AP English Comp 10 (Period 3)
9 Sept. 2015
Ignorance is Bliss
Proselytism, or the act of forcing beliefs onto others in an attempt to convert them, is exceptionally prominent during teenage years, but continues to prevail as the years advance. Propaganda used before the Holocaust convinced teenagers to join auxiliary groups like the Student’s League and Hitler Youth. Hitler convinced adults to join auxiliary groups as well, apart from the main Nazi party. Behaviors established as the norm in such groups were spread throughout all of Germany and eventually became common conduct. Each account in Voices of the Holocaust supports the idea that the Holocaust was caused by the Nazi party’s overall ignorance due to wrongful nationalism and group mentality.
Children and teenagers were the easiest demographic to convert to Nazism simply because they were young and impressionable. Alfons Heck was a member of the Hitler Youth organization. Serving Mein Fürher, written by Eleanor Ayer, recalls Heck’s time serving as a member. Heck was sworn in on Hitler’s forty-ninth birthday, vocalizing his commitment and swearing that “Our Banner Means More to us Than Death” (Heck quoted in Ayer, 21). During youth, words do not have the greatest impact as they do later in life, so pledging their allegiance and permanent membership until death wasn’t weighted as it is in adulthood.
Their morals were pliable and depended on the influence of higher authority in their lives, whether its parents or government officials like Hitler. The children’s parents could not prevent them from joining any Nazi auxiliary groups. If they did, they could be prosecuted and imprisoned (Ayer 22).
Many adolescents had no true knowledge of Hitler’s...
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... the flawed perspective of the German community, and the splattered blood represented the violence and propaganda that covered up the truth.
Hitler wrongfully inspired millions of people to join the Nazi party, and used his eloquent propaganda to convince them that the entirety of the actions was for the good of their country. Hitler strived for a “pure Aryan race” and persuaded Germany to do the same by implementing the ideas of anti-Semitism and Nazism. He was tremendously successful because by the end of the Holocaust, the Nazi party was over 7 million strong. The Nazis also began to dehumanize themselves while they were doing the same to the Jews. The Nazis became desensitized when it came to murdering millions of guiltless people. They became sheep under control of a total monster, and strengthened a group of individuals that ultimately caused the Holocaust.
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