The Holocaust Vs The Crucible Essay, Research Paper
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 – www.encarta.msn.com
?Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression? – http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/imt/nca/nca-01/nca-01-12-index.html
?The Racial Theories of the Nazis?, Nazism and the Holocaust – http://www.friends-partners.org/partners/beyond-the-pale/english/49.html
?Holocaust? Microsoft? Encarta? 97 Encyclopedia ? 1993-1996 Microsoft Corporation