Role Of Genocide In The Holocaust

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The Holocaust: A Failure of Civilization
Under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide adopted by the UN in 1948, the term genocide is defined as “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group,” (Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide 280). The Holocaust was a genocide committed between the years of 1933 with the rise of the third reich to 1945 with the end of World War 2 and the demise of the Third Reich. Nazi government officials as well as many other collaborators were put on trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the infamous Nuremberg trials. The horrors of The Holocaust extend to a deeper level than the crimes and atrocities committed by the Nazi government however. From people allowing the atrocities of the
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Many consider bystanders to be as guilty as perpetrators for not doing or saying anything in a time of crisis. Such was the case for the Holocaust. Bystanders during the Holocaust consisted of the civilians and countries who chose to distance themselves from what was really happening, instead choosing to justify the situation, or just not think of it. Many people rationalized, that the idea of self preservation was much more important than sacrificing oneself for the greater good. People also held a sense of indifference towards the suffering of the Jewish people. However, a much more sinister reason is behind the indifference to the Jews, an underlying subconscious prejudice of the people towards the Jews, “Existing anti semitic prejudices, including traditional religious forms of antisemitism... resulted in many people seeing Jews as “alien,” contributing to the climate of passivity or apathy.”(Bystanders 2). On the opposite end of the spectrum, are people referred to as upstanders, or
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