Essay on Genocide and Reification

3132 Words Mar 27th, 2006 13 Pages
Genocide

6 million exterminated. That number rolls off of our tongues as we sit and learn history in the 6th grade, or we write a paper on WW1. How about 800,000 murdered in 100 days, while Americans attempted to keep our troops of the conflict yet watched the bloody images daily on CNN. Genocide in our world is something that is impossible to justify or embrace, but we must attempt to understand it. It is only through this understanding will we be able to prevent or stop one of the most horrific acts man can do in the future. Genocide, in both the Holocaust and in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, is grounded in self-reification and the external reification of others. This then, when put into certain contexts, can manifest itself in a
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This identity as disgusting, impure creatures helped to set them apart from the pure Aryan race in society. This set up the Aryan race as superior and the Jewish race as inferior. This was reinforced physically through structural discrimination such as the Nuremberg laws and the forced wearing of the Star of David. The Germans the then found a false concreteness in this distinction that the Jews were evil and were ‘rats' who conspired against them. This allowed them to find concreteness in their belief that the Holocaust was legitimate. However, it was false considering that the Jews had fought in the German army and proved their loyalty to the German state. The Germans' perception of the Jews' identity allowed them to deny the freedoms of the Jews. They began by denying the Jews' right to be Germans, which opened the door for other denial of freedoms, such as even the right the life. These included the boycott of Jewish businesses in 1933, the Nuremberg Laws passed in 1935 and the "final solution" beginning in 1939. These actions taken by the Germans were evidence of their attempt at willing the unwillable. They were trying to will German national power and regain honor by willing the Jews, which was not a reasonable solution. The thought behind their attempt at willing the unwillable was the illogic of logic, that if they Jews were gone, the Aryan race would flourish. The

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