Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Holocaust

I just got back watching Conspiracy with my Rhetoric class. The movie is based on the meeting held among German/ Nazi leaders at the Wannsee Conference outside Berlin on January 20, 1942. At the conference, the men talked about how to deal with the "Jewish problem." After watching this film, the reality of the Holocaust really hit me. Of course, I've grown up learning about the Holocaust, how millions of Jews and "imperfect people" were slaughtered. However, I don't think I grasped the entirety of destruction that the Holocaust cost, and I still don't think I fully understand. How could someone order the "extermination" of millions of people, regardless of their religious affiliation or physical characteristics? How could someone willing perform medical experiments on people, like sewing a set of twins together like Siamese twins just to see what would happen, or attempting to change a person's eye color to see if it was possible? How could someone possibly come up with the idea of mass-murdering millions of people with carbon monoxide, shuffling group after group of people naked into the chambers and waiting for the poison to suffocate them? I just don't understand how someone could be so messed up!

What's scarier is that Alfred Eichmann, one of the main conspirators against the Jewish people, was examined at his trial in Jerusalem after the war and was found to be completely sane. He even showed desirable character qualities. Are you kidding me?! This man was intellectually sane, yet he was capable of such great atrocities. He said in his trial that he just needed orders to follow, and that he would kill his own father if told to do so. I honestly can't grasp how anyone could get in that position where he or she needs to follow orders so badly that he or she will do absolutely anything asked.

The men who attended the Wannsee Conference were so easily swayed by Reinhard Heydrich, the 2nd in command of the SS and the man considered to be Hitler's possible successor. If the men disagreed with Heydrich, he swiftly told them they were wrong, and the men eventually agreed to his horrific "distinguishing" plan. At the conference, the men were told that new, permanent gas chambers had the potential to kill 2,500 people an hour, which equates to 60,000 a day. A day! When they said this in the movie, I literally felt sick to my stomach. I can't even image this happening, let alone agreeing to this horrific scheme! I won't go into detail with what all was said in the movie, but I will say I am completely disturbed by the extreme evils of humanity.

I think everyone wishes to believe that humanity is good, but the reality is, all men are evil, despicable beings. We are ruled by the evil desires of our hearts. That's why we all need a Savior!! I think from watching Conspiracy, this reality hit me once again. Humans are all innately evil, but thankfully, God loved us enough to send His Son to be Savior of the world. Thank you, God!

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