to eliminate groups of people who disagree like the communists and the Jews was the fundamental cause of the holocaust. Why did it come about? It was argued that while the political climate of the times did not show much promise, Hitler was able to deliver what he promised even if it was based on evil. This gave him ground support. One of the chief supporters of Hitler, and Aman who…… [Read More]
Undoubtedly, this association is partially explained by his postwar notoriety, but the ubiquitous image of Mengele at the ramp in so many survivors' accounts has also to do with the fact that Mengele often appeared "off-duty" in the selection area whenever trainloads of new prisoners arrived at Auschwitz, searching for twins."
Mengele's fascination with twins, and especially with experimentation on twins in order to find a way in which he could potentially double the size of the German race, led him to experiment on everything from eyesight, to pain tolerance, to tuberculosis. From witness accounts, Mengele would even inject the children with diseases, which often provoked vomiting and diarrhea, or would subject them to cuts while strapped to a table.
Because of his firsthand experimentation and selection of many prisoners, Mengele is responsible for countless numbers of deaths. Furthermore, due to his orders, others were either tortured, maimed, or killed…… [Read More]
poison used in the gas chambers, to the thousands of empty suitcases, clearly marked with names, which Nazi personnel emptied and appropriated after their owners were gassed to death. The Nazis not only took the lives of millions of Jews, they took everything that was a reminder of their lives. The world stood by while this occurred, and did nothing.
Why did the world stand by and allow millions of Jews to disappear into the death camps? Perhaps it was because most people could not comprehend anything so sinister and evil. Who could possibly believe that such evil could exist in the world? Who could believe that a race could incite so much hatred that another race would attempt to completely exterminate them? The very idea seems beyond imagination or possibility. Perhaps that is one reason the world stood by and watched as the Jewish ghettos emptied. They simply could…… [Read More]
Svenska Akademien informs the public in its press release from the 0th of October, 2002, that "The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2002 is awarded to the Hungarian writer Imre Kertesz "for writing that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history."
One could say it was Fate. We know one cannot fight against Fate. It's implacable, its useless to try to change the course of things as long as there is Fate leading mankind to its way. A unique way.
Was it Fate that made him win the Nobel Prize so that the whole world can find out about his novel? This semi-autobiographical novel where he tells us about living as a Jewish teenager under the Holocaust was meant for the world to look back at that time of World War II, through the eyes of a 4 years old boy who is…… [Read More]
Gypsies during World War II [...] treatment of the Gypsies by the Nazi in World War II, concentrating on pre-war treatment, and treatment during the war, including the round up of the Gypsies as compared to the Jews. It will also describe what made a Gypsy and how they were rounded up and transferred to the concentration camps. The Gypsies of Europe lost thousands during the war in the concentration camps, but their history is full of persecution and hatred. Even today, many Europeans look down on the Gypsies. These people have suffered as much as the Jews at the hands of Hitler's Nazis, but their story is far less known.
Who were the Gypsies in Europe? The gypsies, broken into different tribes or bands, first appeared in Europe sometime in the fifteenth century. After studying their language, made up of dialects of Sanskrit, Persian, Kurdish, and Greek and called…… [Read More]
All of the chapters in the book relate to various events in Levi's life, as well as to his passion for chemistry. Surprisingly (when considering the suffering he went through in Auschwitz) Levi only associates a small chapter in the book with his experiences in the death camp. The story is nonetheless sad, and can be regarded as being the most impressive account in the book. All in all, "The Periodic Table" is more of an autobiography than a nonfiction account involving the Holocaust.
In "Vanadium," Levi shortly depicts a series of occurrences speaking about Auschwitz. The author apparently wants to go over the topic as fast as possible, only to return to the beautiful world of chemistry. He does not succeed in doing that however, since the subject slowly but surely grabs hold of him and forces him to go deeper and depict one of the most influential chapters…… [Read More]
Holocaust Memory in East and West Germany
In Bernhard Schlink’s Guilt about the Past, the author writes about it what it is like to live under the “long shadow of the past” (26). Schlink states that the Germans felt oppressed by this guilt that their soldiers committed. They are happy to forget it, for example, when the German soccer team scores a goal at the World Cup and shouts, “We are somebody again!” as though the goal erased everything, as though the German soccer team somehow brought respectability to the German nation once more. It was an instance of a man wanting to get back into the light. Yet, after WWII, there was not much light to get into. Just like after WWI, the Germans were saddled with guilt. Only this time, after WWII, they were really made to feel it. They learned that their people had committed a…… [Read More]
They wagged their heads in sympathy and then proceeded to speak in the barren legalism of constricted hearts of their inability to intervene in the domestic affairs of other nations and of their own inviolate immigration laws."
(Leff, 2005, p. 218)
The Psychology of the Denial of Historical Fact
Numerous examples exist of the extent to which even individuals without anti-Semitic animus ignored what, in retrospect, might be considered painfully obvious. In fact, the ultimate fate of European Jews under Nazi occupation was so outrageous that even many Jews caught within the Nazi snare either could not or would not recognize the reality and magnitude of what was in store for them. Many German Jews, in particular, could have taken the opportunity to leave the country before that option was cut off by German authorities. If the victims of horrific persecution cannot easily accept the evidence in front of them,…… [Read More]
But whether it is suitable for all remains in doubt. An individual searching for a meaningful occupation after college, for example, or who has just lost a loved one and cannot stop asking 'why,' may benefit from the presumptions of logotherapy. However, an individual seeking an immediate solution to a psychological problem of a specific onset and duration may require a form of therapy that is more directed. Individuals who are not particularly articulate about their feelings, or who find the implications of religion or philosophy intimidating might be stymied rather than encouraged to open up with the theory's stress upon philosophy and larger, rather than immediate context of their problems.
Under the most extreme circumstances, Frankl stresses, one can find a will to survive, if one has a reason to do so. For a therapist, he or she must find such a reason within the patient's psyche and life…… [Read More]
God on Trial: Movie Analysis and Review
The Holocaust of orld ar II spawned many tragedies, one of which was the crisis of faith it precipitated amongst European Jews. The film God on Trial depicts the inhabitants of a concentration camp literally putting God on trial for his crimes against humanity as they wait to be "sorted out" into groups of who will live and who will die at Auschwitz. The film begins set in the present, where various tourists to the concentration camp are shown gawking at the premises. They can hardly believe the horror was once real and then slowly, there is a shift as the camera pans away to reveal a change of time and the viewer is taken back to orld ar II. The event is based upon an apocryphal incident in which the residents of Auschwitz were said to have staged such a mock court,…… [Read More]
As one side would see them as an extension of the Nazis, who wanted to destroy Israel at any cost. At the same time, opponents would argue that Israel should be talking and negotiating with their neighbors, to avoid similar kinds of conflicts. This is important, because these views would have an impact upon various military operations and foreign policy actions taken in the future. A good example of this can be seen with the events surrounding the Six Day War in 1967. What happened was, en Gurion had continually argued for Israel to use self restraint in international affairs. The problem was that the Arabs would use this as way to attack Israel. For many conservatives, this was a continuation of the same policies, as the inactions from the Mapai party would make the security situation worse. Where, many conservatives would argue that these actions were similar to the…… [Read More]
This triggered the mass emigration of Jews to Israel and to other countries that has been discussed in the paragraphs above. Most likely, the trust had never existed to the fullest degree, but the Holocaust and its impact assured that it would be difficult to regain it in the future.
Culturally, in all of Europe, but more notably in Central Europe, the effect of the Holocaust in its aftermath was remarkable. Starting with Theodor Adorno's mention that "writing poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric," many Jewish and non-Jewish inhabitants of Central Europe continued to create often based on the experience of the Holocaust or, in many cases, with direct descriptions of their own experiences as part of the Holocaust. The emotional impact that the Holocaust had on people in Central Europe was often expressed in art and culture. At the same time, the weight of the conscience for the event that…… [Read More]
They angered God, and as God has done throughout the ages, He punished the Jews. Many of them retain their faith and hope in God, and retained it even during their time in the concentration camps - it was the only thing that helped them to survive when all other hope had died. On the other hand, many Jews saw the camps as a place where they lost their belief in God. They questioned how He would allow such a thing to happen, and felt He had turned His back on them when they needed Him the most. Neither of these reactions is surprising. Another historian believes this gap between acceptance and denial of God will continue. He writes, "I believe that Jewish religious thought will continue to demonstrate this tension between mixed intentions, innovation, and conservation well into the future" (Braiterman 164). Faith is a tenuous thing for many.…… [Read More]
I agreed with Paul's perspective that the resurrection of Jesus is spiritual and cannot be fully understood by the human mind. I also believe that following death, Christians will not experience a physical rebirth, but expect to live an immortal, spiritual life in heaven. Paul's perspective encourages rebirth as a spiritual phenomenon. I think this belief closely ties with the second view of the resurrection, which is the resurrection occurred only in the imagination or faith of those closest to Jesus. Paul believes the resurrection of Jesus is spiritual, and liberates Christians from death by promising an immortal life in the likeness of Jesus. I feel there is a strong psychological element to this belief that can be explained as faith and the hope for death to not be the end of existence. Paul's point-of-view explains death is not an ending, but the beginning of immortal life. I agree with…… [Read More]
Chekhov employed an attitude similar to most nineteenth century short story writers, as he attempted to captivate the reader's attention through putting across concepts that would make it especially difficult for him or her to keep his or her state of mind. The lawyer and the banker both go through intense emotional and physical occurrences as they struggle to find their personal identity. The fact that the banker eventually comes to feel sorrow for his thinking is essential because the story provides readers with a turn of events as characters experience significant change as a result of observing that their previous perspective concerning the world was not necessarily accurate.
The moment when the reader becomes acquainted with the fact that the lawyer has won when considering his state of mind as he left confinement is essential for the short story. This concept and the fact that the banker starts to…… [Read More]
In his study of the camp doctors, he noted,
The willingness to blame Jews for Germany's troubles, making them "arch enemies of Germany." The nation was itself reduced to an abstract essence, threatened by its enemies and in need of sacred renewal and purification, through blood sacrifice if necessary. One's identity as a German, as the Nazis defined it, crowded out other possible roles. As the embodiment of this "holy, divine Reich," the Fuhrer, and not the doctors, was responsible for all that happened in the camps. Yet "even the Fuhrer could be painted as 'helpless': because the Jew's evil forced the Fuhrer to act or make war on him."
So nefarious was this hidden enemy - the Jew - that he or she was quickly seen to be responsible for every conceivable social ill, real or imagined. "Jews -- or the concept of 'the Jew' -- were equated with…… [Read More]
Heinrich Himmler, the Nazi leader of the SS. Specifically, it will discuss his direct involvement with the concentration camps and the extermination of the Jewish people. Heinrich Himmler (1900-1945) was an unsuccessful chicken farmer and fertilizer salesman who became a leader in the Nazi party in the mid-1920s. As head of the SS as well as the Gestapo, he was a cold, efficient, ruthless administrator. He was the organizer of the mass murder of Jews, the man in charge of the concentration and death camps.
HIMMLE THE EXTEMINATO
Heinrich Himmler was born in 1900, and studied agriculture. He fought in the very end of World War I, and never seemed to make much of himself until he met Hitler. "Himmler was a passionate farmer. He had studied agriculture for several years, had a degree in agriculture, and was later the chairman of the board of the Organization of Agricultural Graduates"…… [Read More]
It is popularly thought that most Jews went to their deaths 'as sheep to the slaughter'. This is a misconception. What is surprising, as Bauer (1982) notes, is not how little resistance there was ut rather, given the conditions that the Jews of Eastern Europe endured, how much.
Altschuler, D. Hitler's War Against the Jews, New York: Behrman House, l978
Bauer, Y.A History of the Holocaust. New York: F. Watts, 1982
Gilert, M. The Holocaust: The Jewish Tragedy. London: St. Edmundsury Press, 1986
Groman, G. The Holocaust. UK: Harper Perennial, 1990
Gutman, Y. The Jews of Warsaw, 1939-43: Ghetto Underground Revolt. UK: Brighton, 1982.
Johnson, P.A History of the Jews, UK: Harper Perennial, 1987
Rohrlich, R. (ed.) Resisting the Holocaust. Oxford and New York: Berg Pulishers, 1998.
Suhl, Y. (ed.) They Fought Back. N.Y.: Macmillan, 1975.
1. Johnson, 508.
3 Gilert, 426-7
4 Altschuler, 192
5 See,…… [Read More]
According to prisoners who job it was to remove the bodies and transport them to the crematoria afterwards, the screams started as soon as the pellets were deposited into the hole. They recount that the victims were usually arranged into a massive pyramid shape with the strongest and most desperate individuals near the top. Often, the walls would have to be cleaned in between uses to remove the blood left by fingers scraped bloody by people trying, in vain, to claw their way out of the rooms (Levin, 1993).
At the death camps, the strongest prisoners were used to perform the most disgusting work of removing dead bodies and operating the crematoria; this was their only alternative to being gassed or shot themselves. Camps without crematoria used large open burning pits similar to the execution pits employed before widespread use of gas chambers. Sometimes, a prisoner on such work details…… [Read More]
In this paper, he discusses the role of culturel in relation to the present age of "barbarism." He makes the important statement that in the age that has produces barbaric events such as Auschwitz, cultural activities such as the writing of poetry are no longer possible. By this he implies that the age that produces barbaric events can no longer act as if their cultural products or creations are exempt from the responsibility for these events. Therefore, to assume that one can continue to write poetry and engage in other cultural activities is "impossible."
If we unpack these views, we find that what Adorno is referring to is the underling way of thought or the submerged ideologies that are not "visible" but which tend to shape, motivate and determine the cultural output. In other words, Adorno in this article draws our attention to the underlying "forces" that exist in Western…… [Read More]
Men described how they would make a throat cutting gesture toward the incoming Jews as they arrived in the death camps, but some said that they made that gestured a warning and others made it in order to taunt. Survivors talked about a deceiving cordiality from the guards, while the others talked about a brutal experience filled with confusion. Due to this the truth becomes almost irrelevant, the effect that those people's experiences have had on them is easily observed. It seems like somehow the past is defined by the present.
Healing seems to be tied in with the process of forgetting for these people, and since they are not capable to overlook the terror they experienced, healing seems impossible, until it becomes apparent that many of the people questioned have become distanced from their stories because they have told them over and over again.
Shoah" tells the story of…… [Read More]
Bauman summarises these factors by referring to the methods of scientific and bureaucratic rationality and logic which reached extreme levels during this period in Germany. While on the one hand bureaucratic rationality can be seen as a positive aspect in relation to the ordered development of society, it can also be seen as the underlying cause that led to an atmosphere of moral distancing and irresponsibility.
In respect to the theoretical view of civilization and society espoused by the theorist, the above discussion highlights Bauman's view that sociology as a science has not taken into account the full implications of the rational-scientific worldview. This is evident from his critique of the Webber's model of sociology as a science that follows the rational dictates of modernism. (Bauman, 1988, p. 478) As the author states;
The anxiety can hardly abate in view of the fact that none of the societal…… [Read More]
interview of a single survivor available in the Visual History Archive of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute. The survivor in the film was Mordecai Topel from Poland.
Due to the length of the interview, we will focus upon the first 30-60 minutes of the interview, specifically to analyze the initial foundational issues of Polish anti-semitism, the initial German occupation of Poland and life in the ghetto and slave labor in a steel factory under guard of the Ukrainian guards in and out of Ostrowiec, Poland. However, we will flip to the end of the interview where he relates details of his family before the war where we get a look at the Polish Jewish world that the Nazis destroyed in orld ar 2.Certainly, Mr. Topel's experiences in the Auschwitz were quite typical of the time in the history of the Shoah, so much so that he brushes off describing the…… [Read More]
It is hard to deny that Sophie's Choice indeed has the trifecta of what I believe good movie-making needs: superb acting, sound, and cinematography, as it was nominated excellence in acting (won by Meryl Streep), cinematography, and music by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' annual Academy Awards. hile I have seen many movies, few have touched me the way Sophie's Choice has. I can remember the seamless acting, the haunting music, and the visual beauty of the film itself. In viewing Sophie's Choice, it's easy to see that a great film is so much more than commercial success or box office revenue; a great film is compelling. It grabs hold of you and doesn't let go. In looking for movies that resonate with the viewer, one cannot come any closer to perfection than Sophie's Choice, one of the most compelling films of all time, a gripping…… [Read More]
The multiple interpretations of simple words and phrases used in modern haiku give the reader a more participatory role in their reading; instead of being literature alone, the haiku that inspires varied meanings becomes art and involves the reader in its interpretation.
Another instance of these multiple interpretations contributing to a deeper understanding of the haiku is seen in the aggregate definition of "mountain village." The term can be personified as "either the unbearable loneliness of a life lived in seclusion or the bliss of living at one's ease from the maddening crowd," (awamoto 714). These choices of interpretation allow the haiku to take on its own meaning, above nature, above literal interpretations of the words, and to resonate more deeply with the reader.
It is this concept of "blending" interpretations of haiku, Hiraga says, that allows the haiku to take on a deeper meaning than its literal interpretation may…… [Read More]
Based on what is present in the essay, it seems as if you do not really have a problem finding beauty in the work of the Nazis, or benefiting from their atrocities, but rather maintained a false sense of ambivalence throughout the essay in order to make it more compelling. However, it also seems likely that you would attempt to maintain a distinction between finding your essay entertaining and finding beauty in Pernkopf's book, if only because the essay's ambiguity points towards an unwillingness to follow your own positions to their logical, if sometimes uncomfortable, ends. The question your essay poses is a crucial one, and it is regrettable that you were unwilling to answer it sufficiently.
Assignment 4: Making a Scene
Reading about the Holocaust is a little bit like reading science fiction, because everything is at once familiar and entirely alien. Movies and television have made almost…… [Read More]
"Here there is no why"
Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz.
Attempting to determine what Franz Kafka really meant in any of his stories is a difficult undertaking, given the absurdity and irrationality of the situations he describes and characters that do not seem to function or react as 'normal' human beings. This is especially true in his unfinished novel The Trial, where the young and successful bank executive Joseph K. is arrested and put on trial without charges and for no apparent reason, then taken out and murdered a year later. He never knows why all of this is happening to him, and perhaps Kafka's main point is that there is no 'why'; there is no reason for any of it, and indeed the characters and society he portrays are not acting in a rational manner. Like Primo Levi in Auschwitz, who was thirsty and broke off an…… [Read More]
Abandonment of Jews
David S. Wyman is the current chairman of the Institute of Holocaust Studies, the institute that has been named after him. Through his book, Wyman made a great contribution in support of the Jews who he believes were abandoned by the American as well as the ritish leaders during the Holocaust in 1944.
The Abandonment of the Jews is mainly based on the argument that while the Holocaust was going on, the ritish and American political leaders that also includes the name of the President Roosevelt, denied the proposals that could have possibly saved the lives of hundreds of thousands European Jews. These were the Jews who were there in the concentration camps of Germany. The proposals that Wyman talks about here include the failure of these leaders to order the destruction of the railway lines that led to Auschwitz and denying asylum to the Jewish refugees.…… [Read More]
William Styron's novel Sophie's Choice presents an almost unimaginably terrible moral dilemma to the reader. In the novel, the character Sophie and her two children are taken to the Nazi death camp Auschwitz-irkenau during the Nazi purge of the Jews. When entering the camp and being examined by an SS officer that is also a doctor, she tells the doctor that there has been a mistake, that she is not Jewish, but Catholic, and that she should be spared. Allegedly sympathizing with her, the doctor then allows Sophie a "reward," and her reward is to be able to save one of her children -- but she must choose which one is to be saved and which one is to die right there on the spot. There are several ways that one could ultimately view Sophie's decision to save Jan, her elder boy, such as using a Kantian, a utilitarian, or…… [Read More]
epressed and recovered memory has been the topic of much debate for the past ten years. Many feel that these psychological issues have been used to create chaos in the legal system and to destroy families. Professional organizations all over the world have commented on the controversy surrounding repressed and recovered memory.
The purpose of this discussion is to examine the issues and controversies that the psychiatric community is currently facing. We will also explore the research involving repressed and recovered memory. Let's begin by defining repressed memory and recovered memory.
Definition of epressed Memory and ecovered Memory
According to the Psychology Dictionary repression is a, "Psychoanalytic Theory, the defense mechanism whereby our thoughts are pulled out of our conscious and into our unconscious." (Psychology Dictionary) Many psychologists have concluded that the act of repressing memory is usually caused by a traumatic event. (Carroll 2002) These psychologists also contend that…… [Read More]
The (Im) persistence of Historical and Collective Memory: The Collective Forgetting of Vichy France and the Victims of the Holocaust
The unstable nature of human memory even on a personal level has been a persistent theme since Sigmund Freud's analysis of hysterics, to the modern day queries over the 'repressed memory' syndrome of alleged victims of childhood abuse. The fear of 'forgetting' such horrific historical events as the Holocaust in Europe and the crimes of the those collaborators of Vichy France has also spawned an additional, historical query into the nature of collective, human memory and the dangers of the unwillingness of human beings to confront the past.
Cognitive psychology suggests additional challenge to the difficulty of interpreting the Holocaust and also the "Vichy Syndrome" of a lack of historical guilt, that stretch beyond the moral allegations of fear or callousness. There may be a mental process that inhibits…… [Read More]
Life" by Gerda Weissmann Klein. In this book Gerda has narrated her ordeal during the Nazis regime and how she survived the holocaust and the death march. It is a highly emotional book, which narrates the horrors and sorrows faced by the survivors.
All But My Life"
Introduction classic of Holocaust literature, Gerda Weissmann Klein's celebrated chronicle tells the moving story of a young woman's six frightful years as a slave laborer of the Nazis and her miraculous liberation. All But My Life stands as the ultimate lesson in humanity, hope and friendship.
It is the unforgettable story of Gerda Weissmann Klein's six-year ordeal as a victim of Nazi cruelty. From her comfortable home in Bielitz (present-day Bielsko) in Poland to her miraculous survival and her liberation by American troops -- including the man who was to become her husband -- in Volary, Czechoslovakia, in 1945, Gerda takes the reader…… [Read More]
adenheim resort is the usual resort of the frivolous 20s and 30s, with cafes, casinos, entertainment locations, etc. The middle class Jew that comes here is in no way different from any middle classed individual that wants to relax during the holiday, close to his family and friends, involved in vacation activities, chatting to the other members of the community on holiday, enjoying the parks and leisure activities in the resort.
In this sense, I am not sure that being a Jewish guest in the resort is much differentiated from being a non-minority guest here. Perhaps this is the entire sense of Appelfeld's work: in a year when the Second World War is due to start, in a period when Jewish persecutions are already at a significant level, with ghettos formed across Europe and with serious limitations on Jewish activities, one can still enjoy a quiet holiday as a Jew.…… [Read More]
"When I think of religion at all, I feel as if I would like to found an order for those who cannot believe: the Confraternity of the Faithless, one might call it, where on an altar, on which no taper burned, a priest, in whose heart peace had no dwelling, might celebrate with unblessed bread and a chalice empty of wine. Everything to be true must become a religion. And agnosticism should have its ritual no less than faith." Oscar Wilde (Critchley).
Wiesel compelled to write Night, saying his "duty is to bear witness for the dead and for the living." "(Wiesel)
Night is a powerful, thought provoking narration of unforgettable and horrific experiences that Elie Wiesel lived through, during the last year of the Second World War. The story invites the reader to relive the life and death of the prisoners in the concentration camps run by the…… [Read More]
Night does these things to you. It makes you paralyzed.
Most angst-provoking of all to the young Wiesel was his loss of faith in God, and this is the brunt of his book and the brunt of his theme throughout his life, no doubt intensified by his later philosophical studies under existentialist teachers such as Buber and Sartre.
God was killed but, in another inversion (day into night), God was killed by those He created. He, the alleged potent Being, had been made impotent by so-called impotent beings and was dying on the gallows along with a child so light in weight, that when hung, the boy died slowly and in agony:
I was the accuser, God the accused. My eyes had opened and I was alone, terribly alone in a world without God, without man (Night, p. 64.)
Night is the umpteeth level of alone-ness. In the day, a…… [Read More]
Due to the brevity of this review, the author will focus in on Part One and some reactions to Frankl which they find ironic. In quoting Lessing, he obviously feels that his behavior was normal. Unfortunately, it was too depressingly normal in our "civilized" world. In Orwellian fashion, the proletarians have been trained to sit there, quo up and receive whatever garbage (or gas) is dumped on our heads. He even waxes poetically on gas in which he draws "an analogy: a man's suffering is similar to the behavior of a gas . . . The "size" of the human suffering is absolutely relative (ibid, 55)." After losing his entire family in the gas chambers, this response is mind numbing. The basic human instinct for human survival is to fight hard as a group to overthrow oppression and hit back at the enemy.
To this author, "normal" behavior looks more…… [Read More]
His life became a constant dread, a horrible fear that German militia would kill him or his family.
On June 16, 1941, the Nazis ordered his father to report to the militia. "I looked out the window for hours on end," David wrote in his diary (p. 17). He thought his parents would return soon but "…the hours went by and still no sign of them…in the end I didn't know what to think." On the 17th of June, the Nazis came into David's village and searched other houses but not David's. One day a Nazi (David always referred to them as "militiamen") pushed a motorcycle into David's house after the motorcycle had broken down. hile the Nazi was still in the neighborhood, some Jews came along; the Nazi checked their papers and then administered "…a severe beating" to an innocent man (p. 18).
"Nowadays a person can be arrested…… [Read More]
" (16) In other words, since God is not completely benevolent, one must protest against God for allowing that which is not just or that which is evil to exist.
In an illustration of this strategy, oth refers to the work of Elie Wiesel, who "shows that life in a post-Holocaust world can be more troublesome with God than without him" (9). In his works, Wiesel looks at different forms of theodicies and does not accept them for various reasons. Because of his experiences, he has put together his own personal theory of theodicy that allows him to accept God while still handle his violent experiences. In his book Night, Eliezer, who, despite his young age, has studied Jewish theology, at first wonders the suffering is due to committed sins, but then changes his mind and sees it instead as something to which someone must submit.
In Chapter 3 of…… [Read More]
We should no longer have before our eyes those hostile faces, those hate-laden stares" (Wiesel, 9).
By far, the darkest development in the life of the author was his gradual emotional and psychological distancing that he experienced with regard to his aged father. The author is tormented by the knowledge (and memory) that he began to wish his for his father's death to relieve himself of the burden of caring for and protecting him. The author represents this through the character of Rabbi Eliahou's son who purposely allows his elderly father to fall behind him on their last death march from Auschwitz to Buchenwald in the freezing snow, knowing that the consequence will be his death for failing to keep up with the group on the forced march.
The author eventually stopped responding to his father's calls and from reacting when other prisoners beat him for soiling their bunks. Ultimately,…… [Read More]
The almanac symbolizes the passing of time or life. As a result, it cannot help but point to death and bring forth tears. e see this alluded to with the child's drawing, as the man wears "tear like buttons" (29), symbolizing all that has passed. The almanac is crying but those tears are also nourishing in that they are preparing the child for the next phase in her life. The recurring tears point to the fact that death is not far for the grandmother. Here we see death hiding about in almost every aspect of the daily activities of life, reminding us that it is always around the corner.
In "A Certain Lady," Dorothy Parker utilizes symbolism to make an ironic point. The symbols in this poem point to the traditional ones we associate with love and lovers. The poet tells her lover that she will "drink your rushing words…… [Read More]
Studies have shown that the better the personal support system for an individual with survivor's guilt feelings is, the faster and more effectively that individual will recover from these feelings (Herman 1997). Though counseling and individualized therapy can also be hugely important and effective -- as will be discussed momentarily -- no psychological practitioner ever could (or ethically should) replace a network of family and friends to provide ongoing support and security to those suffering from survivor's guilt (Khouzam & Kissmeyer 2006; Herman 1997). educing feelings of isolation and providing a sense of the lost security are both important steps in assisting recovery from survivor's guilt.
One of the most effective therapeutic methods for dealing with feelings of survivor's guilt is, strangely, to have the survivor relive the traumatic event(s) that have led to these feelings, and to have them express -- and therefore fully acknowledge and come to accept…… [Read More]
Initially St. Augustine favoured the dualistic view that evil was external and separate from the world and mankind that in evident from the Manichean worldview. However, he was later to reject this strict dualism and taker another view of the nature of evil. This was more Platonic and was based on the writings of Plotinus and Porphyry. This refers to the view that evil is a measure and result of our separation from God.
For Augustine, the measure of all existence was God. Instead of the Manichean view that evil existed outside humanity "…as an invasion," he posited the view that evil only existed to the extent that we do not acknowledge and live within God's word and law. ( Augustine Influences Christianity). Stated in another way, evil exists only because mankind refuses to acknowledge God. In essence Augustine defines evil as "…a privation in goodness." (A Brief Response to…… [Read More]
Hitler was a good leader who sacrificed his life for the German people.
Open answer: negative assessment only.
Open answer: not only a negative assessment.
Israeli and German Students' Reactions to a Dictatorial Regime
Support the dictatorial regime
Indifferent to the dictatorial regime
Resist the dictatorial regime
Israeli and German Students' Views on the Frequency of Discussions About the Holocaust
There are too many discussions.
There are sufficient discussions.
There are not enough discussions.
There is no/hardly any discussion.
Israeli and German Students' Views on the Possible Rise of Nazism in Germany
There is no chance that someone like Hitler
41% will rise to power again in Germany. The Germans have learned a lesson from their history.
I do not believe that someone like Hitler
41% will take power again in Germany; the Germans have learned from their history, but I cannot be…… [Read More]
omen were also a significant part of the civilian staff, committing their
abilities as typists, phone switchboard operators and facility
Likewise, on the home front, women would commit their services in
place of their husbands, fighting abroad. In fact, the term home front
should be well understood as one coined with the psychological intention of
conveying that those who were enlisted in one manner or another for
civilian duty were themselves a crucial force in the war effort. The
terminology of 'home front' implies that such domestic locales as the
continental United States were to be seen as war theatre's demanding of
unified and concerted participation in shared goals of conservation, labor
and administrative support.
For women in all walks of American life, the end of the Depression
would coincide with the start of orld ar II, making the association
between job creation and the war effort fully inextricable.…… [Read More]
It was this same concept which began to impose harsh discriminatory
tactics against homosexuals. In fact, in a most ironic twist referent to
Nazi sadism, the treatment of homosexuals was often documented to exceed in
its abuse but also in its sexual manipulation, this group. Specially
recipient of abuse in the concentration camps, homosexuals were guilty of a
crime against Germany in their simple state of being, even as this
discrimination was not passed along to German SS guards and other Nazis
notoriously documented as having sodomized and sexually abused homosexual
inmates. In addition to their relegation to concentration and death camps,
homosexuals were subjected to the abuse of German's Nazified medical
community. To this end, "in 1935, a new law legalized the 'compulsory
sterilization (often in fact castration) of homosexuals.' A special
section of the Gestapo dealt with them.Along with epileptics,
schizophrenics and other 'degenerates', they were being eliminated."…… [Read More]
There are so many abuses; it is difficult to believe that anyone managed to survive the brutal conditions in the camps. The Jews had literally nothing to eat but scraps of bread, the Nazis often punished the entire camp for the slightest mistake. For example, he remembers the Nazis forcing them to stand still while they were naked in the snow, and he recounts a Nazi guard's rape of a Polish girl. He writes with vast emotion about the cruelties piled on the survivors, and the book is difficult to read because of these images. In another example, he states, "How long had we been standing like this in the icy wind? An hour? Simply an hour? Sixty minutes? Surely it was a dream" (Weisel 47). Sadly, the book is full of these images and it is difficult to read because of it.
The book could not be called "enjoyable,"…… [Read More]
However, as the time in the ghettos grew longer, and Jews began to disappear in greater numbers, it became clear that something had to be done, and the resistance grew. Couriers risked their lives and carried messages to the outside, and armed rebellions began to be more common. What may be surprising is that so many acts of resistance actually occurred throughout Europe, this is something that is often overlooked in Jewish history.
When the Germans forced the Jews into labor, internment, concentration, and extermination camps, they realized what the Germans really had in store for them, and camp members forged resistance groups, as well, even though it was much harder to resist inside the concentration camps, because they were heavily guarded, the work was incredibly difficult, and food was almost non-existent. It was much more difficult to resist in these conditions. However, resistance did occur, even if the penalty…… [Read More]
The interaction between the two is also symbolic of the innocence of the prewar state. Before the war, interactions and romantic interludes between Jew and Caucasian were no problem. During the war, however, Jews were marginalized to the point where they were no longer recognized as human beings. This is symbolized by the harsh treatment of an old Jewish man by a Nazi soldier, also during the beginning scenes. The man is ordered to walk away from the sidewalk and into the gutter, where he steps into water. This contrasts with the pleasure that zpilman and the blonde derives from their interaction. Visually, the contrast between the Jews and Germans is symbolically depicted by the physical differences between zpilman and the girl, which would become symbolic not only of ethnic differences, but also of the way in which these differences are used to justify the death of hundreds of thousands…… [Read More]