On the eve of International Holocaust Memorial Day, Rachel Avraham interviewed internationally acclaimed anti-Semitism expert Manfred Gerstenfeld and discussed how the Holocaust continues to affect us to date. Vandalized Holocaust Memorial in Rhodes, Greece Photo Credit Israeli Ministry of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs A couple of generations after the Holocaust resulted in the murder of 6 million Jewish people and the destruction of European Jewry, the greatest genocide in human history still affects us to date. At the same time, we always ponder as anti-Semitism rapidly increases across the globe, will the atrocities of the past be repeated? In an exclusive interview with JerusalemOnline, internationally acclaimed anti-Semitism scholar Manfred Gerstenfeld stated that one of the results of the Holocaust was that Catholicism changed its theology, which thus enabled the Jewish people to enjoy better relations with the Catholic Church today:
Bibliography Introduction For the 12 years that Germany was ruled by the Nazi Party, a central belief was that there existed in society, certain people who were dangerous and needed to be eliminated for German society to flourish and survive.
Over time and locale, these people varied. They included Gypsies, Poles, and Russians, but always and most centrally, the Jews. The Nazis condemned the Jews to death and there was no escape. No action they might take, no change in their behavior or their beliefs, made the slightest difference regarding their death warrant.
At every stage of the war, the Germans used their military superiority to crush and terrorize the Jews. Above all was the threat of massive reprisals. Hundreds were shot for the resistance of a single person.
Thousands of Nazis and their accomplices combed the cities and countryside of Europe to sniff out Jews, trapping every Jewish person who tried to slip through their fingers. This was a goal to which the Nazis devoted themselves with the greatest efficiency. The Jews were generally abandoned by their neighbors and by the free world.
They had no country of their own to which they could turn; and they had no means of self defense. The majority of the populations in which they lived remained indifferent to their fate.
Many even helped the Nazis to imprison and deport Jews to the death camps. Frequently, the question has been asked: Was the Holocaust a unique event, unprecedented in human and in Jewish history?
The historian, Jacob Talman, has pointed out the major difference between the Holocaust and all other massacres in human history. This was not an explosion of Religious fanaticism; not a wave of pogroms, the work of incited mobs running amok or led by a ring leader; not the riots of a soldiery gone wild or drunk with victory and wine; not the fear-wrought psychosis of revolution or civil war that rises and subsides like a whirlwind.
It was none of these. After they had suffered torture, degradation, and humiliation inflicted on them by their tormentors to break them down, to rob them of the last shred of human dignity, and to deprive them of any strength to resist and perhaps of any desire to live, the victims were seized by the agencies of the state and brought from the four corners of Hitlerite Europe to the death camps to be killed, individually or in groups, by the murderers bullets over graves dug by the victims themselves, or in slaughterhouses constructed especially for human beings.
For the condemned, there was no judge to whom to appeal for a redress of injustice; no government from which to ask protection and punishment for the murderers; no neighbor on whose gate to knock and ask for shelter; no God to whom to pray for mercy.
It is in all this that this last campaign of extermination differs from all the other massacres, mass killings, and bloodshed perpetrated throughout history. The Holocaust visited on the Jews is different from all other earlier massacres in its conscious and explicit planning, in its systematic execution, in the absence of any emotional element in the remorselessly applied decision to exterminate everyone, but everyone; in the exclusion of any possibility that someone, when his turn came to be liquidated, might escape his fate by surrendering, by joining the victors and collaborating with them, by converting to the victors faith, or by selling himself into slavery in order to save his life.
It was a war not only against the Jews racial existence, but also against the Jewish procreative potential.
The repeated exterminations that had already begun in the ghettos, continued on arrival at the camps and were repeated again and again at every medical inspection.
Anyone with any sign of physical disease was eliminated. The suffering and deprivation were enormous. Mortality after liberation from Bergen-Belsen was so great that many of the physically weak died almost immediately after the liberation they had longed for.
The Jews from the western countries of France, Holland, and Belgium — as well as many Hungarian Jews did indeed return to their countries of origin.
But the majority of the surviving Jews of Poland and Lithuania refused to return to those lands despite the attempts made by the United States and other countries to persuade them to do so. These Jews had neither family nor friends waiting for them in their original homelands and communities, only unfriendly neighbors who feared that the Jews would ask to have their property returned to them.
These survivors included Jews from Germany, Austria, Italy, and in particular, Poland, where they no longer found a viable Jewish community, and moreover, the Jews who had survived were still the objects of hate and murder by Polish nationalists.
The survivors of the Holocaust were condemned to wait many times for long months and sometimes even years until they were able to immigrate to Israel.
Their determination to reach that land and rebuild a homeland was a major contribution of the survivors to the eventual independence of Israel and to the renewal of Jewish life in the Jewish State. The implications to world Jewry and succeeding generations are indeed vast and complex.
It is the intent of this paper to focus on these implications in three important areas. First, a brief comparison will be made between the Jews of eastern and western Europe, followed by a more in depth discussion of the situation in Poland, comparing life as it was pre-holocaust with life as it is today.
Next, this paper will look at the impact on survivors - both adult and child:during World War II, when millions were systematically perse- cuted and exterminated solely because of their social, cultural, Efrat Barel, Center for the Study of Child Development, University of.
Most European Jews lived in countries that Nazi Germany would occupy or influence during World War II. By , the Germans and their collaborators killed nearly two out of every three European Jews as part of the " Final Solution," the Nazi policy to murder the Jews of Europe.
The emergence of the concept of shell shock during the First World War had focused unparalleled attention to the issue of traumatic illness. Prior to World War II, during the Weimar Republic, the socioeconomic position was overwhelmingly middle and upper class.
the years between the two world wars were also for the Jews a time of awareness of national and religious self-identity, and also of increased cultural creativity.
The long range psychological effects of the Holocaust. Mar 29, · During the Holocaust, Nazis referred to Jews as rats.
When we think of dehumanization during World War II our minds turn to the Holocaust, but it wasn't only the Germans who dehumanized their. The Psychological and Medical Effects of Concentration Camps and Related Persecutions on Survivors of the Holocaust: A Research Bibliography.
Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press,