According to Dictionary.com the definition of the word Genocide is “the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group. The biggest and probably most famous incident of this word is the Holocaust where and unbelievable amount of Jews were killed just because they were Jewish. They didn’t do anything wrong but just happen to have the wrong religion at the wrong time. Many other instances of this terrible thing called genocide has happened over the years. Some that i have heard of and researched is Iraq, Rwanda, and Darfur. Sadly there are many other places both more extreme and more minuscule than these. But they still have the same effect. Genocide is one of the scariest things I have ever heard of and it is impossible to believe that a single human or a larger group of people can feel like they are superior to another group of people. This kind of reminds me of the Manson murders. Thinking that someone that seems to be such a strong leader can lead to such a tragic event. The people that are following in the example of the “leader” get blinded of maybe just conflicted in the consequence of either them getting hurt or someone they don’t necessarily know getting hurt. Which is easier?
Gitta Bauer was one of the many rescuers of the Holocaust. She let her Jewish friend, Ilse Baumgart, hide in her house during this time and by doing this she saved her life. ”This was no big moral or religious decision. She was a friend and she needed help. We knew it was dangerous, and we were careful, but we didn’t consider not taking her”. This was a terrifying time for many people who were not Jews. Knowing that it was against the law to take in a Jew was a scary thing to go against knowing that you could get arrested or even in some cases killed. Gitta Bauer and the other rescuers of the Holocaust just absolutle amaze me. They all saved lives by being selfless. It takes courage to be able to go against what your told to do in order to save even just one persons life. She met her husband in 1945, two years after she took her friend in, She met her husband. Then in 1950 she had her son, and got arrested for four years for having Jews in her house. Then her husband was sent away to Siberia for just about five years for being accused of being an American spy. One year after she was let our of prison she was able to be reunited with her husband and be able to write a letter to her son to find out that he was okay. She became a journalist. She recieved the Yad Vashem medal in 1984. She was conflicted about accepting it because she said she only saved one life and she wished she could have saved more, but eventually she did accept it.
The above link takes you to a web page filled with stories by people about the Holocaust that are discussions about The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. A lot of the people that posted these entries on this website spoke a lot about the novel “Night” by Elie Wiesel. There was a woman , Fern Sidman, who posted an entry that seemed to know what she was talking about and when I read it it just made a lot of sense. She incorporated the book well and also put in information about how people her age growing up felt about and reacted to even the bearing of the word Holocaust. “His painful and searing account of the unspeakable horror, known as the Holocaust is the single most defining event of the 20th century.” Many other posts that i read led toward the idea that people need to know and try to understand how tragic this time in history was. Even though it is not an event that someone should ever go through again, even though they never should have had to in the first place, we cannot fully get what happened unless we experienced it first hand.
While watching this video on Holocaust Genocide i had that jumpy unsettling feeling in my stomach. This video is actual footage and it just makes this time in history feel that much more real. At the beginning of the video it shows some of the victims of this devastation revealing their wounds to the camera. I don’t think i have ever seen the actual physical evidence on a victim of the Holocaust before that came from beatings and cruel punishment. I just can’t seem to get past how horrible it is to see these dead bodies laying on top of one another like it is just a pile of garbage. One part of the video shows this man who had just recently died most likely a very slow and painful death, the shot that the camera man shows of him laying there with his eyes wide open is just absolutely terrifying and looks like something straight out of a horror movie. It’s scary to think that us as humans are capable to do something so unnecessary and so cruel to a group of people because someone else told us to and that is just what we were raised to think. It really makes one question if there is something that we are doing right at this moment in time that in fifty years from now we will look back on and be ashamed of ourselves for the way that we may have treated a group of people.
While reading the article on Rwandan Genocide i found many similarities between the genocides there and the genocides that happened during the Holocaust. “Inside the red brick church are the remains of victims of a mass slaughter carried out by Government-trained militiamen”. (http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/news/international/countriesandterritories/rwanda/genocide/index.html). I felt like many parts of this article were remeniscent of the Holocaust. These were innocent people who were killed in large quantities just like the Jews during the Holocaust. Although the mass of people killed in Rwanda was not as much it doesn’t necessarily mean that it was any less tragic. The genocide of Rwanda happened inside of a school, much less small scale compared to the many concentration camps that the Jews were in years ago. It also said in the article that some people refuse to call these killings in Rwanda Genocides. This kind of reminds me about hearing that some people refuse to acknowledge that the Holocaust even happened. “A short time later, after the sound of machine-gun fire, the screaming stopped.” This section from the article was kind of frightening and very much so reminded me of the Holocaust and everything that happened to these innocent people and it’s very sad that still after all of these years it is still happening and the world has not fully learned their lesson.
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