A Bystander’s Role in the Holocaust Essay

A Bystander’s Role in the Holocaust Essay

Length: 1680 words (4.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

At what point does personal interest become more important than the safety of others? During the Holocaust, the Nazis were not the only group that advanced the Holocaust, and then the Final Solution. Bystanders, witnesses, passersby, and many other groups indirectly affected the victims of the Holocaust. The silence of these groups held the Jews in more jeopardy than their Nazi captors.
Hitler's slow implementation of Holocaust steps mixed with public fear gave the public time to adjust and accept his actions, which would ultimately result in little German resistance during Hitler's final solution.

Background

When classifying the types of people involved in an event such as the Holocaust, three categorical groups can be distinguished. First, and easiest to asses are the perpetrators. This category includes people directly related to the horrors of the Holocaust. The second category encompasses victims; all of the people that were killed, discriminated against, or otherwise harmed by the perpetrators. The final category defines those who watched, witnessed, or were otherwise indirectly involved in the Holocaust, without being harmed by the perpetrators. By definition, bystanders could include entire countries or other groups who ignored or neglected the Holocaust (Vollhardt). A fourth category could be argued, and would include those who actively helped victims (Monroe). As far as nomenclature, rescuer or anti-perpetrator would well define this group.
“I would like to suggest that there are usually no bystanders as such—as a trait or as a personality type, just as there are mostly no perpetrator or rescuer personality types”(Bar-On). Bar-On states that personality types are not relevant when categorizing a person into o...


... middle of paper ...


... Courage. Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim, 2006. Print.
Monroe, Kristen Renwick. "Cracking The Code Of Genocide: The Moral Psychology Of Rescuers, Bystanders, And Nazis During The Holocaust." Political Psychology 29.5 (2008): 699-736. Business Source Premier. Web. 27 Jan. 2014.
Priemel, Kim C. "Into The Grey Zone: Wehrmacht Bystanders, German Labor Market Policy And The Holocaust."Journal Of Genocide Research 10.3 (2008): 389-411. Academic Search Premier. Web. 27 Jan. 2014.
Vollhardt, J. R. and Bilewicz, M. (2013), After the Genocide: Psychological Perspectives on Victim, Bystander, and Perpetrator Groups. Journal of Social Issues, 69: 1–15. doi: 10.1111/josi.12000
"Der Giftpilz." Der Giftpilz. Calvin College, n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.
"The Holocaust: An Introductory History." An Introductory History of the Holocaust. Jewish Virtual Library, n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2014.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

A Bystander’s Role in the Holocaust Essay

- A Bystander’s Role in the Holocaust At what point does personal interest become more important than the safety of others. During the Holocaust, the Nazis were not the only group that advanced the Holocaust, and then the Final Solution. Bystanders, witnesses, and passersby indirectly affected the victims of the Holocaust. The silence of these people held the Jews in more jeopardy than their Nazi captors. Public fear mixed with Hitler's slow implementation of Holocaust steps gave the public time to adjust and accept his actions, which would ultimately result in little German resistance during Hitler's final solution....   [tags: Culpability, Human Responsibility]

Powerful Essays
1812 words (5.2 pages)

Bystanders of the Holocaust Essay

- When individuals think about the Holocaust, most place the responsibility of the terrible events on the perpetrators. However, bystanders played one of the largest roles in the Holocaust (Evans, Carrell) simply by staying safe for way too long (Florida Center) and the world wants to make sure it never happens again (Shriver Jr., Donald W). If the individuals, governments, and countries would have stood up for what they knew was right, the Holocaust would have ended before it did. Just like society now, we don't care about something if it doesn't directly impact us....   [tags: germans, jews, hitler]

Powerful Essays
1188 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on The Holocaust : The Mass Murder Of Some 6 Million European Jews

- The Holocaust is known as the mass murder of some 6 million European Jews (as well as members of some other persecuted groups, such as Gypsies and homosexuals) by the German Nazi regime during the Second World War, from 1939 to 1945. To the anti-Semitic Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, Jews were an inferior race, an alien threat to German racial purity and community. Many petrifying acts were done to the targeted races, such as, being burned to death or having died by gaseous fumes. We may ask what would psychologically have to happen in order to transform the average, seemingly normal, citizens of Germany into people who would carry out or tolerate unimaginable acts of cruelty against their fellow...   [tags: Nazi Germany, World War II, Milgram experiment]

Powerful Essays
1113 words (3.2 pages)

Deportation of Hungarian Jews: Auschwitz-Birkenau 1944 Essay

- Many groups had great power and influence around the world during the holocaust. How this influence was used or not used helped shape experiences, often horrific for many European Jews. In Hungary, toward the end of the holocaust not only did the international institutions become silent bystanders, but their very own neighbors turned their back on their fellow citizens knowing what atrocities awaited their arrival to Auschwitz. The brutality started close to home when fellow Hungarians, in a combined effort with the city government, railroad officials, and law-enforcement agencies coordinated a swift transport of 400,000 Jews to their almost certain death....   [tags: holocaust, jews, auschwitz, hungary]

Powerful Essays
804 words (2.3 pages)

The Nazi Party and Anti-Semitism Essay

- The Holocaust was a mass slaughter of Jews by the Nazi Party. During the prosecution of the Nazi party, many claimed that they were only following orders. In social psychology, psychologists study the behaviors and actions of humans due to social interactions. Though soldiers could have killed a person, they might have been pressured due to diffusion of responsibility, obedience, and group think. Before The Holocaust, the Jewish religion was always under much criticism due to their beliefs. The Jewish religion is known to be the first religion that was monotheistic....   [tags: mass slaughter of the Jews, Holocaust]

Powerful Essays
592 words (1.7 pages)

Negativity of indeffierence Essay

- Indifference is one of the many cruel faces of society; the face of a monster without emotion or empathy for suffering. People around the world must withstand inhumane and unbearable conditions while others silently watch or ignore. These bystanders either have no interests in the anguish of victims or are consumed by a greater emotion. As seen through the numerous genocides that have taken place, indifference leads to something negative if action is not taken against perpetrators or against the situation....   [tags: holocaust, genocide in rwanda, cambodia]

Powerful Essays
774 words (2.2 pages)

Effect Of Bystander Effect On Children Essay

- Bystander effect refers to the instance in which there is an emergency and people witnessing don’t respond when there are others around witnessing the same event. This happens because of pluralistic ignorance which is when people assume that there is nothing wrong because others surrounding them don’t look concerned. Two researchers, Latan and Darley, conducted an experiment to further study the bystander effect. In this experiment, Latan and Darley took multiple college students and one at a time, put them into cubicles....   [tags: Bystander effect, Kitty Genovese, Witness]

Powerful Essays
1037 words (3 pages)

An Inactive Bystander Essay

- Have you ever heard the term “inactive bystander”. An inactive bystander is someone who watches an incident or event occur without any interference. During the Holocaust in World War II, various nations had zero interference in defending the Jewish people while Hitler murdered and persecuted them. Most interference came later on, once the genocide had already been occurring for quite some time. You could say it was too late because this inaction and lack of justice led to the slaughter eleven million Jewish people....   [tags: Nazi Germany, World War II, The Holocaust, Germany]

Powerful Essays
1099 words (3.1 pages)

The Bystander Effect in Genocides Essay

- ... U.S. officials did not sit around and conspire to allow genocide to happen. But whatever their convictions about ‘never again,’ many of them did sit around, and they most certainly did allow genocide to happen.”2 Samantha Power's writing shows that the U.S. government knew enough about the genocide through early warnings but nevertheless because they lacked political will to do anything about it they passed up many opportunities to end the rain of terror.3 The United States was unwilling to support the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda(UNAMIR) both militarily or financially....   [tags: holocaust, rwanda, murders]

Powerful Essays
730 words (2.1 pages)

The Bystander Effect Essays

- The purpose of this paper is to analyse how the bystander effect, “the likelihood that an individual will intervene in an emergency goes down as the number of bystanders increases” (Olson, Breckler, Wiggins, 2008, p.482), occurs in chosen an emergency situation (Appendix nr1). I am going to show why and how participant’s behaviour confirms or not that effect. There are many interactions among people witnessing an emergency situation. Behaviours of witnesses are influenced by occurring psychological reactions and responses to situation....   [tags: bystander’s reactions]

Free Essays
842 words (2.4 pages)