Turning a Blind Eye to Genocide and Related Stories, Essay Sample

Published: 2022-03-11
Turning a Blind Eye to Genocide and Related Stories, Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Critical thinking
Categories:  Literature Genocide Concentration camps
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 796 words
7 min read

This paper is a response to Extracts from the books, The Crime with a Name by Samantha Power, Allies and the Auschwitz, The Gray Zone by Primo Levi and This way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen by Tadeusz Borowski. This extracts elaborate on the plight of Jews in Nazi's concentration camps and the thwarted intervention efforts.

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The Crime with a Name by Samantha Powers

Samantha Power tells the story of Raphael Lemkin who fled Poland during the holocaust to explore the theme of America and the age of genocide. With great precision, Power highlights in a horrifying detail of all the acts of genocide in the 20th century. She seeks to know how much the United States administration of the day knew about the killings but still managed to avoid being involved. Power's main argument is: through its non-intervention, the United States is complicit in the murder of millions.

In my opinion, Power is justified in her argument against the United States. According to an article by Rodney Muhumuza that ran in the UK, based newspaper, the INDEPENDENT, on the 13th of April 2017, UK's International development officer, Priti Patel said that the violence in South Sudan was genocide being perpetrated along ethnic lines. He called on other world leaders to intervene. Why act only when this killings to escalate to the point of being a genocide?

The Bombing of Auschwitz: Why didn't the Allies Try?

The narrator wonders why enough was not done around the world to save the Jews from persecution by the Nazi, even with the option of bombing Auschwitz on the table. It is imperative to suggest that the option of bombing this site was not given enough consideration. The US had dismissed requests by the Jewish congress to Bomb the site. Also, failure to admit the documents compiled from the stories of the escaped prisoners, shows lack of commitment and disinterest in saving the Jews.

The Gray Zone by Primo Levi

Primo Levi explores the moral complexity of human behavior and the response of humans to trauma.He makes reference to the 'privileged Jews' and the rape victims in the Nazi concentration camps. Levi argues against passing judgment on the 'privileged Jews' stating that a choice between survival and compromise of morals is skewed to survival.

While I agree with Primo Levi I must warn that there is danger in the victim becoming an accomplice. Exposure to daily coercion slowly changes the morals of the captive into those of the captor.

This way to the Gas, Ladies, and Gentlemen by Tadeusz Borowski

Borowski uses the first-person narrator for the reader to fully understand the feelings, thoughts and experiences and the emotional withdrawal of the people living in the camp. In addition, he explores the ease with which humans adopt to new environment and conditions.

Borowski's' main argument is that whatever the captive laborers did in the camps, they had to do it to maintain their sanity and wellbeing.

Conversation between the Extracts

The Crime with a Name versus The allies and the Auschwitz

These two texts are in agreement that the United States and its Allies dis-involvement played a major role in the extermination of the Jews and in other mass killings elsewhere.

The Gray Zone versus This Way to the Gas Ladies and Gentlemen

These texts are in agreement that the captives and the 'privileged Jews' should not be morally evaluated for they did what they had to do to survive.

Levis push for the consideration of the many and ongoing instances of man's inhumanity towards man are brought to life on as Borowski Tadeusz explores the life in the Camps.

A reorientation of the US and the UK foreign policy on intervention in the affairs of other countries would have forced a change. In addition, if the US and its Allies had allowed the refugees a safe passage, this would have shifted the scales and maybe change history.

In Conclusion, the tale of what happened in Nazi Germany, Bosnia and Rwanda must be told again and again and again, not out of a morbid desire for gruesome tales, but, until NEVER AGAIN becomes imperative to all.

Works Cited

Borowski, Tadeusz, THIS WAY TO THE GAS,LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:Penguins Group,1969.Print

Levi, Primo.THE DROWNED AND THE SAVED: The Gray Zone.Newyork,Vintage Books.Print

Muhumuza, Rodney."UK goes beyond UN to say South Sudan Violence 'is now genocide'".INDEPEDENT .Print.Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/south-sudan-africa-genocide-uk-priti-patel-un-violence-a7681361.html GMT+1413hrs ,20 Feb.2018

Power, Samantha. "A PROBLEM FROM HELL": America and the Age of Genocide.The Crime with a Name.New York.Harper Perrenial.Print

Riegner,Gerhart. "The BOMBING of AUSCHWITZ": The Allies and the Auschwitz.A participant's view.New York.St. Martins Press.Print

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