Miles Lehrman's Witness to the Holocaust Argues Whether Bystanders Affirm Perpetrators

Miles Lehrman's Witness to the Holocaust Argues Whether Bystanders Affirm Perpetrators

Length: 834 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In Miles Lehrman's documentary, Witness to the Holocaust, he argues, “A perpetrator is not the most dangerous enemy. The most dangerous part is the bystander because neutrality always helps the killer”, This is not a logical claim because bystanders merely witness it; however, they are not committing any crimes against laws or humanity. They may want to help the victim, but they may not do so because being a bystander is simply not illegal. Since forcing someone to be an upstander is illegal, people choose to not be an upstander because it puts them in an undesirable position. After all, standing up for the victim may put the upstander in danger along with the victim. Additionally, becoming an upstander does not guarantee that the victim will be safe and sound afterwards; the perpetrator may continue, perhaps with the upstander as another victim.
Many may argue that standing up for another person is more “righteous” and “heroic”; however, that is an overly-optimistic idea. In reality, when someone stands up for the victim, the perpetrator will put them in a position where they are either another victim or a coward that backs down later on. While the upstander may be successful, it is never guaranteed that he/she will succeed in stopping the perpetrator from his/her actions. Even if the upstander is successful, it may only be to a certain extent. For example, in the video “Old School Friends”, Norbertas Jokubauskas, a Lieutenant of the Nazi
soldiers during the Jewish Holocaust, knew that the Nazi’s actions were inhumane and cruel; hence, he commanded his soldiers to not confiscate property from the Jews. Although the Nazi soldiers did not take valuables away from the Jews, they still dehumanized and exterminated the Jews, rega...

... middle of paper ...

... so is sacrificial to one’s rights, it puts them in an undesirable position where they may be harmed as well, and success at being an upstander is not guaranteed. Perpetrators tyrannize those who are unable to stand up for themselves; like how predators seek out the vulnerable preys. Hence, instead of having bystanders to stand up for the victim, the victim should stand up for him/herself. In addition, unlike what Lehrman believes, bystanders are not the most dangerous to the victim; the perpetrator is. Saying that bystanders are the most dangerous is is like saying that if one witnesses something, then he/she is a criminal. Consequently, saying that bystanders should stand up for victims against perpetrators is illogical and naive. Concisely, it is not another’s responsibility to ensure one’s safety and wellness; instead, it is one’s responsibility to do so.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Bare Witness of the Holocaust Essay

- ... Just like Primo Levi, many Holocaust survivors wrote books to keep their memory alive. Ernest W. Michel is a Holocaust survivor that his calligraphy skills saved his life. As he was walking to the gas chamber, an SS officer asked the crowd who knew how to write. Ernest quickly raised his hand and started writing death certificates. Ernest is 89 years now, and his way of bearing witness is by going around the world telling his story. Due to his age, he keeps his memory alive by writing flash cards to remember the struggle he went through....   [tags: surviror, witness, education, literature]

Better Essays
1427 words (4.1 pages)

Essay about Who's Worse? The Dangers of Bystanders in Witness to the Holocaust

- Who’s Worse. In the documentary Witness to the Holocaust, Miles Lehrman suggests that a perpetrator is not as dangerous as they are thought to be. In fact, he says that the bystanders are more dangerous than the perpetrators themselves. This is a logical claim. First, to show that Lehrman’s claim is true, Kristallnacht serves as a great example as to what effect bystanders have on events and how they are more dangerous than the perpetrators. On the night of Kristallnacht, many German citizens were bystanders may be out of being scared to stand up or even out of approval for what was going on....   [tags: documentary, upstander, perpetrator]

Better Essays
621 words (1.8 pages)

Essay about Factors Leading to the Holocaust

- Many religious conflicts are built from bigotry; however, only few will forever have an imprint on the world’s history. While some may leave a smear on the world’s past, some – like the homicide of Semitic people – may leave a scar. The Holocaust, closely tied to World War II, was a devastating and systematic persecution of millions of Jews by the Nazi regime and allies. Hitler, an anti-Semitic leader of the Nazis, believed that the Jewish race made the Aryan race impure. The Nazis did all in their power to annihilate the followers of Judaism, while the Jews attempted to rebel, rioted against the government, and united as one....   [tags: Holocaust ]

Better Essays
1472 words (4.2 pages)

The Dead And The Living, We Must Bear Witness Essays

- “For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.” -Elie Wiesel. Reading those 10 words could make a person’s spine tingle. This quote is about the Holocaust where millions of innocent Jews were killed by Adolf Hitler. It was not an avoidable situation, and definitely couldn’t have been prevented even if a series of actions occurred. Hitler has been planning this genocide more than a decade before he became Chancellor. After WW1 and the Treaty of Versailles was created, it made Germany desperate to fix their Country....   [tags: Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler, The Holocaust, Germany]

Better Essays
1288 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on The Origins of the Holocaust

- The question of the origins of the Holocaust has been studied by scholars using several differing approaches. These interpretations are outlined by Donald Niewyk in The Holocaust as the long history of European anti-Semitism, the charismatic personality of Adolf Hitler and the influence of modern “scientific” racism or eugenics. These interpretations are illustrated in the works of John Weiss, Ian Kershaw, and Henry Friedlander. Niewyk uses Weiss to identify the interpretation of ancient anti-Semitism located throughout Europe as the origin of the Holocaust....   [tags: Holocaust ]

Better Essays
1538 words (4.4 pages)

Essay on A Glimpse at the Holocaust

- For some, it seems that the Holocaust in another lifetime, but for others it will be something they will never forget. Holocaust was a time for fighting. The Jewish would fight for the right to live as they were killed solely for being Jewish. The Holocaust began in 1939 and would continue through 1945. It was introduced by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, although he did not act alone. His mission would be to “exterminate” all minorities, but most abundantly, the Jews. Based on information given by, it is estimated that 11 million people were killed during the Holocaust....   [tags: Holocaust ]

Better Essays
994 words (2.8 pages)

The Holocaust Essay

- When I visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, I was sickened to learn of horrifying Nazi activities intended to improve the Aryan race and to learn about the human body.� While many people are aware that the Nazis had these goals, most are uninformed of the means used to reach them.� I was also ignorant of the extent of their attempts to establish themselves as ideal specimens of the human race.� They used many unforgivable methods to accomplish these aims, some of which were revealed to me during my visit to the museum....   [tags: Holocaust Essays, The Nazis]

Free Essays
672 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on The Holocaust

- The Holocaust      When you think of the holocaust, what do you think about. Is it the millions of Jews lives that were taken. Or is it a great, but wicked speaker named Adolph Hitler. Adolph Hitler, Auschwitz, and American involvement are some key roles in the holocaust.      Adolph Hitler is probably one of the worst people ever to live. When people talk of evil deeds he is at the top of the list. He was a man of words, and could use them to his advantage. He had an ability to talk and make the Germans believe that the Jews were the reason for the problems in their country; so he gave them the idea to move them out....   [tags: Jewish Holocaust]

Free Essays
402 words (1.1 pages)

The Holocaust Essay

- The Holocaust The Holocaust, what is the true depth of the word. As sad as it may seem, it affected the lives of millions because of the hate inside of one certain group of people, the Nazi’s. Dehumanization is to deprive human qualities such as individuality or compassion. Victims of the Holocaust went through dehumanization simply to make the killing of others psychologically easy for the Nazi’s.      Many victims of the Holocaust suffered from various experiments which eventually led to the death....   [tags: Jewsish Holocaust Hitler Dehumanization Essays]

Better Essays
813 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Witness

- Communication is more than just words When one sense is diminished, another is magnified, but can it ever truly be compensated. In some instances, yes however, when addressing the ability to communicate, there are two senses, that when absent hinders the communication process: sight and touch. Communication is more than just words. In an effort to explore this idea further, we will look at the movie “Witness”. The movie, starring Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis, takes place in New England....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
806 words (2.3 pages)