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Somewhat summary of last week :)

June 5, 2010

 

We have visited multiple sites and each one tells their own version of history during Hitler’s Nazi state, each story is just as interesting as the others and help sum up what occurred during that time period.  Though each one of these places was amazing the place that has had the greatest effect on me thus far is Sachsenhausen, it basically helped me realize that this is real, it happened, and thousands of people were ruthlessly murdered at this very place.  Before, I just could not fit it around my head how a whole community could try to exterminate an entire sector of their population for no real reason besides race, but going to this concentration camp helped cement that for me.  While there the feeling of sadness just overwhelmed me, the smell I could not describe but it wasn’t the smell of your normal open field, you didn’t have to know the history of the place to know that somehting terrible had happened there, it was quiet, lifeless, at the same time I saw it as this one giant restless spirit that wanted to tell its story… It was something out of this world.

One always wonders “if I was put in that situation what would I do?” And ones immediate response usually is, “I would fight back!” It is understandable because that is human nature but the fact of the matter is that it is easier said than done.  In my opinion the reason why a lot of these people did not fight back is because they lived in a state of fear, the kind that just makes you numb and even though you are watching all of these atrocities occur around you, you are just too tired to fight back.  Why was this even allowed to begin with? Well as everyone has mentioned Germany at the time that Hitler took over was in a very bad place economically, politically, their entire structure was weakened because of WWI so in a way this very bright, articulate man was the light at the end of their tunnel.  Not only did this play a huge role but the fact that these people were angry, angry at the fact that everything was being blamed on them, and angry that they lost a war which they had begun did not help the situation.  They needed something or someone to blame their misfortunes on and get even with and unfortunately that was everyone who they did not see fit their perfect society.

We see mass killings like this throughout history and presently but not to this caliber and that is why it was hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that millions of people were killed which is an extremely large number considering that not many years had passed since Hitler began his evil plan.  It is important to remember such events because we really do not want history to repeat itself, it might sound like a cliché but I think by learning about history it better prepares us for the future and in some ways teaches us how to fight back if ever put in that situation.  What I am scared of at this point is not the thought of an American genocide because I do not think people in this time period and especially there would let such events take place, but the dehumanizing and the stripping of rights, not that they had many, of illegal people in the U.S. which as we can recall were the very first stages the Jews experienced before the holocaust took full effect; so if it is not genocide of all illegal people how will the government exterminate them?  I find it crazy to even think this way or even compare the two but I also found it crazy that the Nazis could commit such crimes and they did, so hey anything is possible!

The past week was an awesome experience.  Learning about the Nazis and Hitler’s’ totalitarian state in depth has helped me understand it on a whole other level.  Visiting the sites where all of their planning took place and where it was executed was very powerful.  Reading about it in text books or hearing about it from a teacher is a lot more different than actually experiencing it firsthand.  Not only is Berlin’s history amazing but the people, food, and night life are as well.  It is definitely something I will remember for a very long time if not forever…

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One comment

  1. I think that is a really good point about not recognizing people in the US legally and how that is dangerouse. I don’t think it is unfair to compare it to what the Nazis did to the Jews: if we are serious about preventing these things from happening again we need to fight back whenever we see any instance of injustice.

    Also, I’m curious who you were referring to when you said illegal people in the US, because there are at least two groups of people that come to mind for me, and maybe they are not that awfully different: illegal immigrants and those being illegally detained at Guantanamo Bay. Its kind of two-fold: not granting rights on the one hand, and stripping people of their rights on the other. In any case we should be WAY more pissed off about it than we are….



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