Silence and Indifference during the Holocaust
Silence and indifference are both extremely harmful when people are being oppressed or persecuted. An extreme example of this is the Holocaust. During the Holocaust, those who disagreed with the actions of the Nazis were silent because they did not speak out, and some people were indifferent because they just did not have an opinion on the situation. Silence encourages the tormentor because it leads them to believe that nobody is opposed to their actions and they could do anything and nobody will speak out. Indifference is the most insidious danger of all because it appears to be harmless, but it encourages the tormentor in the same way as silence. The majority benefits when people are not silent …show more content…
Examples of this are shown in the memoir Night by Elie Wiesel, the article “A Secret Life” by Thomas Harding, and the film Paper Clips.
Harmful forms of both silence and indifference during the Holocaust are shown in the memoir Night by Elie Wiesel. Indifference is shown in the beginning of the book, when the foreign Jews are deported from Elie’s town. The people of the town do not pay much attention to the deportation, and Elie says that, “The deportees were quickly forgotten” (Wiesel 6). The fact that the people of the town forget about the foreign Jews so quickly shows their indifference towards the situation. They do not care because it does not directly affect them, but their indifference is only good for the Nazis. The fact that they do not pay attention to the deportation means that they are less likely to predict that they will be deported next, and the Nazis have the element of surprise. Silence is shown when the people of the town who are not Jewish just watch the Jewish people of their town get marched through town and into the smaller ghetto. Elie says that, “From their windows, from behind their shutters, our fellow …show more content…
Their mother stays silent throughout the whole experience, even to their children, and it only harms people. The children grew up thinking that having prisoners as servants was a perfectly normal thing because their mother does not tell them otherwise. Harding even says that, “Once the Hoss children dressed up as prisoners, pinning black triangles and yellow stars to their shirts, then chased each other” (Harding 15). The fact that the children used the outfits of the Jewish prisoners to play a game shows that they did not truly understand what their father was doing because it was not explained to them. Both the children and the prisoners suffer from this because the children cannot form their own opinions on the situation and possibly take action against their father. The husband of one of the Hoss children says that, “She was as much a victim as anybody else. She was just a child when this happened” (Harding 15). The Hoss children were all young when their father was a Nazi, and they were not given the full story. One of the children says that she always thought that her father was an excellent person, and he gave no indication of being capable of the horrible crimes he committed. Even after the war, their mother stayed silent about their father’s crimes, and would not tell the British army where he was. One of the Hoss
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During the Holocaust, a great number of brave individuals wondered whether they should have reacted to the Nazi forces through passive or violent acts of resistance. Any form of resistance was vital for even the slightest possibility of survival for the jews. In “Resistance During the Holocaust”, “The Diary of Anne Frank”, and “Violins of Hope,” it gave real examples of Jewish people who chose to arm themselves and fight the Nazis head on or Jews who opted for passivity in order to hide their loved ones. Nevertheless, the main goal of these methods for resistance was to defy the enemy at hand that was the Nazi party. Therefore, people can best respond to conflict by active resistance in order to avoid late shame and humiliation, escape the
Holocaust. Death. Suffering. These are but a few of the words that may begin to describe this tragic period in the history of man. The Perils of Indifference and Night are both publications by the Elie Wiesel, one of the many victims to the Holocaust, but one of the very few victims who lived to tell his story.
“ … The world has had to hear a story it would have preferred not to hear - the story of how a cultured people turned to genocide, and how the rest of the world, also composed of cultured, remained silent in the face of genocide.” - Elie Wiesel. The man behind that quote is one of the few people in the world to survive one of the worst tragedies in human history, The Holocaust. An event in which millions of people perished, all because of a crazed dictator’s dream. Elie Wiesel who amazingly survived the horrors, documented his experience in his book, Night.
The decision not to act can have terrible consequences, and the jewish people experienced this first hand. This is why Elie Wiesel feels it is so important for people to bear witness to their surroundings. Once an event such as The Holocaust happened, nothing could change it. This shows the Moment Elie realized that “‘Bite your lips, little brother… Don't cry. Keep your anger, your hate, for another day, for later.
In this essay I was talking about silence through the whole holocaust from the side of the victims, God, community. I think they could not really do anything about it. They would be killed in either way, because they had to stay quiet. It is sad to say this but I do not think they had a chance to stand up to them and say something and win.
Seventy four years ago, Elie Wiesel was taken from of his town and forced into brutal concentration camps, where he lost his family, was starved, whipped, beaten, and made to witness the executions of many innocent Jews. After three years of unimaginable struggle and hardship, he survived the Holocaust and went on to write Night, a memoir about his horrific experiences, and “Perils of Indifference”, a famous speech. Both of his works have the same powerful message: We cannot ever allow an atrocity such as the Holocaust to occur again. Elie’s message is very important, but which of his works conveys it more effectively? Night has few ways of effectively delivering Elie’s message.
In his 1986 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Elie Wiesel strives to inform his audience of the unbelievable atrocities of the Holocaust in order to prevent them from ever again responding to inhumanity and injustice with silence and neutrality. The structure or organization of Wiesel’s speech, his skillful use of the rhetorical appeals of pathos and ethos, combined with powerful rhetorical devices leads his audience to understand that they must never choose silence when they witness injustice. To do so supports the oppressors. Wiesel’s speech is tightly organized and moves the ideas forward effectively. Wiesel begins with humility, stating that he does not have the right to speak for the dead, introducing the framework of his words.
In a barbarous world, people would rather remain silent than to call out the reality of the situation. Elie Wiesel came across the effects of hush during the holocaust. He describes these events in his book called Night. Through Elie’s perception, readers are able to receive a deeper comprehension of the theme: silence. For a start, Elie helps the reader apprehend the meaning of silence when he mentions the muteness of the people around him.
With all of these dreadful attacks, one would think something would be done to prevent these acts of violence, but instead, most of us showed some type of sympathy but no actions, laws, or acts are being enforced to prevent the ruthless and inhuman acts from occurring. I get it, being indifferent is extremely easy, but it is also not worth the pain and suffering that others have to go through. Elie Wiesel, the human rights activist, Nobel Peace Prize-winning, Holocaust survivor, and author of more than 50 books, performed his "The Perils of Indifference" speech at the White House in April of 1999. Where he talked about the meaning of indifference and how easy it is to be indifferent, "Of course, indifference can be tempting -- more than
Certain fears prevent others from causing a certain action in life, avoiding to be next to something or someone, or fear can get to a point to make someone remain silent. Meanwhile, silence is something that many people don’t consider that important. Maybe silence may not be a big deal. But in reality, silence is something that can mean a lot and can affect others in many ways over time. During the Holocaust, many of the Jews have noticed that they have changed over time.
Introduction: During the Holocaust, many people suffered from the despicable actions of others. These actions were influenced by hatred, intolerance, and anti-semitic views of people. The result of such actions were the deaths of millions during the Holocaust, a devastating genocide aimed to eliminate Jews. In this tragic event, people, both initiators and bystanders, played major roles that allowed the Holocaust to continue. Bystanders during this dreadful disaster did not stand up against the Nazis and their collaborators.
Silence is often viewed as the absence of voice towards wrong actions; the inhumane treatment and mass genocides occurred for an unknown reason. Throughout Elie Wiesel's Night, the central perception the author portrayed was the internal emotions that were altered in the commencement of the Holocaust. Not only did the Jews experience inhumane physical treatment, but they also went through severe mental states. In Elie Wiesel's Night, the general theme of silence and indifference is portrayed as the Jews had no say with the treatment of the Nazis, which led to the result of them losing their humanity towards the end.
Hoss reflects that he was a model prisoner because he was always taught to be obedient to the point of painstakingly neatness so this made him fit into prison life quite well because he always performed his duties to the satisfaction of the foreman and loved the daily routine of it (Ibid, 70). These orders of authority from prison guards makes Hoss satisfied, to the point where the reader almost feels that Hoss enjoyed prison life because of its regular routine and authority of the guards. Hoss’ comfort in prison life foreshadows how Hoss would easily be able to become enthralled by the totalitarian ideology of National Socialism because just like in prison he obeyed higher authority in the SS without question. An interesting moment in Hoss’ memoirs, which show his feeling of devotion and duty towards Germany, is when an inmate tells Hoss that the reason he was in jail was because he killed a pregnant mother and several children. Hoss becomes enraged at the man’s savageness for killing innocent people and never stops to think that he acted the same way when he killed the innocent man that betrayed his friend Schlageter, but justifies the murder he committed as a political murder that was done to protect Germany.
Elie Wiesel’s somber speech, “The Perils of Indifference”, demonstrated the harsh reality of the numerous evils harvesting in the world. The main evil though was simply indifference, or a lack of concern. As a young Jewish boy, he faced the wickedness of the Holocaust, imprisoned at Buchenwald and Auschwitz and also losing both his parents and younger sister. The speaker saw atrocious horrors and suffered for a prolonged amount of time. Why was this permitted?
Indifference is destructive and inhumane Indifference is defined by Elie Wiesel as lacking empathy or keeping silent while there is discrimination (Anthony, n.d.). He continues to say that indifference is a friend of the enemy because it benefits the aggressor and then disfavors the victims as they feel forgotten. There are two seemingly different speeches, one by Elie Wiesel a survivor of the Holocaust and another by Susan. B Anthony who spoke for women’s right, straight out a theme that the attitude of indifference is destructive and inhumane.