Essay, Research Paper: Holocaust And Crucible

Literature: The Crucible

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Hitler believed in ethnic cleansing. He wanted the non-white race to disappear.
To him non-whites were an inferior race. Individuals of Jewish descent were
particularly singled out. Hitler ordered their imprisonment in concentration
camps which had deplorable living conditions. Jewish “prisoners” were badly
mistreated and then most were killed. This “ethnic cleansing” didn’t just
take place in Germany but all over Western Europe. The Crucible also tackles the
problem of perception. In the reading the author describes how the characters
believe that some people are more deserving of life than others. This perception
is totally false but it continues to attract believers. Hitler’s plan was to
create a dominant race consisting of “pure” white humans who were mentally
superior to all others. He was a charismatic speaker who was very powerful in
persuading others to his point of view. He made people believe that only the
white race should live on this Earth and all those of other races or religions
should be driven out with force or execution. Hitler spoke to the people and
told them to follow his ideas and that he would lead them to total domination of
the world. I don’t think that many people had any idea what kind of mad man
Hitler really was. When the Nazi Party gained control of Germany, Hitler used
official decrees as a weapon against the Jews. He created an environment of fear
for Jews and stripped them of their property and place in society. Their rights
were taken from them. They couldn’t marry, vote, or hold public office. It was
a gradual process that continued for years. Holocaust, which means a religious
rite in which an offering was entirely consumed by fire, was twisted into one of
the most horrific, demonic event in history. When the Nazi party came into power
in Germany in 1933, they immediately began to discriminate against the Jews.
They first concentrated to get the Jews out of the economic aspect of life in
Germany, and then from there, they eliminated them from German life in general.
Then in 1938, all of the synagogues in Germany were set on fire. Windows of
Jewish owned shops were smashed in, and thousands of Jews were arrested. This
night was known as the “Night of Broken Glass”, and was the start of the
Jewish racial cleansing in Europe by the Nazis. After this particular incident,
many Jews in Germany, and in Austria as well opted to leave as soon as possible.
When World War II broke out, Germany occupied one half of Poland, which 2
millions Jews lived in. The Jews in this half of Poland were moved to ghettos to
live in. Their houses destroyed and belongings stolen. They were surrounded by
barbed wire and cement walls. Due to malnutrition and poverty, typhus was not
uncommon. Many of these Jews meet their final demise at Death Camps, or
concentration camps. Here, thousands upon thousands of Jews were slaughtered in
gas chambers, mass graves and mass executions. The largest one of these
concentration camps was Auschwitz. They were all sent to these places because on
one reason, they were an “inferior race”. They were singled out by Hitler
and annihilated. The Holocaust and the Salem Witch Trials are similar in many
respects. One of the main aspects was that the Jews were singled out, just like
the accused. The Nazis believed that the Jews were an inferior race and the
Germans were destined to rule the world. They believed that only the "pure
blood" races were fit to survive. Before Germans could fulfill their
pre-destined destiny, they had to rid the "alien" political, and
cultural ideas and erase the "inferior blood". This is much the same
for Salem Village. Because they were a theocracy government, they believed that
God is all mighty and other Gods were bad. That is one of the reasons why the
Salem Witch Trials took place. The idea to “rid” of what is threatening is
very similar to both situations. The story of The Crucible told the tale of how
young girls had a tremendous impact on the decisions of a court. They skewed the
thinking of many people who had lived in Salem all their lives. God’s
“teachings” were set aside and the selected witches were hanged or put in
jail until they confessed or were killed. The legend has it, that the girls
singled out all those on the East side of the Village. Reverend Parris had
convinced the girls that something must happen to the landowners in order for
the land to be placed for sale. The girls acted as if the accused witches had
been hurting them. Everyone agreed they should get rid of the bad or unpleasant
in order to make the village pure and pleasant. The idea was simple. Chase out
the villagers or accuse them and have them killed. Hundreds were accused, but
very few were actually hanged. The accusations continued for a extensive amount
of time and it resulted in a great amount of people damaged mentally and
physically. In this sense, Hitler is just like little Abigail Williams, or vise
versa. This being because of the pointing finger. In the Jews’ case, Hitler
pointed at them and said that they are “inferior” and should be swept of the
face of the earth. And in the accused “witches” case, Abigail and the girls
pointed at them and said that they have conferred with the Devil. In either
case, none of them could do anything about it. The only thing they could do was
sit back and watch in horror. The difference in the two is that in the Crucible,
if the accused admitted to being a witch, they could save themselves. In the
case of the Jews, even if they lied and said that they weren’t Jewish, a
neighbor could and probably tell the authorities that they actually were Jewish.
And that person would probably be executed. Both in the Crucible and Hitler’s
Holocaust are examples of a singled out population targeted for extension
because of fear and financial gain. It was a good thing that Hitler did not
succeed entirely with his ethnic cleansing plan. The girls did not succeed
because they had had accused almost everyone in the village. Many lives were
ruined. When the truth was finally realized retribution of the simplest kind
occurred. The families of those put to death after being accused of witchcraft
were given gold coins. Jewish families had their loves ones honored by
charities. None of it really meant anything. There are still people out in the
world today who feel that any race other than non-white should not be permitted
to exist. There is an important lesson to be learned by these events. We are all
vulnerable. At any moment in time “we” could be the target of false
accusations and others fears. We could and should learn from the mistakes made
by those before us. If we don’t we may be destined to repeat the past.

“The Holocaust”, The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles in Washington,
D.C., opened in 1993 to commemorate the Holocaust - “Nazi
Conspiracy & Aggression” -
“The Racial Theories of the Nazis”, Nazism and the Holocaust -
“Holocaust” Microsoft® Encarta® 97 Encyclopedia © 1993-1996 Microsoft
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