Self Victimization In Bruno Bettelheim

Decent Essays
Bruno Bettelheim’s essay, A Victim and the liquidation of the ghetto scene in Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List deal with the Nazi and Jew stereotypes in two different ways. Bettelheim argues that the stereotype of a Jews self-victimization leads to further victimization by the Nazis. Whilst Spielberg's liquidation scene demonstrates that the victimization of the Jews occurs either way. Bettelheim’s take on the unpopular stereotype of the self-victimization of the Jews and Spielberg's stereotypical representation of the Nazi’s nature allow for the acknowledgment of differences in perception of prejudice and arguments on anti-Semitism. The language in A Victim and the imagery in Schindler's List demonstrate two different forms of Nazi…show more content…
Bettelheim describes the notion of self-victimization and how it further negatively affected the Nazi’s prejudices of the Jews, wherein a Jew underestimates the Nazi. In contrast, Spielberg portrays the victimization of the Jews as a result of the prejudices the Nazis held against them, wherein the Jew does not risk underestimating the Nazi. In Schindler’s List, some Jews are portrayed as attempting to escape the liquidation as a result of fear, hiding in unlikely places. In contrast, the Jews described in A Victim attempt evasion of their own fate by deceiving the SS officers telling stories as “They insisted that one SS man was like another, all equally vicious and stupid” (Bettelheim 30). This underestimation of the Nazi by the other Jews in A Victim is what Bettelheim argues against, “The victim often reacts in ways as undesirable as the action of the aggressor” (Bettelheim 29). The Jews reaction due to his or her own prejudice of the Nazi leads to his or her demise. The fear in Schindler’s List overpowers the prejudice so ploys such as in A Victim are avoided, and primal survival instincts are
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