According to the texts and eyewitness accounts, the Holocaust had horrendous effects on the people who lived through it. During this time Jews were being rounded up and put into concentration camps by order of the German government. Writings and testimonies from survivors of the Holocaust are around even to this day. According to these sources, Holocaust survivors suffered tremendously since they were treated as less than human , they lost loved ones, and were constantly abused.
At the entrance to each death camp, there was a process of Selektion or selection. Pregnant women, small children, the sick or handicapped, and the elderly were immediately condemned to death. As horrific as it was, it didn’t surprise many that Hitler had the audacity to do these terrible things. The Holocaust was an act of genocide in which Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany killed about two thirds of the population of Jews in Europe from 1941-1945 but the trouble started brewing much before that. Though there were only a small amount of survivors, very few alive to this day, there are many pieces of literature that help prove that this in fact happened. Literature can help us remember and honor the victims of the Holocaust because, it gives different
Primo Levi, in his novel Survival in Auschwitz (2008), illustrates the atrocities inflicted upon the prisoners of the concentration camp by the Schutzstaffel, through dehumanization. Levi describes “the denial of humanness” constantly forced upon the prisoners through similes, metaphors, and imagery of animalistic and mechanistic dehumanization (“Dehumanization”). He makes his readers aware of the cruel reality in the concentration camp in order to help them examine the psychological effects dehumanization has not only on those dehumanized, but also on those who dehumanize. He establishes an earnest and reflective tone with his audience yearning to grasp the reality of genocide.
Dehumanization is the act of taking one’s human qualities away from them, this can be done using voice and also using actions. During the time of the Holocaust, the Nazi’s used their power to abuse and dehumanize the Jewish people. They would beat and kill them, they would yell at them and they stripped the Jews of their dignity and rights. In the novel Night by Elie Wiesel, one recurring theme is the dehumanization of the Jews. Throughout Night by Elie Wiesel, one can see the theme of dehumanization through the way the Nazi’s treated the Jews, spoke to the Jews, and how the Jews treated one another.
As the 1930’s came along, The Nazi’s set out a series of laws and regulations called ‘Nazi Laws’. One of the very first laws was ,”Laws against Overcrowding in German schools and universities”. This was a result of many children were looked down upon by Hitler and his Nazis as ‘racially inferior’. Letters from German Children to the editor of the Nazi tabloid Der Sturmer reveal a shameful potpourri Lettof and fanaticism against their Jewish classmates. The first punishment for the Jews and Gypsy children was to be presented in front of peers and downgraded by teachers as a lesson for the German children. Then all at once the children were restricted from all schools. Not long after the first act of public humiliation, the Germans invaded many Jewish neighborhoods, families and children were forced into overcrowded ghettos with scarce food resources and unhealthy living conditions . This was the Invasion of Poland, 1939. Jewish children died of starvation and little exposure to shelter, the great numbers of deaths caused by this were a mere indifference to the German officers. And because the food was such a high demanded resource, adults would send small toddlers between the crevices in the gates and over the walls to retrieve portions of food. This started a few of popular resistance activities, underground resistance was large. Sometimes if the Ghettos were run by Jewish relatives, certain ones could escape easier. Punishments would include
After Germany lost World War I, it was in a national state of humiliation. Their economy was in the drain, and they had their hands full paying for the reparations from the war. Then a man named Adolf Hitler rose to the position of Chancellor and realized his potential to inspire people to follow. Hitler promised the people of Germany a new age; an age of prosperity with the country back as a superpower in Europe. Hitler had a vision, and this vision was that not only the country be dominant in a political sense, but that his ‘perfect race’, the ‘Aryans,’ would be dominant in a cultural sense. His steps to achieving his goal came in the form of the Holocaust. The most well known victims of the Holocaust were of course, the Jews.
When the war ended in 1945, millions of Jews had perished. Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime had almost entirely wiped out a single race of people in what would become known as the Holocaust. However, the Jews were not the only people who had been stripped of their dignity and killed. There were other groups who the Nazi’s persecuted against. The Roma, homosexuals, the mentally and physically disabled, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Political Prisoners were all systematically gathered up and killed. When the Holocaust gets mentioned, many don't talk about the other millions of innocent people who were murdered alongside the Jews. Many don't see these people as victims at all. The number of people murdered during the Holocaust reaches close to eleven million people. “Contragenics” is the term used to talk about all of the groups who were murdered under the Nazi regime during the Holocaust. These innocent lives were lost in the Holocaust, and while history hasn’t forgotten, humanity has.
Dehumanization is understood as the process of humans being deprived of what makes them human, but the Nazis took it a step further to encourage mistreatment between the prisoners . The Holocaust is a ghastly event in the history of the world, that killed around 6 million Jewish people, but the horrors don’t stop there. The way the prisoners were treated in the concentration camps left lasting effects on the survivors. In Elie Wiesel’s memoir, Night, he recounts the horrific actions of the Nazi party against the Jewish people . The lasting effects of dehumanization do not take long to show, and the effects are only worsened through the numerous reminders from the Nazis that they aren’t worth anything.
During the reign of the Third Reich, the symbolization of the pink triangle was used to identify the thousands of gay prisoners who were sent to extermination camps under Paragraph 175, the law that criminalized homosexuality between men. Researchers say that an estimated 5,000 to 15,000 gay men died in these camps, however this figure does not include those who were interned and later released, let alone those who died undocumented and forever forgotten to history.¹ These thousands of men were forced through excruciating cruelties with little to no reprieve or recognition of the atrocities perpetrated against them. It is because of this that while they are not a distinct racial, ethnic, or religious group, the treatment of those who bore the pink triangle during the Holocaust follows the genocidal process and as such gay Holocaust victims should be considered sufferers of genocide.
Dehumanization is a concept that basically means that you’ve become so traumatized that your personality completely changes and you are a different person from before, because of the events that you have gone through, The holocaust was a war during World War II, when hitler opened up concentration camps and forced Jews to go, only to be murdered soon after. The reason we are talking about dehumanization, is because the Elie Wiesel went through this during the Holocaust, he lost his father, mother, and close friends to this event. It put him through a mindset that change his look on life and changed his thought on his own religion. Believing that his God may not be there all along.
In the memoir If This Is A Man Primo Levi offers an insight into his life during the brutal and inhuman acts inflicted upon the Jews by the SS Soldiers during the Holocaust. Levi tells the story of his experiences in the Auschwitz concentration camp, and the divisions between his fellow haftlinge and the German soldiers due to the significant differences between language and culture. The results of extreme anti-Semitism led to the dehumanisation and de-socialization of the prisoners, who often had limited understanding of the soldiers’ intentions. Further, the prisoners were largely segregated due to the diverse nationalities, religions, and ethnicities. The prisoners were stripped of all possessions and their loved ones, though one facet that
Brainwashed, heartless Nazis. Many believe these were the kind of men who were involved in the Holocaust, which makes it much easier to dismiss them and believe we could never become like them. However, this was not truly the case for many of those who participated in the Holocaust. These men were not brainwashed, and some were not even Nazis— they were simply ordinary men.
The story Night written by Elie Wiesel, is a testimony to his life, others lives’, and a time in history that should never be forgotten. In this essay I will address the topic of dehumanization and how it played a part in the Holocaust. Dehumanization is the process Hitler used to eliminate the Jews. The concept behind this was to reduced the Jews to nothing more that property and slaves. The ultimate goal was to wipe out the entire Jewish culture and have nothing remaining of the culture.
Baron, L., & Eisman, H. (1996). Stress resilience, locus of control, and religion in children of Holocaust victims. Journal Of Psychology, 130 (5), 513. Retrieved from
During the Holocaust something interesting began to happen without many people noticing: the unfair treatment towards minorities in, particular the jewish . At the time, it didn’t attract much attention because no one really noticed. The nazis referred to the Jews as rats and people who did not have human-like characteristics. More than six million lost their lives through the government supported torture and the destruction of both men and women. In Milgram’s Obedience to Authority, Lower’s Hitler’s Furies, and Miller’s “What Can The Milgram Obedience Experiments Tell Us About The Holocaust?” one can see that dehumanization played a big component in the dreadfulness like the Holocaust. Most of us believe that we have all have basic human rights and those should not be violated. Dehumanization means that someone treats another individual as not having human-like qualities. In terms of Social Psychology says