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Holocaust Essays

30 samples in this category

As years go by there is one thing that remains, the memory surrounding The Holocaust. For years after the Second World War, it was prominent in most civilians’ minds and is still true. Throughout the decades the Holocaust followed there have been many different approaches surrounding the development of the social memory of one of the worst and most deadly mass genocides in world history. Over the post-Holocaust era timeline, social memory has developed into an education and informational tool, pop culture media, and remembrance of the past.

Many historians choose to write about the Holocaust to shed light on the era to be able to educate others. When historians examine Holocaust memoirs, they learn not to rely on them for ‘information on specific events, places, dates, figures, which turn out to be, with metronomic regularity, false.” The vision of the Holocaust communicated in memoirs addresses itself to the heart, not to the mind… This vision makes the historian uneasy. Not that he is indifferent to the suffering, that he has not himself also been overwhelmed by tales of suffering, and fascinated by some of them. But because he realizes that this juxtaposition of stories is not a historical account, and that, in a sense, it cancels out the historical account. How can one put together a coherent historical account if it has to be constantly opposed to another truth, that of individual memory? How can one incite people to reflect, to think, to be rigorous when feelings and emotions invade the public arena? Holocaust survivors that are still living write memoirs and books about their time spent whether it be in camps and/or the deaths of loved ones. Most recently, 93-year-old survivor Eva Olsson has been on a book tour across Canada speaking about her third novel and her own horrific personal account of what she went through. Olsson goes into detail about how she survived, those who she lost during that horrid time, and how she is still to this day overcoming it and sharing her story with others. She wishes to share her story to children and parents, Olsson believes that many parents fail to talk about the Holocaust with their children because it’s a difficult subject but she believes it’s imperative for their future. She notes, ‘It’s important for children to know what hate is and still does.” She is also thankful for the opportunity to do so, ‘when I speak to the students, they are allowing me to keep my family spirit alive. I couldn’t do it without them.” The retelling of memories and first-hand accounts of the Holocaust has developed deeply over numerous years.

Pop culture brings the social memory of the Holocaust into a different light and aspect. Most notably the film The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas which is based on the novel of the same name by John Boyne, depicts the horror of a Nazi extermination camp through the eyes of two 8-year-old boys; Bruno who is the son of the camp’s Nazi commandant, and Shmuel, a Jewish inmate. Although the film does bring light to the horrors and gruesome murders of a massive number of Jewish people, it has drawn criticism from some Holocaust educators due to its lack of historical accuracy. That is one of the many problems surrounding the idea of turning a not only controversial but delicate period in history into a pop culture reference. The story is not very realistic and contains many implausibilities because children were murdered when they arrived at Auschwitz and it was not possible for them to have contact with people on the outside. This film is shown prominently in high schools during a social studies class when discussing the topic of the Holocaust.

A study by the Centre for Holocaust Education at University College London found that The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas ‘is having a significant, and significantly problematic impact on the way young people attempt to make sense of this complex past’. However, a more recent study found that the film’s reception is strongly based on the viewers’ previous knowledge and beliefs. Research by Holocaust educator Michael Gray found that more than three-quarters of schoolchildren (ages 13–14) in his sample had engaged with The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, significantly more than The Diary of Anne Frank. The children believed that the story contained a lot of useful information about the Holocaust and conveyed an accurate impression of many real-life events. The majority believed that it was based on a true story. He also found that many students drew false inferences from the film, such as assuming that Germans would not have known anything about the Holocaust because Bruno’s family didn’t, or that the Holocaust had stopped because a Nazi child had accidentally been gassed. Other students believed that Jews had volunteered to go to the camps because they had been fooled by Nazi propaganda, rather than being violently rounded up and deported. Scholars have criticized the film for obscuring the historical facts about the Holocaust and creating a false equivalence between victims and perpetrators.

Social memory is most commonly shown and developed by remembrance on either certain days, memorials, and even exhibits. January 27th of every year is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, it is an international memorial day commemorating the tragedy that was the Holocaust. The 27th was chosen because on January 27, 1945, Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration and death camp, was liberated by the Red Army. Prior to this set day of remembrance, there had been national days of commemoration, such as Germany’s Tag des Gedenkens a die Opfer des Nationalsozialismus. In Berlin, Germany there is a memorial for those who lost their lives named, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe but also known as the Holocaust Memorial. Remembrance of the past will always continue to grow as more is uncovered of the tragedy.

The social memory of the Holocaust will forever continue to develop and grow as the world finds more memorable and heartfelt ways to commemorate and remember those who lost their lives in the horrible event in history. Educational/informational tools, pop culture, and remembrance of the past will change in every passing year even if it is a small fraction. In the Holocaust, those who died too soon, and those who survived all deserve to be remembered in anyways that can be found, their lives changed for the worst and at least as time goes on there can be ways to ease their lives and memories of that terrible time endured during World War II.

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Essay on Why Should We Learn about the Holocaust

To begin with, No one would want something like the holocaust to occur to happen again. Well, something similar to it can happen again. People may still be anti-Semitic and if people do not speak about the hate of Jews or try to fight against it, something like the holocaust could happen. People need to educate themselves on what happened during the event. Gen Z mainly lacks knowledge of it and should know some facts about it. A man named...
1 Page 530 Words

The Hope That Music Gave Millions

For decades, if not centuries, music has been apart of people’s life and culture. It has been a gateway for some to not only define their identity, but to honor it. Music can serve as a pass time that units one another with similar passions and interests, giving them a sense of belonging. It may also be used to pay homage to their land and heritage. Needless to say, music, regardless of it’s use or outlook, is a lifeline to...
5 Pages 2351 Words

Elie Wiesel's Personality Transformation in His Memoirs ‘Night’

What was life like during the Holocaust and how did people change their ways of living during it? Elie Wiesel was one of the few people who survived the Holocaust and lived to tell the tale. Because of the Holocaust, he has changed his characteristics throughout the traumatic, sullen, and enraging experience. Elie Wiesel changed his characteristics throughout ‘Night’, because he cares for others too much instead of caring for himself, and he realizes near the end that he needs...
2 Pages 698 Words

The Tragic Events of Elie Wiesel's Life

New York is considered a melting pot because of its unique diversity of nationalities, cultures, and ethnicities, thanks to the large number of immigrants that come from all over the world. These different cultures and ethnicities that exist in New York can be seen through food, religion, music, clothes, and art. Ellis Island served as the main immigration station for those coming into the country and has processed over 12 million immigrants since 1892. The island is located right near...
2 Pages 1097 Words

Elie Wiesel's Relationship with God in His Memoir 'Night'

Elie Wiesel’s traumatic and haunting memoir ‘Night’ accentuates the trauma experienced by Jews during the Holocaust. Certain occurrences source the importance of relationships in the novel and view how circumstances prove that relationships are important. Wiesel and his family were taken to concentration camps, which caused Wiesel to lose his mother and sister and resulted in him altering his religion and the way he lives. Wiesel’s connection with religion is the most important altercation because that’s what gives him the...
2 Pages 840 Words

The Holocaust: Catastrophic Violation Of Human Rights

The Holocaust was a time when Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, prostitutes, and beggars were kicked out of their homes to be sent off to work hard labor or sent to death. German SS officers showed no remorse to the prisoners by constantly torturing them. These actions by the Germans show that they had no solicitude about Human Rights. They violated various rights such as the freedom of race, liberty, life, privacy, and freedom from torture or inhuman treatment. Therefore, the Holocaust...
2 Pages 1083 Words

Concept of Freedom from the Perspective of Slavery in Narrative of The Life Of Fredrick Douglas and Primo Levi’s, Survival of Auschwitz

In the Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglas, the reoccurring strand of freedom develops a foundation of Frederick’s narrative. Douglass, as well as many other slaves, view Baltimore as a place of freedom and somewhere that is a vastly different from where they are from. Similarly, in Primo Levi’s, Survival of Auschwitz, freedom and confinement are two strands that reoccur throughout the text. The people in concentration camps are physically confined, but their lack of freedom consumes them. Primo...
1 Page 669 Words

Holocaust Survivor Testimonies: Humanity, Religion and Truth in Elie Wiesel’s Night and Primo Levi's Survival in Auschwitz

During the time of the Holocaust many of the world’s nations decided not to respond and almost seemed to ignore the fact that these tragedies that were starting in Germany were happening. The first example is the involvement of the United States during the Holocaust. The first politician that had found out about the actions going on in Germany was a man named Dr. Gerhart Reigner who was the representative of the World Jewish Congress in Switzerland. Once the word...
3 Pages 1228 Words

Parallels between European Imperialism In Africa and Holocaust: Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Levi's Survival in Auschwitz

Violence and murder became prominent in European imperialism in Africa and left the supposedly lower races destined for extinction, which would be brought about by any means, including intentional extermination of entire populations like with the Holocaust. Attempts to dehumanize the Jewish people and Africans were also very similar in structure with both authorities using a three-pronged approach. They first stripped the Africans or Jews of their identity, then physically tortured them, and lastly, redefined their humanity such that it...
3 Pages 1146 Words

Surviving the Holocaust through Social and Physical Resilience in the Book 'Night'

During World War II, Nazi Germany committed the most infamous genocide in history, the Holocaust. As a result, over 6 million Jews lost their lives in the horrific conditions inside concentration camps across Nazi occupied Europe. Fortunately, many of the prisoners of these concentration camps survived to share their stories. Among these is Elie Wiesel who, along with many others, survived thanks to social and physical resilience. Social resilience was one of the reasons why Elie and many other Jews...
2 Pages 775 Words

Changing Values of the Jewish People During the Holocaust in Elie Wiesel's Story 'Night'

The most immediate and prominent thing that changed values for the Jewish people in the Holocaust was food. Straight off the bat, the Jewish people were deprived of food. In Elie’s situation, as soon as he was forced to wait in line to load up into the train, and when he was actually on the train, he and his fellow community members were already very hungry. The Jewish people were starving from the beginning of the book. Immediately, the Jewish...
5 Pages 2097 Words

Victims of the Holocaust According to the Book 'Night'

“A new survey by the Azrieli Foundation and Claims Conference finds, in April of 2018, an alarming 52% of millennials cannot name at least one concentration camp or ghetto, and nearly one quarter, or 22%, of millennials have not heard, or are not sure, if they have heard of the Holocaust” (Azrieli). The danger of a single story is the leading cause to genocide of a certain group. My purpose is to describe to the teachers in the RBHS English...
3 Pages 1199 Words

‘Schindler's List’ as Historical Representation of the Holocaust

During the year 1933, the Nazis came into power led by Adolf Hitler without using any force. Hitler convinced the Nazis to help him get rid of all the Jews. He forced all or most of the Jews onto crowded train cars and hauled them off to either any of the various ghettos, any of the various concentration camps, or any of the various labor camps. The ghettos were not much better to be living in then labor or concentration...
3 Pages 1200 Words

How The Church Responded To The Holocaust

“We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God.” – (Pope Benedict XVI April 2005) this quote expresses the Catholic church’s beliefs of people’s lives and clearly shows an example of where the Catholic Church stood during the Holocaust. Hitler’s way of “purifying Germany” was seen as a horrific and tragic period of time in this worlds history it was also referred to as an “Hour of darkness”,...
2 Pages 753 Words

The Jewish Holocaust And The Stolen Generation

Today I will be talking about the Holocaust and The Stolen Generation and how the loss of one group is a loss to all. The Holocaust and the Stolen Generation are totally diverse historical events but have a very similar intent. They took place in different countries with totally different races but they are both classified as genocides. Genocide is the mass extermination or displacement of a whole group of people in an attempt to wipe them out of extinction....
4 Pages 1705 Words

The Remembrance of the Holocaust Survivors

The Holocaust did not start with gas chambers, it started with hate-filled words. When somebody reads stories about the Holocaust it completely gives a whole new perspective, the reader can feel the pain that the survivors had, sometimes their stories can just stab the reader’s heart, But most of all the holocaust survivors went through something so, appalling, horrific, and terrorizing , at the age around 14-17. It was hard for these young children to sustain an ideal state of...
1 Page 581 Words

The Humanity Behind The Holocaust

The Holocaust was an event in history that will be entrenched within our minds for eternity. The holocaust started when Adolf Hitler became the dictator of German. To anti-Semitic Nazi leader Hitler, the Jews were an inferior race, an alien threat to German racial purity and community. ‘The German nation must find a way out of the plundered land and production space.’ Hitler’s claim to the hegemonic world was supported and supported by the German monopoly bourgeoisie. The Nazi Party...
3 Pages 1364 Words

Dehumanization in Night Essay

In Elie Wiesel’s novel, Night, the values and identities of the Jews have stripped away as dehumanization played a momentous element in their lives during their time spent as prisoners. This is shown through the unfortunate events of prohibition and forceful assimilation the Jews endured in Sighet and Auschwitz-Birkenau, public humiliation including trauma and physical abuse encountered in Buna, and constant eviction and starvation experienced in Gleiwitz and Buchenwald, where their agonizing years as victims of the Holocaust came to...
3 Pages 1158 Words

Causes of the Holocaust Essay

The Holocaust was a horrific and traumatic event that will serve for the rest of time as a reminder of the terrible atrocities that mankind can commit when put under vulnerable and desperate circumstances. While undeniably a disgusting event in human history, the causes of the Holocaust are often highly debated by historians all around the globe. The two prevailing schools of thought include the functionalist and intentionalist perspectives, the former emphasizing the complexity and confusion that existed within the...
8 Pages 3517 Words

Sexual Violence During The Holocaust

The Holocaust took place during World War II. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s both Japan and Germany began nationalistic and imperialistic campaigns of expansion. Then the US got involved after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th 1941. While all of this madness was happening a man named Adolf Hitler was rising to power in Germany. He was responsible for the the Holocaust which was the murder of at least six million Jews and twelve million innocent people in...
2 Pages 1079 Words

Immigration During The Holocaust

In attempting to acquit the American Press of being one of the leading agencies accountable for shaping public attitudes and the subsequent inaction on the American government’s part, one must consider the pre-existing American attitudes towards immigrants at the time. The question of immigration becomes central to this evaluation since the citizens’ notions regarding the immigrants are bound to have influenced the government’s policy decisions and urgings to intervene, independent of the press’s alleged shortcomings in coverage. In spite of...
3 Pages 1171 Words

Holocaust Memorials Around The World

Across the world today, there are thousands of memorial sites representing the Holocaust, a term that referred to the systematic genocide of approximately six million Jews by the Nazis during the Second World War (Marcuse, 2010). Due to Anti-Semitism propaganda and Hitler’s regime, Jews were persecuted and murdered for being of a ‘different’ race (Brosnan, 2018). This paper will discuss debates and challenges surrounding the representation/memorialization of the Holocaust. It will discuss the role of monumental sculpture, sites, and artifacts...
2 Pages 1126 Words

Grappling With God's Existence In The Context Of The Holocaust

For nearly as long as humans have walked the earth and been conscious of the unique attributes separating us from the animal kingdom, we have reckoned with the question of why we exist. There is no objective purpose for human existence, and this uncertainty creates an uncomfortable void in the agency we seek to apply to our lives. The pursuit of existential meaning is an inherently human trait prompted by the curiosity of our consciousness and has no definitive answer....
5 Pages 2213 Words

The Journey of the Jews: The Diary of Anne Frank

Abstract Jewish people are extremely faithful to their religion Judaism. Jews are monotheistic, and they try to show obedience to God at all times. The traditions that they celebrate are important to them because they like to promote kind acts within their community. The Jews became Hitler’s target for maltreatment during the Holocaust. Hitler was an antisemite that believed that Europeans with blonde hair and blue eyes were superior against other people. Millions of Jews were brutally killed during the...
3 Pages 1152 Words

The Diary of Anne Frank: Plot Summary And Character Analysis

From 1939 to 1945, a great war known as World War II raged in Europe. A German man by the name of Adolf Hitler became the chancellor of Germany and then the dictator of Germany, fighting to gain control of all of Europe and exterminate anyone whom he considered to not be an “Aryan” German, a member of the so-called “master race” he fabricated, which he believed to be superior to all other races in Europe. While this was happening,...
4 Pages 1637 Words

Representation of Holocaust and World War II in The Book Thief

Zusak’s novel ‘The Book Thief’, based on real events, represents the Holocaust by having details that accurately depict the events of that time, the emotions that were forced upon people and reasons for the decisions they made. Having an accurate novel gives the feeling of a genuine representation that feels true to events that occurred. The authenticity and emotion of the Holocaust has been shown effectively through Zusak’s narrative character of Death. Zusak has also made his book have great...
3 Pages 1556 Words

Representation of Holocaust and World War II in ‘The Book Thief’

Zusak’s novel ‘The Book Thief’, based on real events, represents the Holocaust by having details that accurately depict the events of that time, the emotions that were forced upon people and reasons for the decisions they made. Having an accurate novel gives the feeling of a genuine representation that feels true to events that occurred. The authenticity and emotion of the Holocaust has been shown effectively through Zusak’s narrative character of Death. Zusak has also made his book have great...
3 Pages 1556 Words

Critical Analysis Of The Text: Depiction Of Postmodern Ethnography In Maus

This paper is an attempt to analyze the following aspects of the graphic novel Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman. Firstly, the novel as a depiction of postmodern ethnography and the experience that is enriched in the narration. Secondly, the reflexity of memory and how the author has brought in the relation between memory and history. And finally, how ‘graphic novel’ as a genre, is an ample and unique platform selected by the author and how effectively he has...
3 Pages 1341 Words

A New Way Of Imagining The Holocaust In Maus

Maus Dear art Spiegelman, In Maus My Father Bleeds History Art Spiegelman has simultaneously expanded the boundaries of literary form and found a new way of imagining the Holocaust, an event that is commonly described as unimaginable. The form is the comic book, once dismissed as an entertainment for children and regarded as suited only for slapstick comedy, action-adventure, or graphic horror. And although Maus includes elements of humor and suspense, the horror it envisions is far worse than anything...
1 Page 642 Words

Representing The Holocaust Victims In Literature

The genocide of the Jews who lived in Europe by the Nazis caused the death of millions of innocent people. The term used to describe this period in history is The Holocaust. The victims who survived moved to other countries to start a new life. they survived by luck but their lives after the war were affected majorly and they struggled psychologically, socially as well as financially. Throughout the years, many critical works about the holocaust were made, and many...
3 Pages 1362 Words

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