Gentleman-A Reflection On The Book By Thadeus Borowitz Essay, Research Paper
?Between two throw-ins in a soccer game, right behind my back, three thousand people had been put to death.? (page 84) Can you imagine? In a time period of probably ten minutes three thousand people were brutally killed in a gas chamber. This number is a minute figure compared to the millions and millions of people that were killed during this awful time period.
In Tadeusz Borowski?s book This way for the Gas,Ladies and Gentlemen, he portrays the awful mass murders, the competiveness, and the fear that these people experienced.
How could people that were not Nazi?s go on killing? Why did they not revolt? The answer to these questions is fear. ?The Rottenfuhrer raised his hand and slammed him across the face with all his strength.? (page 66) This man was punished because he did not stand at attention and take his hat off while addressing an officer.
There were people that had lost all hope. These people were known as ?Muslims? throughout the concentration camps. These individuals had been scarred so badly by what they had seen that they basically became vegetables. They walked around the camps with their heads down, waiting for their turn to go to the gas chambers. They had no will to live.
The people that would be the most likely to revolt where the soldiers. These were prisoners that just had a little more luck. These people were the ones that were usually non-Jews that got put in the prisons for something that the Nazi?s felt was wrong. The only benefits that these soldiers had were they had a better chance of getting bread and a better chance of surviving.
? In the corners amid human excrement and abandonded wrist-watches lie squashed, trampled infants, naked little monsters with enormous heads and bloated bellies. We carry them out like chickens holding several in each hand.? (page 39) This would be enough to make any person fall apart. However, living in fear drove them to be strong willed individuals. It was their desire to live that also kept these men going. These soldiers experienced this fear first hand. They are the ones that handled the millions of corpses. They watched with quiet screams as their friends and family walked to their death.
They were the ones that interacted with the S.S. officers. These officers instilled in their heads just how fearful they should be. Telling them about how they should deal with Jews whom are misbaving and what could happen to them if they do not reprimand the Jews. These people had ironic power. Power over the prisoners but not over themselves.
This was an underlying fear that led them to become competitive among one another. They would steal from each other to impress their peers. They would fight over the possesions of the people whom were gassed to see who could get the best silk shirt or pair of shoes. The competitvness within the camps was enourmous. The officers were always trying to out-do one another.
?And it is also true that in Poznan I personally hanged my other son, and not by the arms, but by the neck. He stole bread.? (page 54) This shows competiveness in a different way. In a way it shows a strange loyalty to the Nazi?s even though this man was a prisoner. In this I see that this man was on a power high, by trying to act like a Nazi to show that he was strong and heartless.
The way in which these prisoners dealt with their life experiences was unbelievable. They saw millions of innocent citizens that were imprisoned and abused. They were decieved that it would soon be over and they would die if they did not behave. Millions of other citizens were killed for no reason at all except for the fact that they were Jewish. To revolt was unthought of because of the fear of what could possibly happen to them.
These men and women that did survive developed a strong will that helped to drive them on. ?Julek also writes about your mother, that she prays for us and trusts that we shall return and that we will always be together?? (page 138) That ?will? could have been that they knew that this horror would not last forever and they would meet with their loved ones again to live a happy life. This ?will? could also mean that they felt their stories needed to be heard in hopes that killers would be punished as badly as they were. To survive a life full of sick competiveness, never-ending fear, and the loss of loved ones is a huge accomplishment.