My Thoughts on the Holocaust Over the course of this year we have studied everything from the theories of Utilitarianism to the rise of current U. S. Democracy. We as a class have highlighted and discussed many of the problems of political thought. It is extremely interesting to me how the most problematic issue related to political thought in my opinion was the last topic we discussed. The issue that I am speaking of is the Holocaust.
I began studying the Holocaust when I was in middle school. We learned the basic history of the terrible incident without getting to much into the specific atrocities, or the social political conflicts that were present. My next encounter with the Holocaust occurred when I was a junior in high school. It was in my history class that I learned about all the Nazi death camps and the moral issues surrounding this horrible incident. I was beginning to understand all of the factors that contributed to the Holocaust. Among Night by Elie Wiesel, we also read The Diary of Anne Frank.
I was interested in both books, but Night really moved me. The powerful prose that Mr. Wiesel uses to describe his struggles to stay alive in Auschwitz and Buchenwald are astonishing. I still cannot comprehend how Mr. Wiesel was able to write with such grace and honor about such a personal and emotionally powerful issue. “You must never lose faith, even when the sword hangs over your head.
... never exterminate every Jew. Early in Wiesel?s Night, he recounts his experiences in the Holocaust and he expresses his undying faith ... situations for some time. Wiesel felt that man was stronger that god because throughout the Holocaust his fellow prisoners continued to ... a source of supreme justice. Wiesel continued to despise God for the remainder of the Holocaust, yet from this new independence ...
That s the teaching of our sages ” (Night, 29) As the unit on the Holocaust ended, I was confident with my position of strong opposition of the event. To be honest with you, I have not thought about the effects of the Holocaust in great depth until this year. That can be attributed to the fact that it is not exactly a pleasant topic to ponder; not because I do not have empathy for all the lives destroyed by the horrific event. It was this year that I feel that I truly understood the spirit of Eli Wiese s Night. The themes of individual freedom and the influence of God over man which were explored in depth this year, was constantly popping into my head as I read the account of Mr.
Wiesel s struggle. “God is testing us. He wants to find out whether we can dominate our base instincts and kill the Satan within us.” (Night, 42) Elie Wiesel s world was crashing around him. He witnessed the death of his family, but his spirit remained strong. How could a culture of individuals who was free, and posses rights, be in danger of their lives such as the Jews of Europe Or better yet, how could a madman be elected into power and given the capabilities to change the laws so he could carry out his sinister plans Despite the obvious moral dilemma that is evident, there is another issue of honoring the political freedom of individuals, or a culture for that matter which needs to be addressed. I am fearful that this event could repeat itself in the same size and scope.
Mr. Wiesel had this to say about man who stole his innocence, “I ve got more faith in Hitler than anyone else. He s the only one who s kept his promises, all his promises, to the Jewish people.” (Night, 77) I am terrified to see this same genocide occurring right now on a lesser scale in Rwanda. It is a shame that we as a global nation do not have the ability to prevent such evils from occurring. When will the leaders our world learn from history, and try not to repeat the mistakes of the past.