Mullally: Week 1-Assignment 1

For this assignment I chose “Nazis: Ultimate Evil’, a TV History Channel documentary on the Nazis plan for the Final Solution – the Holocaust to exterminate the Jewish people in Europe, and what was required to see this plan through. I knew before watching the program that the content was going to be horrific and un-humane, as the Nazis plan eventually resulted in the killing of 6 million Jews. Prior to the program my understanding of the Nazi Party, its hierarchy, and how they planned to exterminate the Jewish people was limited, but I knew it was led by Adolf Hitler and the government was a fascist dictatorship.

After watching the program I had a better appreciation of the inner workings of the Nazi Party and how they ultimately came to power through violence and propaganda in January 1933. I realized that the issue was much more complex and I did not have an appreciation for the depth and breadth of the hate and anti-Semitism of the majority of the German people towards the Jews. It was clear from the program that Hitler could not carry out the elimination of the Jews alone. He required collusion from the German populace and like-minded evil individuals to carry out the Final Solution. One of the key officers in Hitler’s regime was Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda. It is interesting to see how he “brainwashed’ so many German people through radio and film, which were newer media at the time. Although there were many Germans that held the same radical anti-Semitic views as the Nazis, there were also countless people who did not support the Nazis but did nothing to stop the Holocaust. Those who did were silenced. There is an old Muslim saying “There is more truth in one sword than in 10,000 words’.

The show provided graphic in-sight on what it was like to be a Jew trying to stay alive in what can only be described as a true hell on earth – the concentration camps such as Auschwitz-Birkenau, Bergen-Belsen and Dachau attest to the reality of prisoners killed by summary execution, disease and starvation. I couldn’t believe some of the content I was watching, it was disturbing to say the least. I could not understand how humans could commit these atrocities to another human being based solely on ethnicity.

In conclusion, this program definitely refocused how I look at the word today and I am more aware of what can happen when a population is silent in the face of evil. I realize that the Holocaust is an emotional topic but there is no denying that evil still exists in the world today. You would think human kind would have learned from the Holocaust and other atrocities before and after the Second World War. In fact, just a few examples of recent history with the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and more recently ISIS, shows that history continues to repeat itself to the detriment of humanity.