Psychological Effects of the Holocaust

3873 WordsApr 14, 201316 Pages
Mind Over Matter The Holocaust was one of the most horrendous events ever to take place in our world’s history. It involved people all over the world and affected millions both directly and indirectly. It led to the death of over 11 million people, mostly Jews, and was started and controlled by the infamous German Nazis. Adolf Hitler, the mastermind behind the whole plan, was the chief organizer and began slowly starting to make those he thought were inferior suffer when he became Fuhrer in 1933. The circumstances during the time period leading up to and during World War II manipulated certain people to be controlled by various psychological tendencies. Perpetrators had a mindset that the people they were murdering weren’t actually…show more content…
The four concepts of obedience, normative influence, communal reinforcement, and self-serving bias all contributed to the mass murders committed by the perpetrators of the Holocaust. While they are all interconnected and one can lead to the other, they all have strong and individual consequences. As shown by Eichmann and Himmler, it is dangerous when people are so obedient towards others that they can't stop to think about their morals or beliefs. When people don’t stand up for their values and what they think is right, they can transform into a perpetrator instead of an upstander. The men and women that followed the beliefs of the Nazi leaders during Holocaust and conformed to Hitler’s ideas were a huge contributor in the deaths of millions of innocent people. Unfortunately, being manipulated by these psychological tendencies led to one of most atrocious mass killings in the history of the world. Still, these concepts occur every day in a variety of ways. When students go along with what teachers, parents, or other authority figures suggest, they are giving up their rights to a certain extent by going along with what they tell them. In a classroom environment, kids can become “teacher’s pets” if they want to be accepted or acknowledged by their teachers in a very positive way. This is an example of a lesser degree of normative influence. Although it doesn’t
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