Authority and Conformity: The Demon Hidden Within

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Why did I survive? Why did I massacre thousands of innocent people? How could this have happened? It was just a nightmare none of this can be real. It’s over and done with let’s just get on with our lives already. These are some of the thoughts I believe both the Nazi’s and prisoners had after the holocaust was over. Some people were guilt-ridden by their actions and the harsh decisions they had to make between their survival and the survival of someone else. Other took more of a sociopathic and apathetic approach towards their actions during the holocaust blaming their actions on the people in charge. These different actions and outlooks on the events that occurred during the holocaust can be explained by people’s internal and external…show more content…
Ardent states that “This atmosphere of madness, and unreality, created by an apparent lack of purpose, is the real iron curtain which hides all forms of concentration camps from the eyes of the world.”(131). Ardent’s statement means that the Nazi’s were not the only ones who created a type of concentration camp. In America concentration camps were called slavery, and American’s deemed slavery as a lesser evil than the concentration camps simply because they did not slaughter their slaves needlessly. According to Ardent, “The concentration-camp inmate has no price, because he can always be replaced” while a slave “had a definite price and as property a definite value”(131). Yet that is the effects of the iron curtain working on American’s; justifying their use of slaves because their slaves held value while the concentration camp inmate had none. American’s blinded themselves to the problem with slavery simply because they did not wish to feel any guilt because of their actions; yet, in both situations if a slave or an inmate in the concentration camp was no longer able to work they were killed. Their lives held no other meaning besides providing labor and work for their “masters”.
This creates an endless cycle of conformity and authority that is nearly impossible to break. We can see this cycle when we drive around town or even within our group of friends. There

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