Holocaust Survivors


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holocaust survivors Adam's Paper

Fuel. Flame. Fire. Inferno. Ash.


Historically, the word holocaust meant a religious rite in which an offering was completely consumed by fire.  In current times the word holocaust has changed to a darker more tragic meaning and refers to more than a religious sacrifice.  During World War II, a fire raged throughout Eastern Europe.  Guns, bombs, and military groups did not ignite this fire.  This fire burned intensely in the hearts of men -- sparked by centuries-old prejudice.  One man, Adolf Hitler, took this flicker of hatred and fanned the flames.  Hitler energized and stoked the embers, spreading them throughout Eastern Europe causing widespread destruction in the pursuit of a perfect Aryan nation.  Although the Holocaust is measured over the course of twelve long years, it does not begin with the mass murder of innocent victims.  Michael Berenbaum, a survivor of the Holocaust believes, "Age-old prejudice led to discrimination, discrimination to incarceration, incarceration to elimination" (Altman 1).  Thus, the progression of prejudice in the Holocaust began as a flicker of hatred in the heart of a leader and became a blazing inferno consuming the lives of the men, women, and children who crossed its radical path.

After World War I, the social climate in Germany was depressing.  The German people were humiliated by their country's defeat and by the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.  The financial depression that resulted left millions of individuals out of work.  The German government was weak, and the people sought new leadership.  These conditions provided an opportune setting for a new leader, Adolf Hitler, and his party, the National Socialist German Workers Party.  Hitler, reckless and powerful, was able to fan the flames of an ancient hatred into a wild and out of control holocaust (Altman 12).  

As with most hatred and prejudices, the hatred that fueled the Holocaust started with verbal abuse.  As soon as Hitler was named chancellor, he persuaded the cabinet to declare a state of emergency allowing him to end all personal freedom.  Among the rights lost were freedom of press, freedom of speech, and freedom of gathering.  He then voiced his beliefs in the supreme "Aryan" race.  As his beliefs spread, spoken or verbal abuse escalated.  Those who were not considered to be of the perfect "Aryan" race were jeered and mocked.  Fred Margulies, a survivor of the Holocaust, recalls: " When I was about ten years old there was a knock on my apartment-house door: and there was my best friend, Hans.  And he spat in my face, and he said 'Manfred, you dirtyJew' my best friend changed overnight" (Shulman 7).  The Jews endured burning words tossed at them consistently.  At first, they were told Jews were not desired, and finally, they were told Jews were prohibited.  Jews were not the only ones attacked.  Jehovah Witnesses, handicapped individuals, and foreigners were also considered racially and genetically poor.  These verbal attacks became the match that would ignite a much bigger fire.

Verbal attacks sparked an avoidance of those considered undesirable. On April 1, 1933, Hitler called for a boycott of all Jewish businesses.  Nazi storm troopers stood in front of stores owned by Jewish proprietors holding signs that warned: "Don't buy from Jews," "The Jews are our misfortune," and "Buy Aryan" (Bachrach 14).  Many Jews lost their businesses as a result of the boycott.  Restaurant signs cautioned, "No Jews or Dogs Allowed"(15).  Radio broadcasts and newspapers became Nazi advertisement tools to spread lies about the Jew.  Schools taught that the Aryans were the most intelligent race.  Pictures were displayed showing the sizes of different brains and always depicted the Aryan brain as the largest.  Furthermore, the people were told it was a sin against the German people, their ancestors, and the Aryans' future to associate with the Jews.  The Nazi Party distributed leaflets urging pure Germans to keep their distance from the Jews and to shun the Star of David with great ridicule (Shulman 35).  

The large-scale avoidance of the immoral Germans made German society more receptive to legalized discrimination.  The government was quick to pass laws that in essence torched Jewish citizenship and their legal standing within society.  The Nuremberg Laws prevented immoral Germans from being citizens, owning property, or ... more

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PostTraumaticStressDisorder

After experiencing a traumatic event, the mind has been known to horde away the details and memories and then send them back at unexpected times and places, sometimes after years have passed.  It does so in a haunting way that makes the recall just as disturbing as the original event.  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is the name for the acquired mental condition that follows a psychologically distressing event "outside the range of usual human experience" (Bernstein, et al).  There are five diagnostic criteria for this disorder and there are no cures for this affliction, only therapies which lessen the burden of the symptoms.
The root of the disorder is a traumatic event which implants itself so firmly in the mind that the person may be shackled by the pain and distress of the event indeinately, experiencing it again and again as the mind stays connected with the past rather than the present, making it difficult to think of the future.
The research on this topic is all rather recent as the disorder was only added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) in the last twenty years.  Yet, the disorder is quite common, threatening to control and damage the lives of approximately eight percent of the American population [5% of men and 10% of women].  Any person is a potential candidate for developing PTSD if subject to enough stress.  There is no predictor or determining  factor as to who will develop PTSD and who will not.  Although all people who suffer from it have experienced a traumatic event, not all people who experience a traumatic event will develop PTSD.  Each persons individual capacity for coping with catastrophic events determines their risk of acquiring PTSD.   And not everyone will experience the same symptoms; some may suffer only a few mild symptoms for a short period of time, others may be completely absorbed, still others who experience great trauma may never develop any symptoms at all (Friedman).
More than any other psychological problem, symptoms are a reaction to an overwhelming external event, or series of events.  From a historical perspective, the concept of PTSD made a significant change in the usual stipulation that the cause of a disorder could be outside of the self, rather than some inherent individual weakness (Friedman).
There are many situations that may lead to developing PTSD, including: "serious threats to one's life or well being, or to children, spouse or close friends/relatives; sudden destruction of home or community; and witnessing the accidental or violent death or injury of another" (Bernstein, et al).
Characteristic symptoms include re-experiencing the event, avoidance of stimuli associated with the event or numbing of general responsiveness, increased arousal not present before the event, and duration of the disturbance for at least one month (Johnson).  
When a bomb exploded the Oklahoma Federal building in 1996, hundreds of lives were affected.  Not only are the people who were in the explosion in danger of re-experiencing it over and over, but so are the people who witnessed the aftermath, from bystanders to the rescue workers on scene.  The surviving employees not only were physically injured in the blast, but saw the deaths of their coworkers and children.  Surviving a horrific trauma that many others did not is enough to cause serious emotional harm.  For the rescue workers who arrived, many of them saw death and people who they could not help; feeling helpless and guilty may manifest into intrusive recollection and nightmares.
To explain further, the first criteria is that the person was at one time exposed to a traumatic event involving actual or threatened death or injury, where the response was marked by intense fear, horror or helplessness (Pfefferbaum).  This event may have taken place only weeks ago, or as far back in memory as forty years.  The disorder is most commonly found among survivors of war, abuse and rape.  It also occurs after assorted crime and car accidents, as well as after community disasters such as hurricanes and floods. Workers of rescue missions are subjected to situations of severe stress frequently. Many emergency response workers (police, nurses, and medics) may become overwhelmed by the trauma they see so many people go through and end up with ... more

holocaust survivors

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  • H: Holocaust H: Holocaust Holocaust The delineation of human life is perceiving existence through resolute contrasts. The difference between day and night is defined by an absolute line of division. For the Jewish culture in the twentieth century, the dissimilarity between life and death is bisected by a definitive line - the Holocaust. Accounts of life during the genocide of the Jewish culture emerged from within the considerable array of Holocaust survivors, among of which are Elie Wiesels Night and Simon Wiesenthal...
  • O: Adams Paper O: Adams Paper Adam\'s Paper Fuel. Flame. Fire. Inferno. Ash. Historically, the word holocaust meant a religious rite in which an offering was completely consumed by fire. In current times the word holocaust has changed to a darker more tragic meaning and refers to more than a religious sacrifice. During World War II, a fire raged throughout Eastern Europe. Guns, bombs, and military groups did not ignite this fire. This fire burned intensely in the hearts of men -- sparked by centuries-old prejudice. One ...
  • L: PostTraumaticStressDisorder L: PostTraumaticStressDisorder PostTraumaticStressDisorder After experiencing a traumatic event, the mind has been known to horde away the details and memories and then send them back at unexpected times and places, sometimes after years have passed. It does so in a haunting way that makes the recall just as disturbing as the original event. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is the name for the acquired mental condition that follows a psychologically distressing event outside the range of usual human experience (Bernstein, et ...
  • O: Battered Womens Syndrome: A Survey of Contemporar O: Battered Womens Syndrome: A Survey of Contemporar Battered Women\'s Syndrome: A Survey of Contemporary Theories Domestic Violence November 16, 1996 In 1991, Governor William Weld modified parole regulations and permitted women to seek commutation if they could present evidence indicating they suffered from battered women\'s syndrome. A short while later, the Governor, citing spousal abuse as his impetus, released seven women convicted of killing their husbands, and the Great and General Court of Massachusetts enacted Mass. Gen. L. ch. 233 23E...
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  • A: The Atomic Bomb A: The Atomic Bomb The Atomic Bomb Then a tremendous flash of light cut across the sky . Mr. Tanimoto has a distinct recollection that it traveled from east to west, from the city toward the hills. It seemed like a sheet of sun. John Hersey, from Hiroshima, pp8 On August 6, 1945, the world changed forever. On that day the United States of America detonated an atomic bomb over the city of Hiroshima. Never before had mankind seen anything like. Here was something that was slightly bigger than an ordinary bomb, yet ...
  • U: Holocaust Essay U: Holocaust Essay Holocaust Essay The term Holocaust refers to the effort of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party to exterminate the Jews and others considered to be inferior in order to purify Germany and its citizens from what they considered to be unclean. As a result, 12,000,000 people, about half of them Jews, were murdered. Murders were committed in every possible manner, but most of the victims died as a result of shooting, starvation, disease, and most often, poison gas. Others were tortured to death or died d...
  • S: The Holocaust S: The Holocaust The Holocaust For twelve years following 1933 the Jews were persecuted by the Nazi's. Jewish businesses were boycotted and vandalized. By 1939, Jews were no longer citizens,could not attend public schools,engage in practically any business or profession, own any land, associate with any non-Jew or visit public places such as parks and museums. The victories of the German armies in the early years of World War II brought the majority of European Jewry under the Nazis. The Jews were deprived of hu...
  • T: Ordinary People T: Ordinary People Ordinary People Ordinary People Ordinary People by Judith Guest is the story of a dysfunctional family who relate to one another through a series of extensive defense mechanisms, i.e. an unconscious process whereby reality is distorted to reduce or prevent anxiety. The book opens with seventeen year old Conrad, son of upper middle-class Beth and Calvin Jarrett, home after eight months in a psychiatric hospital, there because he had attempted suicide by slashing his wrists. His mother is a meticu...
  •  : birkenau : birkenau birkenau Birkenau I did reasearch on Birkenau, a concentration camp used in the Holocaust also know as Auschwitz. I chose this particular topic because, I thought it would be interesting to learn about the concentration camps used in the Holocaust. The two sources i used for my presentation is an internet site and the encarta encloypedia. The Nazis established Auschwitz in April 1940 under the direction of Heinrich Himmler, chief of two Nazi organizations the Nazi guards known as the Schutzstaff...
  • S: Survivors of the Holocaust S: Survivors of the Holocaust Survivors of the Holocaust The world\'s biggest desolation that caused the murders of millions of Jewish people took place during WWII. The Holocaust orchestrated by the Nazi Empire destroyed millions of lives and created questions about humanity that may never be answered. Many psychological effects caused by the Holocaust forever changed the way the Jewish people view the world and themselves. The Jewish people have been scarred for generations and may never be able to once again associate wit...
  • U: Holocaust U: Holocaust holocaust *Picture: GI Home**Picture: Iwo Jima * HOLOCAUST, a term for the methodical persecution, enslavement, and extermination of European Jewry by Nazi Germany. An estimated 6 million Jews died in the years from 1933 to 1945. Europe had a history of anti-Semitism, but the Holocaust was unique in scope, barbarity, and concentration on the annihilation of one people (genocide). Moreover, anti-Semitism was given legal sanction. The Holocaust was directed by the Nazi dictator Adolf HITLER, aided...
  • R: Ordinary People R: Ordinary People Ordinary People Ordinary People by Judith Guest is the story of a dysfunctional family who relate to one another through a series of extensive defense mechanisms, i.e. an unconscious process whereby reality is distorted to reduce or prevent anxiety. The book opens with seventeen year old Conrad, son of upper middle-class Beth and Calvin Jarrett, home after eight months in a psychiatric hospital, there because he had attempted suicide by slashing his wrists. His mother is a meticulously orderly p...
  • V: Do you have a voice V: Do you have a voice Do you have a voice Would you just stand by, as Nazis soldiers kidnapped your neighbors just because they were different? If you would, you have no voice and you need to develop one. Many people had neighbors who were taken away and killed by the Nazis. They just stood there, let it happen and did not utter a word. In the book, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, written by, Mark Twain, it shows the development of a young boy, and he does develop a voice. The main character, Huckleberry Finn, is a w...
  • I: Dysfunctional family who relate to one another thr I: Dysfunctional family who relate to one another thr dysfunctional family who relate to one another through a series of extensive defense mechanisms, i.e. an unconscious process whereby reality is distorted to reduce or prevent anxiety. The book opens with seventeen year old Conrad, son of upper middle-class Beth and Calvin Jarrett, home after eight months in a psychiatric hospital, there because he had attempted suicide by slashing his wrists. His mother is a meticulously orderly person who, Jared, through projection, feels despises him. She does...
  • V: The Psychological Affects of the Holocaust V: The Psychological Affects of the Holocaust The Psychological Affects of the Holocaust The Psychological Affects of the Holocaust The Holocaust was a tragic point in history which many people believe never happened. Others who survived it thought it should never have been. Not only did this affect the people who lived through it, it also affected everyone who was connected to those fortunate individuals who survived. The survivors were lucky to have made it but there are times when their memories and flashbacks have made them wish they we...
  • O: Night Book Analysis O: Night Book Analysis Night Book Analysis Nobody wants to read such a morbid book as Night. There isnt anybody (other than the Nazis and Neo-Nazis) who enjoys reading about things like the tortures, the starvation, and the beatings that people went through in the concentration camps. Night is a horrible tale of murder and of mans inhumanity towards man. We must, however, read these kinds of books regardless. It is an indefinitely depressing subject, but because of its truthfulness and genuine historic value, it...
  • R: Night R: Night Night Nobody wants to read such a morbid book as Night. There isnt anybody (other than the Nazis and Neo-Nazis) who enjoys reading about things like the tortures, the starvation, and the beatings that people went through in the concentration camps. Night is a horrible tale of murder and of mans inhumanity towards man. We must, however, read these kinds of books regardless. It is an indefinitely depressing subject, but because of its truthfulness and genuine historic value, it is a story th...
  • S: Psychological Effects of the Holocaust S: Psychological Effects of the Holocaust Psychological Effects of the Holocaust The Holocaust was a tragic point in history which many people believe never happened. Others who survived it thought it should never have been. Not only did this affect the people who lived through it, it also affected everyone who was connected to those fortunate individuals who survived. The survivors were lucky to have made it but there are times when their memories and flashbacks have made them wish they were the ones who died instead of living with the...
  • Eleanor roosevelt Eleanor roosevelt Eleanor roosevelt Eleanor Roosevelt, The Social Worker As the wife of a popular United States president, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was born in New York City, October 11, 1884, and died November 7, 1962. She was an active worker for social causes. She was the niece of President Theodore Roosevelt, and was raised by her maternal grandmother after the premature death of her parents. In 1905 she married her cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt. They had six children, but one of them died in infancy. Althou...
  • The Holocaust The Holocaust The Holocaust Historically, the word holocaust meant a religious rite in which an offering was completely consumed by fire. In current times the word holocaust has changed to a darker more tragic meaning and refers to more than a religious sacrifice. During World War II, a fire raged throughout Eastern Europe. Guns, bombs, and military groups did not ignite this fire. This fire burned intensely in the hearts of men -- sparked by centuries-old prejudice. One man, Adolf Hitler, took this flicker o...
  • Battered Womens Syndrome Battered Womens Syndrome Battered Women\'s Syndrome In 1991, Governor William Weld modified parole regulations and permitted women to seek commutation if they could present evidence indicating they suffered from battered women\'s syndrome. A short while later, the Governor, citing spousal abuse as his impetus, released seven women convicted of killing their husbands, and the Great and General Court of Massachusetts enacted Mass. Gen. L. ch. 233 23E (1993), which permits the introduction of evidence of abuse in crimina...
  • Night Night Night Without a doubt, one of the darkest episodes in the history of mankind involved the systematic extermination of Jews, Gypsies, Slavs and gays by Nazi Germany. In order to get a good sense of the horror and despair that was felt by the interned, one simply needs to read the memoirs of Elie Wiesel in his Night, as translated from French by Stella Rodway and copyrighted by Bantam Books in 1960. Elie Wiesel was born in Sighet, Transylvania. His parents ran a shop and cared for him and his th...
  • Night Night Night Nobody wants to read such a morbid book as Night. There isnt anybody (other than the Nazis and Neo-Nazis) who enjoys reading about things like the tortures, the starvation, and the beatings that people went through in the concentration camps. Night is a horrible tale of murder and of mans inhumanity towards man. We must, however, read these kinds of books regardless. It is an indefinitely depressing subject, but because of its truthfulness and genuine historic value, it is a story that w...
  • The Holocaust The Holocaust The Holocaust If we were not an eternal people before, we are an eternal people after the Holocaust, in both its very positive and very negative sense. We have not only survived, we have revived ourselves. In a very real way, we have won. We were victorious. But in a very real way, we have lost. We'll never recover what was lost. We can't assess what was lost. Who knows what beauty and grandeur six million could have contributed to the world? Who can measure it up? What standard do you use? How ...