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Dehumanization vs. Obedience

Uploaded by rubytuesday89 on May 20, 2005

Dehumanization vs. Obedience
Dehumanization is the process in which the Nazis considered the Jews as anything but humans. The title of the book is “Night” by Elie Wiesel. The book focuses on Elie’s experiences as a young boy in a concentration camp. In the book the issues of dehumanization and obedience are frequent. What causes these issues are the simple factors of human prejudice, fear, and selfishness. Above all, Nazis obeyed authority and were able to dehumanize because they believed what they were doing was right.
Humans have naturally acquired prejudice. This is one of the reasons why Nazis obeyed authority. In one example from the text Elie’s father questions a gypsy officer; and as Elie put it “The gypsy looked him up and down slowly as if he wanted to convince himself that this man addressing him was really a creature of flesh and bone.”(36) Then the gypsy hit him. This quote proves that only because Elie’s father is a Jew, and the gypsy hates Jew’s that’s why he hit him. Maybe there are more personal reasons of the gypsy’s hate but whatever the reason the gypsy believed that hitting Elie’s father was right. Another example is when Elie is put into a work unit with Jewish musicians. Her claims that “Jew’s were not allowed to play germen music” (47) because Germens hated Jews they did not want the Jews to be associated with anything Germen. Therefore by specific prejudice the Nazis obeyed because they felt that they had no reason to disobey.
Another reason why Nazis obeyed authority is because they were afraid of a higher power. Elie is worried when the Kapo threatens them if they do not work but his fellow prisoner claims “There’s nothing to be scared of he has to say that because of the meister.”(48) Which means that the only reason why the Kapo was making threats is because he doesn’t want the meister to yell at him for being to nice. Another example of that is when Elie said, “The prisoner in charge of our block was deprived of his office for being considered too humane.” (41) Nazis wanted Jews to fear them. That’s why they were so cruel. They felt if the Jews saw any sign of remorse they would feel less threatened.
The last reason for explanation of the Nazis obedience is the simple fact that they were selfish. Not only did the Nazis...

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Uploaded by:   rubytuesday89

Date:   05/20/2005

Category:   The Holocaust

Length:   3 pages (671 words)

Views:   1893

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