Friday, May 30, 2008

Chapter 8 and 9

The theme of loyalty is again present when Eliezer and his father reach the concentration camp Buchenwald and Eliezer wanted to leave his father and get sleep and keep the food to save himself but he didn't so his father could live. And the theme of God not present is again evident because the German officers beat the crap out of his father and leave him to die and he wonders how this could happen.

Yom Kippur, also known in English as the Day of Atonement, is the most solemn and important of the Jewish holidays. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews have traditionally observed this holiday with a 24-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer.

Chapter 6 and 7

The theme loyalty is present when Eliezer says that he would never do what the rabbi's son did and abandon his father during the run. And the theme of creulty devolves people into a state of savage being is again present when again the Jewish people are herded into cars like cattle and they accept it.

Internment is the imprisonment or confinement of people, commonly in large groups, without trial. The Oxford English Dictionary (1989) gives the meaning as "The action of ‘interning’; confinement within the limits of a country or place". Most modern usage is about individuals, and there is a distinction between internment, which is being confined usually for preventative or political reasons, and imprisonment, which is being closely confined as a punishment for crime.

"Internment" also refers to the practice of neutral countries in time of war in detaining belligerent armed forces and equipment in their territories under the Second Hague Convention.
Early civilizations such as the Assyrians used forced resettlement of populations as a means of controlling territory, but it was not until much later in the late 19th and the 20th centuries that records exist of groups of civilian non-combatants being concentrated into large prison camps.
The theme of turning away from God is again seen when Eliezer says that the Jewish people are not God's people and that they were meant to be massacred. And then Eliezer feels that Man is stronger than God and can be more resilient and more forgiving. And because Eliezer doesn't believe in god he eats on Yom Kippur instead of fasting with no penalty.

Kristallnacht - (literally Crystal night) was a pogrom in Nazi Germany on 9–10 November, 1938. On a single night, 91 Jews were murdered, and 25,000–30,000 were arrested and deported to concentration camps.
The Nazis coordinated an attack on Jewish people and their property in Germany and German-controlled lands as a part of Hitler's anti-Semitic policy.

On November 7, 1938, Herschel Grynszpan, a 17-year old German Jew enraged by his family's expulsion from Germany, walked into the German Embassy in Paris and fired five shots at a junior diplomat, Ernst vom Rath. 2 days later, the diplomat died and Germany was in the grip of skillfully orchestrated anti-Jewish violence. In the early hours of November 10, an orgy of coordinated destruction broke out in cities, towns and villages throughout the Third Reich.
The consequences of this violence were disastrous for the Jews of the Third Reich. In a single night, Kristallnacht saw the destruction of more than 1,000 Synagogues, and the ransacking of tens of thousands of Jewish businesses and homes. It marked the beginning of the systematic eradication of a people in Germany who could trace their ancestry to Roman times, and served as a prelude to the Holocaust that was to follow.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Chapter 4

The theme of questioning God is presented again because when the child is being hanged from the gallows many of the Jewish people watch in horror and wonder how can God be present in a world in which such cruelty is unchecked. And the theme of cruelty evolves people into a state of aninals is again revealed. The Jews are being sent to the dentist to get teeth pulled by the dentist. And the Jewish people have to scavage around for food.

The Night of the Long Knives or "Operation Hummingbird", was a purge that took place in Nazi Germany between June 30 and July 2, 1934, when the Nazi regime executed at least 90 people for political reasons. Most of those killed were members of the "Storm Troopers" (SA) (German: Sturmabteilung), a Nazi paramilitary organization. Adolf Hitler moved against the SA and its leader, Ernst Röhm, because he saw the independence of the SA and the penchant of its members for street violence as a direct threat to his power. Hitler also wanted to forestall any move by leaders of the Reichswehr, the German military, who both feared and despised the SA, to curtail his rule, especially since Röhm made no secret of his ambition to absorb the Reichswehr with himself at its head. Finally, Hitler used the purge to go against conservative critics of his regime, especially those loyal to Vice-Chancellor Franz von Papen, and to settle scores with old enemies.

At least 85 people died during the purge, although the final death toll may have been in the hundreds, and more than a thousand perceived opponents were arrested. Most of the killings were carried out by the Schutzstaffel (SS), an elite Nazi corps, and the Gestapo (Geheime Staatspolizei), the regime's secret police. The purge strengthened and consolidated the support of the Reichswehr for Hitler. It also provided a legal grounding for the Nazi regime, as the German courts and cabinet quickly swept aside centuries of legal prohibition against extra-judicial killings to demonstrate their loyalty to the regime.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Chapter 3

The theme of turning away from God is again presented in this chapter. When the Jews are being escorted to the barracks and several people begin to recite the prayer of the dead inclueding Elizer's father. But Elizer dosen't realize why they are praising God when they are being put through this.

Nazism, commonly known as National Socialism, (German: Nationalsozialismus), refers primarily to the ideology and practices of the Nazi Party under Adolf Hitler; and the policies adopted by the government of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945, a period also known as the Third Reich. The official name of the party was Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP) — “National Socialist German Workers’ Party”. The Nazis were one of several historical groups that used the term National Socialism to describe themselves, and in the 1920s they became the largest such group. Nazism is generally considered by scholars to be a form of fascism.

Nazism was not a monolithic movement, but rather a (mainly German) combination of various ideologies and groups, sparked by anger at the Treaty of Versailles and what was considered to have been a Jewish/Communist conspiracy (known in the vernacular as the “Stab-in-the-Back Legend”) to humiliate Germany at the end of the First World War.

Among the key elements of Nazism were anti-parliamentarism, ethnic nationalism, racism, collectivism, eugenics, antisemitism, opposition to economic liberalism and political liberalism, opposition to finance capitalism with emphasis on Jewish conspiratorial involvement, anti-communism, and totalitarianism.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Chapter 2

There is another example of the theme of ignorance in the book. When the Jews are in the cattle cars traveling to wherever, they begin to beat Madame Schatcher, instead of listening to her cries of the pending doom ahead they just want her to shut up. And the theme of cruelty breeds cruelty appears in this chapter. When the Jews are treated less than humans they begin to believe that they are less human from the cruelty they have to endure. This cruelty is passed on to Madame Schatcher when the others want her to stop screaming.

Auschwitz-Birkenau (Konzentrationslager Auschwitz) was the largest of Nazi Germany's concentration camps. Located in German-occupied southern Poland, it took its name from the nearby town of Oświęcim (Auschwitz in German), situated about 50 kilometers west of Kraków and 286 kilometers from Warsaw. Following the German occupation of Poland in September 1939, Oświęcim was incorporated into Germany as part of the Katowice District (Regierungsbezirk Kattowitz), or unofficially East Upper Silesia (Ost-Oberschlesien), and renamed Auschwitz. The word Birkenau means 'Birch tree' of which there are many surrounding the Birkenau area of the complex.

The complex consisted of three main camps: Auschwitz I, the administrative center; Auschwitz II (Birkenau), an extermination camp or Vernichtungslager; and Auschwitz III (Monowitz), a work camp. There were also around 40 satellite camps, some of them tens of kilometers from the main camps, with prisoner populations ranging from several dozen to several thousand.

The camp commandant, Rudolf Höss, testified at the Nuremberg Trials that up to 2.5 million people had died at Auschwitz. The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum revised this figure in 1990, and new calculations now place the figure at 1.1–1.6 million, about 90 percent of them Jews from almost every country in Europe. Most of the dead were killed in gas chambers using Zyklon B; other deaths were caused by systematic starvation, forced labor, lack of disease control, individual executions, and so-called medical experiments.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Chapter 1

One of the many reoccuring themes in the book is Eliezer's doubt in God. In the begining of the book Eliezer is as faithful to God as is father is but as he begins to find out the horrors of the Nazi Final Solution he begins to question if God really exists. Another theme in the book is the is ignorance. The first example is when Moshe comes back to Sighet and is telling the Jews about the horrors he saw and yet the Jews are bearly phased by this and continue with thier lives.

The Final Solution to the Jewish Question refers to the German Nazis' plan to engage in systematic genocide against the European Jewish population during World War II. The term was coined by Adolf Hitler as “Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe.” The implementation of the Final Solution resulted in the most deadly phase of the Holocaust. Mass killings of about one million Jews occurred before the plans of the Final Solution were fully implemented in 1942, but it was only with the decision to eradicate the entire Jewish population that the extermination camps were built and industrialized mass slaughter of Jews began in earnest. This decision to systematically kill the Jews of Europe was made by the time of, or at the Wannsee conference, which took place in Berlin, in the Wannsee Villa on January 20, 1942. During the conference, there was a discussion held by a group of German Nazi officials to decide on the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question". The records and minutes of this meeting were found intact by the Allies at the end of the war and served as valuable evidence during the Nuremberg Trials. By spring of 1942, Operation Reinhard began the systematic extermination of the Jews, although hundreds of thousands already had been killed by death squads and in mass pogroms. In Heinrich Himmler's speech at the Posen Conference of October 6, 1943, Himmler, for the first time, clearly elucidated to all assembled leaders of the Reich, in frank and brutal terms, what the "Final Solution" referred to.

Pedia, W. I. Final Solution. Wikipedia. Retrieved April 19, 2008, from