The Importance Of Dehumanization Of The Holocaust

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Prevalent throughout literature of modern and past times alike, the horror genre provides a twisted thrill for the human race. The greatest horrors of existence, however, come from history rather than imagination, and have a sickening, instead of thrilling, effect. The violation of one’s natural rights is a shock to both the victim and witnesses, and eventually leads to a person’s physical and moral dehumanization, as depicted by the events of Elie Wiesel’s memoir Night. Night’s description of the Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust portrayed the camps as having violated arguably all of the articles in the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”; the Rape of Nanking, a second atrocity of World War II, mirrors these injustices. By dehumanizing groups such as the victims of the Holocaust, the offenders invariably lead the world to a solemn reflection on how best to defend the natural rights of the oppressed. Night described how the Nazis stripped the Jews of their rights gradually at first, but upon Elie’s arrival at the first concentration camp, the Jews lost their remaining autonomy in a cascade of inhumanity. An instance of the slow, compounding nature of the Nazi’s rule is the violation of Article 17.2 of the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, which states, “No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property” (United Nations General Assembly). This article orders against stealing others’ possessions, emphasized with the use of the word arbitrarily, or
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