The sheer scale of the Holocaust can make it difficult to understand, because while human history is rife with examples of oppression and genocide, never before had it been carried out in such an efficient, industrialized fashion. The methodical murder of some six million Jews, along with millions of other individuals who did not fit the parameter's of the Nazis' racial utopia, left a scar on the global consciousness and forced a dramatic reconception of social theories, which now had to account for how the Holocaust could come to happen. The old dualisms of social theory proved insufficient on their own, because the motivations, logistics, and execution of the Nazis' "Final Solution" defy easy categorization and explanation. Instead, one must examine the explanations provided by each of these theoretical schema and then attempt to formulate a broader, more eclectic explanation of the Holocaust than is provided by any individual…… [Read More]
Holocaust is a catastrophe orchestrated by Nazi Germany under the leadership of Adolf Hitler. It was an organized and systematic murder with the outcome being the brutal killing of approximately six million innocent Jews during the Word War II (Longerich 2007 p. 29). State involvement in the murder complicates the whole affair as it was contrary to expectations. This was in deep contrast by all standards given the reality among different states that it is the only institution that come to the rescue of the Jews living within the Germany territory. Apart from sponsoring the murder, the state through the leader Adolf Hitler, initiated certain bureaucratic systems that ensure they accomplish the main agenda (murder).
Holocaust means sacrifice by fire and symbolizes the physical and psychological trauma that most families of Jews origin faced. In their quest to execute the common agenda of brutal murder of non-Germans, the Nazi Germany…… [Read More]
Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. is a place that is both dark and light, from the perspective of a visitor and the emotions that one feels on being in a place like this. The darkness results from the facts and photographs that are on display. It is very difficult to believe that these events took place just over seventy years ago in Europe, and that Adolf Hitler's Nazi party conducted mass killings without interference until the Soviets, the Americans and British and allies finally fought their way through France and into Germany to put a stop to the genocide. The light comes from knowing that the truth is a very final thing and it brings closure to such a horrifying event. Seeing the photos, viewing the videos, and watching the other visitors to the museum respond and react to the exhibits, I did see a lighter picture of the Holocaust…… [Read More]
Holocaust and Genres
The Holocaust is one of the most profound, disturbing, and defining events in modern history. As such, stories of the Holocaust have been told by a wide variety of storytellers, and in a wide variety of ways. The treatment of a specific theme such as the Holocaust can be profoundly different both between different and within different genres. As such, this paper describes the treatment of the Holocaust in Elie iesel's Night, Art Spiegelman's Maus: A Survivor's Tale, Roberto Benigni's Life is Beautiful, Alain Resnais' Night and Fog. Each of these different works provides a unique and important look at the Holocaust, illustrating that different genres and approaches can be effective in conveying an event as important and profound as the Holocaust.
Elie iesel's book, Night, tells the semi-autobiographical tale of fourteen-year-old Eliezer iesel who is sent to Holocaust concentration camps. Throughout the novel, the author struggles…… [Read More]
For example, the essentially female nature of the author's suffering is embodied in her tale of Karola, a woman who cleverly hides the age of her daughter, so she will allow the child to be admitted through the gates of Auschwitz by her side. Sara Nomberg-Przytyk implies that a woman will have a special reason, as a mother, to be clever and devious in avoiding the horrors of the Nazis and ensuring the survival of the next generation of Jews.
When Karola fears Dr. Mengle will target her other child, a son, the woman hides him from the doctor's eyes and experimentation. To do so, however, she must draw upon the collective force of all of the women of the camp, who respond to Karola not just as a Jew, but also as a woman and a mother. The other women's collective spirit highlights the author's communism and belief in…… [Read More]
The name "Holocaust" has its root in a Greek word that means burnt whole or totally consumed by fire. Between 1939 and 1945, approximately six million Jews and five million non-Jews died in the Holocaust as Adolph Hitler sought to create a "perfect nation." All of these deaths were premeditated mass executions.
In September 1939, Hitler started World War II with a rapid air and land attack on an unprepared Poland. He did so without a declaration of war and the world superpowers were aware of this.
Prior to World War II, Hitler attempted to get rid of the Jewish population in Germany by making the German rules so harsh for the Jews that they would leave voluntarily. When this did not work, he decided to expel them from the country. Most historians agree that, at the beginning of WWII, Hitler and his Nazi party had yet to create…… [Read More]
How Is it That We Should emember?
Sometimes the only thing that we can do to help remedy a terrible wrong is to serve as witnesses. And if we cannot be actual witnesses, then we struggle to find some way to serve the same function in a different way, very often by visiting a memorial to what has happened. If we cannot have been there ourselves, then we can travel there -- wherever that there is -- in spirit and in our hearts we can help ensure that the world does not forget. One of those events that many people seek to ensure such a remembrance of by visiting memorials is the Holocaust. There are memorials to the millions who were slaughtered by Nazi Germany -- mostly Jews, but also others like Gypsies and the disabled -- all over the world, even in places that are far away…… [Read More]
For one, the cover art used for each of these media formats is remarkably -- and perhaps not coincidentally -- similar. Spiegelman's graphic novel cover depicts a large white circle front and center. On this white circle is a Nazi swastika with a cat face at its center. The title "Maus" is written in a bloody red font, and below the white circle are characters -- perhaps Vladek and Anja. The cover art on Film Unfinished also has a circle -- a wheel occupying the background. This wheel is not white, but it is a film reel to represent the Nazi propaganda film in question. Just as the white circle on the cover of Maus sports a Nazi swastika, so to does the film reel. Below the film reel are crowds of people.
Both Maus and Film Unfinished use frame narratives to anchor present and past, and to impart the…… [Read More]
This may also account for Eliezer's interpretation of Moshe's account of the slaughter at the hands of the Gestapo: he feels that the man must be lying -- he also believes that the rest of his town rejects his story as well. However, it is quite likely that many of the older citizens fearfully believe Moshe, but do not want to publicly acknowledge it. Nonetheless, from Eliezer's young point-of-view, such events remain unimaginable; but it is apparent that Kaplan would have been ready to believe such tales even early in the war.
Although Kaplan's diary was written during the conflict and Night was written afterwards, the strongest contrast between the two seems to be between the perspectives of those providing their accounts. Eliezer's tale is fundamentally spiritual and Kaplan is fundamentally empirical in his writing. However, though approaching the topic from opposite angles, both seem to evoke analogous themes. Kaplan's…… [Read More]
hen it comes to Film Unfinished, this is certainly the case. The media of the film the Nazis used is the message that Hersonski is delivering the audience. It is the way propaganda film is created that is part of the story.
Graphic novels use art to depict the "real" world. Just as a viewer does not mistake a Hollywood movie for reality, the viewer usually does not mistake a graphic novel as depicting real life. However, Maus is meant to be taken as a substitute for photos, films, and other primary source material. The audience is expected to read Maus for what it is, an autobiographical report of what it is like to be the son of a survivor. As a graphic novel, Maus fuses different modes of communication to allow the audience to connect with the reality of trauma.
Both Maus and Film Unfinished use frame narratives as…… [Read More]
Many historians and scholars contend that the Holocaust -- the mass slaughter of an estimated 6 million Jews, gypsies and others carried out by the Nazis in II -- was the worst example of genocide in human history. Others suggest the killing of Native Americans by European settlers (and the U.S. government) was genocide as well. On the subject of genocide, there is strong evidence that genocide is being carried out in Darfur, at this moment. Those issues will be presented in this paper.
Genocide in II and Genocide in 2012
The horrific pictures of starving prisoners in the Nazi death camps -- and photos of piles of bodies in ditches along with images of the ovens used to kill people -- tell the gruesome, inhumane story of Hitler's "final solution." Every American high school student has studied this mass slaughter and has been subjected to those hideous images.…… [Read More]
It is again easy to see how citizens might be overwhelmed with daily reports of violence and despair, and unable to truly grasp the ramifications of what was happening to the Jews.
yman presents a persuasive case that even if the American citizenry might be forgiven for their disbelief, the political leadership has no viable excuse. Jewish organizations consistently reported first-hand accounts of the atrocities and American Congressional leaders were privy to high-level intelligence that confirmed those versions of events. yman argues that outright anti-Semitism was likely a factor in the overwhelmingly Protestant legislature, but also points to the deadly force of indifference at all levels of the federal bureaucracy. He reserves his harshest criticism for Roosevelt, a President who is remembered for his heroism: "In the end, the era's most prominent symbol of humanitarianism turned away from one of history's most compelling moral challenges," (yman, 1984: 313).
Additional Accounts…… [Read More]
The Cut for Survival as Made on the Second Hand
Survival in the Holocaust concentration camps meant something different for every human being who lived as a prisoner. And it meant the same. Survival meant enduring dread, fear, pain, starvation, exhaustion, and debasement. Survival required ever increasing degrees of physical, mental, and emotional adaptation and tolerance. Survival meant ever-increasing extremes of degradation in every realm -- degradation of faith, hope, strength, standards. And survival meant being lucky at every turn, in every moment, with each breath. In And The Sun Still Dared to Shine, Peter Scheponik wrote about surviving and survival. To those who are free, the words are the relatively same. To those featured in the poems "Afterlife," Love Photos," and "Punishment," the cut made between surviving and survival happened on the second hand.
The hands of the Nazis doled out cruelty and held chance loosely, as in…… [Read More]
The physicality of pain, the hunger, the feces and spit, all the brutalities that served to dehumanize them became precisely what brought the survivors out of the camps alive. Many if not most survivors were purely lucky. All learned how to live with dehumanization: to live while being dehumanized. All were able to resist succumbing to the belief that they were truly inhuman creatures, and all rose above and re-humanized themselves when they re-entered the world. Survivors use the process and act of remembering as the key to rehumanizing themselves. To rejoin the human race, they must remember the compassion and empathy they felt for their fellow prisoners: the images so deftly recalled in Holocaust literature and poetry. Only the stories of survivors exist to recreate the holocaust experience. As Andrei states in "The Last Camp," "our ideas would survive but the Nazi evil wouldn't."
hen Gotfryd states, "I couldn't…… [Read More]
Whereas documentary evidence presents photographic testimonies, the artistic renditions allow for the impressions of how the reality of Nazism impacted the primary stakeholders. Using this line of thinking, it is important to understand the different modes of witnessing: the "heterogeneous points-of-view" that comprise the Nazi social organization (Felman 207). There were victims (Jews and survivors), perpetrators (Nazis), and perhaps most importantly, the bystanders (Poles, in the case of Auschwitz and documentaries related to the Warsaw ghetto; Germans in the case of the Nazi endeavors in German-speaking lands). The Nazi social organization must be understood on all these dimensions. There are bystanders that watched while their neighbors were being forcibly removed and displaced; these bystanders are crucial for understanding the narrative of Nazism. The Nazi social organization depends on cohesion and collective identity under the rubric of German nationalism.
Genocide is a strange response to the sense of threat that derives…… [Read More]
The doctrine of human rights is one of the chief ideas which are shaped to protect every single human being not self-sufficiently from the race, population or other differences. Human rights are regarding human self-respect and the element that no one can take this self-esteem away or embarrass another person. Human privileges are about the idea that self-respect is an innate "characteristic" of a man and that the unchallengeable rights for parity are the foundation of freedom and impartiality on the earth overall and each public in specific (Lang). The researcher agrees that the Nazi legal system dehumanized its victims, and the Universal Declaration re- humanized them.
hen orld ar II was over there had been a lot of active Jewish provision for the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And today the Jews still are continuing to play a significant share in human…… [Read More]
That was not the case for the five videos selected to review for this paper. The overarching theme of each interview was the warmth and love of the Jewish families and their community. They were close-knit and cared deeply for one another.
It would be simplistic to say their love saved them. It would also be unfair to the millions of Jews who did perish in the Holocaust, as it would suggest that they and their families were somehow lacking and did not love each other strongly enough. Some Jews who had loving families survived, but many who had loving families did not. Survival ultimately came down to an unexplainable combination of fortitude, circumstances, timing, and sheer luck. There is no sufficient explanation that answers the questions about why some survived and why others did not.
Zelizer addresses the one-sidedness of the collective Holocaust memory in a chapter of her…… [Read More]
At this point, it is easy to see how Hitler was able to be a success in his plans and how he used the basic human need for order to carry out his plan. However, one still must wonder why no one resisted. egardless of the order that his methods created, what he did was horrific by any standard. One has to wonder why the people did not simply rise up and stop him. The answer lies in his ability to soften the language used for his tasks. For instance, his officers were dubbed "sanitation officers" who were asked to dump a sack of "disinfecting chemical" through a slit in a roof. They were not allowed to ever go into the building, thus distancing them from what they were actually doing. The soldiers did not have to face up to what they were really doing. They thought that they were…… [Read More]
My entire family was marched at gunpoint into railway cars ordinarily used for cattle and sent to one of the many Eastern European death camps established throughout the continent by the Nazis.
My brother and I watched our family and neighbors being rounded up from where we were hiding on the roof of our apartment building two nights ago. He believes that our family might still survive the war at a work camp, but even if such camps do exist, I know that whether or not our relatives were sent directly to the death camps, they are doomed. Perhaps they are all dead already. I have not yet grieved for what I am afraid has happened to my family because I have escaped capture and summary execution by the roving Einsatzgruppen only very narrowly twice. These roving gangs of Nazis and some of my non-Jewish countrymen prowl the countryside summarily…… [Read More]
They knew that they had to remove the 'sub-human threat' and they did not hesitate to do everything in their power in order to be successful.
Browning described how the individuals in the Reserve Police Battalion 101 were not necessarily indifferent to death, as they felt that it was their job to contribute in some way. If they failed to do so they apparently "risked isolation, rejection, and ostracism -- a very uncomfortable prospect within the framework of a tight-knit unit stationed abroad among a hostile population, so that the individual had virtually nowhere else to turn for support and social contact." (Browning 185) Regardless of whether these people were pressured or not, it is important to look at them from an objective perspective and understand that they were, to a certain degree, similar to their victims. These individuals were caught in a conflict that they did not believe in…… [Read More]
One resistance fighter was Anna Heilman, who helped smuggle minute amounts of gunpowder out of a plant at Auschwitz to help create a bomb to destroy one of the crematoriums at the concentration camp. She remembers, "We smuggled the gunpowder from the factory into the camp. It was smuggled in tiny little pieces of cloth, tied up with a string. Inside our dresses we had what we called a little boit'l (small sack), a pocket, and the boit'l was where everybody hid their little treasures, wrapped in pieces of cloth" (ittner and oth 132). The Nazis never noticed the smuggling, and the bomb was a success, a crematorium was destroyed shortly before the end of the war.
How can we, as students, combat prejudice, discrimination, and violence in our world today? In a country still reeling from the events at Virginia Tech University, that is a difficult question. In a…… [Read More]
Those who could work, mostly men, were sent the other way and "processed" into the camp. They were stripped naked, all their belongings confiscated, and shaved from head to toe, given worn-out rags to wear and shoes that did not fit. There were no blankets, mattresses, pillows, or heat in the dormitory "beds" (like wooden boxes) where they slept six to a bed. They were systematically starved and used for slave labor. After a whole day of heavy labor, "dinner" was a bowl of cabbage "soup," mostly water, and sometimes a slice of bread. They mustered twice a day to be counted, often standing for hours on end without adequate clothing in the winter. Those who became unable to work went to the gas chamber. During epidemics the bodies piled up in heaps like garbage, and vicious dogs, trained to hate the prisoners, guarded the camps. (Frankl, 1997).
Why Didn't…… [Read More]
There are obvious differences between primary and secondary sources. The most notable difference may be the fact that primary sources only reveal a glimpse of a certain situation or scenario. For example, while Ringelblum's diary gives an extremely detailed portrait of ghetto life, it does little to describe the broader impact of Nazi anti-Semitism in Europe. In contrast, while secondary sources can reveal statistics and numbers, they oftentimes miss the little details that make history personal. The personalization of history, especially an event like the Holocaust, is extremely important. As horrifying as it is to know that 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, even such a dramatic figure does not make the horrors of the Holocaust personal. Primary documents, especially diaries, bridge the gap between history and humanity, and make it clear that each one of those 6 million people was a human being. Furthermore, Ringelblum's diary makes…… [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]
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.…… [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]
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]
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]
Totalitarianism's Controversial Notions
The human social animal's capacity for collective tyranny and violence in Hannah Arendt's seminal work
Since the publication of her 1951 work on The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt has received much criticism as a philosopher and an historian for her theory of the human, historical development of notions of society or what Arendt terms 'the social.' From the social organizations of the salon, which were loose and diffuse, and based on ideological alliances, human beings evolved in their organization, she suggests, to alliances upon material interests in the forms of classes. But the nationalist and imperialist movements of the 19th century perverted these previous mental and material social alliances in history, to create the manifestation of 'the masses' that enabled totalitarianism to take hold in Germany, Russia, and other areas of the world.
Critical to Arendt's conception of totalitarianism is her notion of the…… [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]
Goldhagen and Browning: How the Holocaust Could Have Happened
The Jewish Holocaust has inspired countless theories on how such an atrocity could take place in a seemingly humane and otherwise "normal" society, as Germany was in the 20th century. In other words, it was not really any different from any other society or culture in the modern era -- and yet understanding how the Holocaust could have happened, how human beings of the modern era could take part in such a mass killing, has been the debate of historians. This paper will compare and contrast the arguments of Daniel J. Goldhagen and Christopher R. Browning -- both of whom give a distinct take on how such an atrocity could happen.
The main substance of Goldhagen's argument is that Germans were able to take part in the killings of the Jews because under Hitler and the National Socialist German Worker's Party,…… [Read More]
Holocaust affected Israeli society and culture and how Jews memorialize/emember it today
There exists no doubt regarding the massacre of the Jews during the phase of World War II and its impact on the lives of the Jewish people and the people who were near and dear to them. A dissention is required against those who assert that the tragedy never occurred, irrespective of whether they hold an opposite perspective to the Holocaust theory or just outright vehemence against Jews. The Holocaust stands for the lowest extreme of Jewish impotence. The affected Jews of the Holocaust were distraught due to it, both by direct means and indirectly, and as a continuance their kith and kin, near and dear ones, were separated by space. The holocaust has been termed rightly as a "Tragic legacy." It has also been looked upon as an unauthentic episode.
Just due to the fact they…… [Read More]
Resistance, Imprisonment & Forced Labor: a Slovene Student in World War II by Metod M. Milac is a memoir and primary source of his experience as a non-Jewish person during the Holocaust. Told through the perspective of Metod, his experiences between 1934 to 1950 allowed readers a glimpse of what it was like for non-Jewish victims experiencing Nazi occupation and encroachment in their homeland. Like another notable Holocaust figure, Anne Frank, both had to deal with incredible hardships brought on by an army that disregarded human rights, yet for someone like Metod, who was a student at the time, he had to deal with such difficulties in the open and with little hope for solace or comfort. The Jewish victims of the Holocaust had to hide or perform illegal actions to evade capture and imprisonment. Non-Jewish victims had to deal with the armies and the brutal treatment they would often…… [Read More]
At an arly junctur in th txt, th author provids a usful point
of considration which dos st it apart from many othr works on th
subjct. Rathr than to simply appal to th radr's sns of pity, Wood
taks on th task of dmanding admiration of th Jwish popl quit simply
for thir prsistnc to surviv as a cultur and with an intact sns of
idntity, vn if that idntity is inxtricably now linkd to th vnts of
th Holocaust. As th txt rports on anothr pag distinguishd by
complling photographs to th cas of Jwish dtrmination, "dspit th
high walls of th ghttos and th military strngth of th Nazis, many
popl in th ghttos scaps or fought in thir harts and minds. For
most, rsistanc took th form of clinging to th lov of family and
frinds, holding on to traditions, and strngthning thir hop." (Wood,
66)…… [Read More]
Religious Views of the Holocaust
Most people realize that during World War II, the Nazi Party of Germany waged a relentless war against people they did not welcome in their country for one reason or another. We all know that over 6 million Jews died during the Holocaust, but many people don't realize that the Nazis targeted others as well, including Gypsies and some Christians who would not cooperate with the Nazi regime or who were caught aiding those who were supposed to be sent to concentration camps.
Given that the Holocaust was a multicultural and multi-religious event, it is interesting to consider how some major religions might view the events. Christianity teaches that all murder is against the law of God. However most Christian religions allow the execution of criminals by state governments. This is why we have individuals who protest executions but rarely hear entire denominations protest such…… [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]
Richard Stites taught for over 50 years, and asserts that the most successful course during these years was a pro-seminar class designed for first-year students in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. The surprising title of the course, Europe in orld ar II: History and Film, seems a better fit once the reader learns that Stites has used full-length film in his courses for years. The films have given his students perspective on Russian popular culture, the U.S.S.R. And the United State in the 20th century, and Europe during orld ar II. As the Distinguished Professor of International Studies in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, Stites has enable students to assume the role of historians as they view and analyze film.
I chose the film The Pawnbroker for two main reasons: First, Stites considers it "the finest American fiction feature movie ever made about the…… [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]
Likewise, the heroes are those who took actions to prevent the amassing of victims. Clearly, the individual Nazis do not fit into this category. (Arendt, 2006: p. 74).
Thus, Arendt leaves the question as to whether the individual Nazis were bystanders or murderers. To be a bystander, Arendt argues that the Nazi soldiers would have to be completely free of any act that perpetuated the actions. However, because the Nazis made numerous choices, from joining the party, from giving up their individuality and morals, and for following the theory of the final solution, it would seem that one would conclude that they are not innocent bystanders, as would be community members who did nothing in the face of their neighbors being taken away to their deaths. (Arendt, 2006: p. 57).
ased on this thinking, one would think that Arendt would conclude that all Nazis were guilty of crimes against humanity…… [Read More]
Despeate to find the gold Columbus had assumed was hidden on the island to pay back his investos, he odeed all Indians to poduce a cetain amount of gold evey thee months in etun fo a coppe token they wee foced to hang fom thei necks. Any Indian subsequently found without such a token would have his hands cut off and be left to bleed to death. Unfotunately fo the Indians, Columbus was wong about the gold deposits he expected to find; as a esult, most of the Indians wee simply hunted down with dogs and mudeed afte failing to meet thei gold quotas.
In the Ameican West, the situation was just as bad and equally obscued in moden-day histoical efeences. Geneally, Ameican histoy of the settlement of the Westen Teitoies focuses on the hadships encounteed by the Settles and of thei skimishes with Ameican Indians. Moeove, most of those…… [Read More]
. . The most sustained on record" whilst the American Indian: The First Victim (1972) maintained that American civilization had originated in "theft and murder" and "efforts toward . . . genocide."
In the Conquest of Paradise (1990), Sale condemned the British and American people for pursuing a genocidal program for more than four centuries (Lewy, 2004).
It was not only masssacre; epidemics were introduced by the White people too, one of which was smallpox that destroyed entire tribes at one go. Measles, influenza, syphilis, bubomic plague, typhus, and cholera were only a few of the other plagues that the "visitors" bequeathed to the inhabitants already living on this soil. Approximately 75 to 890% of the deaths of American Indians resulted from these pathogens.
There was forced relocation of Indian tribes. The removal of the Cherokee from their homeland in 1838 -- an experience that was later called the Trail…… [Read More]
The traditional view of these 15th century explorers is that they were brave sailors who braved the risks and difficulties of oceanic travel and who "discovered" new lands in distant places. In truth, they were horribly brutal, homicidal tyrants who actually were responsible for more atrocities than the worst modern-day examples of dictators and perpetrators of crimes against humanity.
The human carnage committed by Columbus and his armies and by those of Cortes in the century following their arrival in the Americas dwarfs even those committed by the Nazis during World War Two. The sheer numbers of people they enslaved, brutalized, and murdered amounts to many times the six million Jews killed by the Nazis. In fact, if one combines the number of native people murdered (and very cruelly, senselessly, and unnecessarily brutally) by Columbus and Cortes and their contemporaries. Columbus accounted for the deaths of at least 8 million…… [Read More]
Holocaust survivor Sol Berger: Embodying American values
Despite -- or because of -- his experiences as a Polish-born Jew, Holocaust survivor Sol Berger embodies the American experience. Berger, like virtually every American today, is part of the nation's immigrant legacy. Berger came to America seeking freedom, after fighting for freedom when he lived in Europe. Forced to hide his Jewish identity during orld ar II, he took on many personas, including a "Polish partisan fighter and a Russian lieutenant" (Abdollah 2009: 1).
Like so many Jewish people for centuries in Europe, Berger lived in a constant state of fear and was forced to conceal his true self and faith. His parents and two of his sisters died during the war, but he was determined to survive. He escaped on false papers under the name of Jan Jerzowski and had learned enough about Christianity from a priest he had…… [Read More]
Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe During the Second World War by Martin Gilbert. Specifically, it will contain an analysis of the book's main arguments, and the issues they raise, along with an opinion on these arguments. The strengths and weaknesses of these points will be the focus of the analysis. Gilbert's book on the Holocaust is a massive volume dedicated to the suffering of the Jews at the hands of the Nazis during World War II. The book is set up almost like a journal, with nearly a day-by-day description of the brutalities and horrors heaped on Jews all over Europe. Gilbert states his thesis early in the Preface: "This book is an attempt to draw on the nearest of the witnesses, those closest to the destruction, and through their testimony to tell something of the suffering of those who perished, and are forever silent" (Gilbert 18).…… [Read More]
It was in the World War 2 that something so huge was tried by The Nazi Germany that it was just impossible to continue it. Genocide was attempted by Adolf Hitler and his comrades; they made systematic and deliberate attempts to kill all of the Jewish community. Jews were blamed by the Nazis for the misfortune that they faced in World War 1 because of which after the war Hitler made it his mission to kill all the Jews. This genocide started in 1939 and lased till 1945. Adolph Hitler was the one by whom this whole thing was introduced as he wanted to get rid of all the minority races from Germany (Bergen, 2009).
In the World War 2 there was a lot of suffering but what happened with the Jews can't be forgotten. The Jewish people had a set of laws for them which were known…… [Read More]
While it is logical that Holocaust survivors underwent severe alterations due to this traumatic experience, 'what is less well-known about Holocaust survivors is that the impact of the Holocaust and trauma was passed on to subsequent generations' (Bender, 205). In other words, although the children of Holocaust survivors did not directly suffer the tragedy, they nevertheless experienced it vicariously through their parents. This transmission of the influences of the Holocaust on the children of survivors has been termed transgenerational effects. 'Transgenerational effects can refer to transmission of trauma (e.g., a second generation child has nightmares of concentration camps although she never experienced the camps) as well as specific thought processes and behaviors that are thought to be passed down because of parental experiences during and after the war (e.g., a third-generation survivor believes that social status is the most important indicator of success in a particular society)' (Bender, 206).
Due…… [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]
Jewish Resistance in the Holocaust
When talking about the Holocaust many of us will wonder why Jews didn't fight against their murderers. We don't know enough about those tragic days. They did!
Hitler dreamed of killing all Jews as he found them not people at all. He planed to gather all Jews and execute all of them: men, women, and children. No one nation it the world has never been exterminated like Jews by Hitler and his cruel system.
As we know Jews are very smart and very peaceful nation and it was really hard to resist German soldiers, police and SS. Their resistance was spiritual and physical. They had to resist or they would not survive as a nation. Spiritual resistance means their wish to live, to save their children, preserve their culture and national originality. Jews gathered in ghettos to warship God, to discuss their critical situation and…… [Read More]
Main characters in Schindler's List
During the Holocaust, Oskar Schindler who is a womanizer, war profiteer, and a Nazi member becomes the unexpected savior and hero of approximately 1,100 Polish Jews. He is a swindler and a moderately successful businessman who takes advantage of wartime to gain financial success. His business includes buying an enamelware factory previously owned by a Jew and using ingratiation and bribery to get contracts to make war supplies. At first, he was apathetic to the Jews, thinking that their situation was just a result of the war. He is a playboy who habitually cheats on his wife. He joined the Nazi party because he believes that it will help him make more money, and not for any ideological reason. According to the movie Schindler's List (2016), even though Oscar Schindler buys the factory that has been confiscated from Jewish owners and…… [Read More]
Coming of age is challenging in the best of times; under unfathomably oppressive circumstances like the Holocaust, coming of age has the potential to erase a childhood entirely. Hana's Suitcase: A True Story pieces together the life of a girl who never was able to realize her hopes and dreams. A victim of the Holocaust, Hana became encapsulated in her material belongings, left behind for others to interpret and comprehend. Hana's Suitcase bridges cultural barriers because the suitcase is discovered by Japanese people endeavoring to understand what Hana went through and what her ordeal means for humanity as a whole. "Really, it's a very ordinary-looking suitcase. A little tattered around the edges, but in good condition," the narrative begins (Levine 1). The opening line summarizes the innocence of the title character, Hana, whose life becomes a symbol of everything the Holocaust itself represents: the tragedy of human existence.
Japan provides…… [Read More]
That she survived at all is a testament to her determination and strength, but that she survived, and managed to find her children after the war says even more about her fortitude and sheer force of will.
The story does portray a few of the Germans as humane, but mostly they are monsters, high on killing and on destruction. The same hatred exists in the world today, and again, it is based on race and religious beliefs. The sad thing is that the same kind of atrocities could, and do happen in today's "enlightened" world. Famine and "racial cleansing occur in Europe and Africa, and Muslims still execute Jews and Christians for their beliefs. It is quite frightening to see that we, and a planet, have not learned lessons from massacres such as the Holocaust, and still persecute and maim because of belief and misunderstanding. Dina's story is meant to…… [Read More]
Thus, in order for the righteous people to save the Jews they had to quicker and far more efficient than the troops who were looking for the Jews. The rescuers and the Jews who they had helped always lived in the constant danger of being caught. Everyone knew that as soon as the rescuers or the Jews were caught they would be persecuted.
Seeing how the media and the government had brainwashed almost everyone, there was always the fear of being reported by a neighbor or any other person. All the persons knew that their best interested would be served and they would be saved only if they helped Hitler in his cause. This made it even harder for any moral person to go on and help the Jews. The people who did decided to rescue and save the Jews had to alter their daily routine to quite an extent.…… [Read More]
Nazi Policy, Jewish orkers, German Killers
This paper presents a book review of on Christopher R. Browning's Nazi Policy, Jewish orkers, German Killers. The writer of this paper details the purpose of the book as well as the slant with which it is written. The writer provides an overview of the book's content as well as quotes from the pages of the book. There was one source used to complete this paper.
BRONING SHOS THE ORLD HY INSTEAD OF JUST HAT!
Literary authors often use their words to convey a message or make the reader understand a point. This is the case with Christopher R. Browning's -Nazi Policy, Jewish orkers, German Killers. Browning illustrates in this book the three most important issues that were at the forefront of the Nazi regime. Browning examines how the Holocaust decisions were made and how the final actions of those decisions were agreed upon.…… [Read More]
Prior to compulsory membership the belief was that membership would serve to advance them in the world around them which was quickly evolving and on a basis of "uniformity and solidarity." (Kater, 2004) Just as in American civic organizations for youth whom enjoyed wearing "spiffy uniforms" the same can be said of the German youth. As well the satisfaction in belonging to a safe community that was dominant in the world around them and that offered protection the participation in camping, marching, and communal singing in groups was appealing to these youth and the presence of the "omniscient and omnipotent father, Adolf Hitler, who provided immense guarantees of safety at a time shaken by continued economic depression and recurrent fears of war." (Kater, 2004)
V. und Deutscher Madel (MD) - the League of German Girls
Included in the Hitler Youth groups were the DM which was established in 1930 and…… [Read More]
The picture presents a monster tattooed with communist symbols. He is destroying a city that is equipped with electricity and other modern embellishments of civilizations. People are running for their life. On its face value, the picture can be taken as the criticism of communism. However, associating communism and Jewish origin with destructivity is not a naive gesture at all. It has an evil nature in itself showing hatred and intolerance for others in the society.
The descriptive text for the picture tells us that it is a propaganda poster depicting a stereotyped Jewish communist who is in the act of destroying Germany. Do we need to know more? This shows the hatred one cherishes against the Jew and the communists. This becomes crystal clear that the propaganda poster delineates the anti-Semitic as well as anti-communist mentality of the Nazis while this particular poster makes a caricature of…… [Read More]
On the other hand there is a growing consensus that these reasons do not fully explain the failure to deal with a problem like the Holocaust when the dimensions of the situation were known at a relatively early stage. The weight of the argument would the therefore be inclined towards critics such as Wyman who see political reasons for this lack of action based on anti-Semitic sentiment in the county at the time. This seems to be supported by the fact that strict immigration laws were implemented in a time of crisis
Abzug . America and the Holocaust. etrieved April 23, 2007, at http://www.utexas.edu/opa/pubs/discovery/disc1997v14n2/disc-holocaust.html
Ambrose S. How America Abandoned the Jews in World War II. etrieved April 23, 2007, at http://motlc.wiesenthal.com/site/pp.asp?c=gvKVLcMVIuG&b=395061 http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=26215709
Barnett, V.J. (1999). Bystanders: Conscience and Complicity during the Holocaust. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers. etrieved April 23, 2007, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=26215709
Brustein W.I. (2003) oots of…… [Read More]
" There is a more calm feeling to his description. This is not to say that the author was portraying war as being a patriotic act, but the author was not as graphical in his describing what the soldiers were seeing and going through. The reader is more connected to the actions of the poem and not the fact that someone is dying. He ends his poem by referencing "hell" and the reader is left wondering whether the hell that he is referring to the war that is being left behind, or to dying itself.
3) Rites of Passage Activity
In speaking to my grandmother, I was able to find out what it was that she took when she first left her home. At the age of sixteen, she was married to my grandfather and was getting ready to start her knew life as a wife and very soon, as…… [Read More]
Even though the Gypsies in prewar Germany consisted of a very limited per capita population they received massive amounts of attention from the Regime and were left ripe for further marginalization and destruction.
Though they made up less than 0.1% of the German population (between 20,000 and 30,000), Gypsies, like Jews, received disproportionate attention from the authorities as the various agencies of the state sought to transform Germany into a racially pure society. etween 1934 and the outbreak of World War II, a series of laws and regulations created a web of restrictions that set Gypsies apart and severely restricted their ability, individually and collectively, to survive. In July 1934, a decree forbade intermarriage between Germans and Gypsies. 4 the same year, the law permitting the deportation of aliens was extended to foreign Gypsies. 5 in September 1935, the Nuremberg Laws declared the Gypsies "an alien People" 6 and restricted…… [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]
cinematic image of the Sabra beginning with the early Zionist films, through the national-heroic mode, and ending with the critical attitude of the late 1970s and 1980s
The 1955 film Hill 24 Doesn't Answer is one of the first products of Israeli cinema. It is meant to be a stirring portrait of the new Jewish state. It dramatizes the then-recent war of independence. The film shows the war bringing together Jews of disparate backgrounds, all united by the need to defend Israel. "In Israeli culture, the figure of the Sabra" during the time period when Hill was made was considered a kind of ideal national type, exemplifying the new Jewish attitude that was free from fear and persecution (Avisar 132). The national ideal of a state that could triumph against all odds and was strong, both spiritually and militarily, is conveyed by the film through the physical strength and determination…… [Read More]