The Extermination Of The Jews Essay Research

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The Extermination Of The Jews Essay, Research Paper The first 13 of the 18 documents, collectively called The Extermination of the Jews, were not in any way new stories to me. In fact I came into this book with the same attitude that I usually do when faced with Holocaust stories, that of “Yes it was horrible, but I know all about it already. This reading isn’t going to do anything to my attitude.” I, as I always am in thinking such a thought, was wrong. No matter how much you know, no matter how many Holocaust survivors speak to you, no matter how much you read about it, no matter how much the atrocities are ingrained into you mind, you can never be immune. You are always horrified by this extermination, and every time that you read about any incident you are more

disgusted than the last. You are always reminded that these people that were being slaughtered like animals were not much different than yourself or anybody that you know. It does not matter whether you are Jewish, Christian, Muslim, or any other religion, you have to sympathize with these people because they are people. Despite whatever the Nazis tried to make them into, one can easily see that is was not the Jews who were sub-human, but the vicious, blood-thirsty Nazi murderers who were the animals. Many of these readings reminded me of the question “Where were the people? Where were those who said, `NO! This is wrong!’? Why would no one stand up to such an obvious wrong?” The ninth document shows how the Nazis eliminated Jews’ rights. It amazes me that there weren’t

more non-Jews who would speak out against these ridiculous, arbitrary laws. Can fear truly silence a person to the point of just accepting the dehumanization and deaths of millions of people? I still cannot bring myself to believe that this is human nature. No thinking human being could accept this, yet an entire nation bowed to the insane will of a madman. Clearly, somewhere in human nature is an innate passivity possessed by many people. This passivity must be so powerful that it can silence those who wish to be active, who will stand up for what is right. Is it not reasonable then to think that ,despite all of the good intentions and courage that people display, it could happen again. Document five shows how a person can be fooled into believing in the superiority of one group

over another. Globocnik must have felt this way or he would never be able to make boasts about burying bronze tablets in order to commemorate his murderous work. What does it take to make a human, the only known sentient creature, pride himself of doing something that is below even the barest of creatures? It was this document that was the most shocking to me. Where the others show the suffering of those the Nazis captured and killed, this one shows in ghastly detail how some delighted in the misery these people. The final five documents attempt to show varying explanations as to how this abomination known as the Holocaust could have occurred. The first, an excerpt form Machiavelli’s The Prince shows reasons that Hitler was able to retain such control over the population. He

states that fear enables a ruler to retain perfect control over those he rules. Indeed this was one of Hitler’s strategies. He scared people into not reacting by using the threats of imprisonment and death. The statements made by Hobbes attempt to prove that man is naturally evil. Although upon first glance at the Holocaust one may think that this is true, it seems that a more accurate representation would be that some people are evil, and that they when in power can influence the primarily neutral population. Locke’s view of the rationality in man’s nature seems an absurd optimistic opinion after reading all of the offenses against humanity. Although there may well be people governed by rationality they quite obviously cannot make up the bulk of those living or such