The Bystander's Role In The Holocaust

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The deeply rooted antisemitism existed earlier in time gave the blueprint to start the Holocaust, the inaction of the bystanders can be viewed as the main ingredient that allowed the Holocaust to reach the magnitude it did. The psychological factors, ordinary people refused to acknowledge the crimes of the Holocaust, the bystanders stayed silent and the hiding behind words is a way to look at the role of the bystanders in the Holocaust. During the Holocaust you could do three things, (1) you do the right thing, (2) you do the wrong thing, (3) you do nothing. Bystanders are considered to be in the third category. There are many definitions of what a bystander is, but according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, “‘Bystanders’ as…show more content…
Millions of people saw the public humiliations or marches to the ghettos. The people either looked the other way or chose to make it never happen in their head. In Elie’s book Night, there was the night that his family and him were on the marches to the ghettos, he saw people look out their windows but quickly shut their shades. This is a perfect example of how German citizens refused to acknowledge the horrible actions against the Jews. In a letter found in one of the camps from an unknown person wrote “...Why can we not cry, why can we not defend ourselves? How can one see so much innocent blood flow and say nothing, do nothing and await the same death oneself? We are compelled to go under so miserably, so pitilessly…” (Unknown). This victim of the Holocaust is pointing out on how someone can see innocent people’s blood be shed. I do not even know the answer and it is almost 72 years later. This really makes you consider that bystanders are the reason for the Holocaust. To build off of my last point, the bystanders that stayed silent are most likely the ones to ignore the persecution of the Jews. Reverend Martin Niemoller
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