The Holocaust and the Shaping of My Journey

I was born in a split family. One side of my family is Jewish and from Israel and Romania.

I have always felt a strong connection to my Jewish roots and I celebrate a few Jewish customs within my home. My husband and I celebrate “Christmakkuh.”  It’s Christmas (because we are Christians) and Hanukkah (because I identify with many Jewish traditions) combined for a really fun, albeit interesting, holiday.

For this English 102 assignment, our teacher has asked us to write about a topic that we plan to research. I have chosen to study on the Holocaust in hopes that as I explore my culture’s past, I can find answers that will help guide my future.

I know that the Holocaust took place around 1945 and that my Gambeenie (my grandmother) would have been in her early adolescent years. I wish I could ask her about her experiences.

Some questions I plan to answer in my 10 page paper are:

  • How long did the Holocaust last?
  • How many people died during the Holocaust?
  • How many camps were there to hold Jews and the others deemed unfit?
  • How many Nazi leaders were there?
  • What brought Hitler to such a hatred of the Jews?
  • How many Nazis were there?
  • What types of people were picked up by the Nazis?
  • Which groups don’t believe that the Holocaust ever happened?
  • Why would a group believe that the Holocaust never happened?
  • Why did Nazis not rebel?
  • What caused “nice” people to commit mass murder?
  • How many Holocaust survivors are alive today?
  • How many people were put in camps?
  • Which countries were allies to the Nazis?
  • Which countries were not allies to the Nazis?
  • What was the American President’s take on the situation?
  • Who was America’s president at the time of the Holocaust?
  • Where did the majority of Jews and the like flee?
  • Where were all the different places Jews and the like fled to?
  • What else was happening in the world during the 1940s and time of the Holocaust?
  • Where did my relatives flee?
  • How did Hitler have such ultimate control over people?
  • What happened to people who decided not to become Nazis?
  • Did anybody decide to not follow Hitler?
  • What happened to Hitler’s family after his disappearance?
  • How did the public feel about Hilter’s actions in the 1940s?
  • How did the media portray the Holocaust in the 1940s?
  • What events in history led to WWII and the Holocaust?
  • Why do I feel such a deep connection to my ancestors?
  • How did Hitler get weapons?
  • Was Hitler well educated?
  • What are some theories on Hitler’s mental state?
  • What are different ways the Nazis killed people during the Holocaust?
  • Were any Jews captured and used for other purposes?

I hope that by answering these questions (and the other page of questions I have) I will come to a deeper understanding of the Holocaust.

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4 thoughts on “The Holocaust and the Shaping of My Journey

  1. I like “why did Hitler hate the Jews?”

    I would expand on this by asking why he thought the “arian (sp?) race” was the superior one
    and possibly put in the paper somewhere that Hitler believed in Magic! (true fact!)

    -Heather (Musings of the Prego Brain)

  2. Hey, Siarra! I’m so glad that we get to share another ‘class’ together this quarter! I just finished reading your first blog post and I have to say, “WOW!” You were such a bright and cheerful person all the time, I could have never imagined that you were personally going through this kind of struggle. Even my boyfriend likened you to the ever positive Chris Traeger from the TV show Parks and Recreation. I guess diamonds can only be formed under great amounts of pressure :). I found your interest in the Holocaust personally exciting because I also researched it a little in school, and my boyfriend and I have (/had, mine all passed away a few years ago) grandparents who were involved in the second world war. One thing that I can remember in particular that might answer your “How did Hitler have such ultimate control over people?” question was a study that I read awhile ago. I heard about it in my psychology professor, and if you would like, I could email her and see if she could send the article. It involved an experiment that went like this. A man would enter the waiting room for his turn to undergo the experiment that he knows nothing about. Another man would already be there. Unbeknownst to the first man, this one was a paid actor. He would strike up a conversation with the clueless guy, and slip in that he had some heart issues, but didn’t tell the scientists because he needed the money. Then, they would go in, and the actor would be strapped to a table with wires (or something that would deliver an electric shock) taped to various areas of his body. Then, after making sure the first man saw it, a curtain was drawn, obscuring vision between them. The actual test taker was positioned before a dial, and uniformed doctors told him to apply a light shock to the other. And again and again, each time increasing the voltage. The actor would start moaning, then crying out in pain, and finally, go silent. Sometimes the test takers would pause and not want to go farther, only to be ‘commanded’ by the authoritative figures to continue. And they usually did. A small amount of people did refuse to continue and walked out, but the majority continued to deliver ‘shocks’ even after the actor went silent. This experiment (if I remembered everything correctly) was to test if people would obey an authority figure even if they knew that someone would be hurt as a result. Don’t quote me on this, but I think they even used these in the trails for those working under the Nazis.
    Another great quote you can seek through Jen (she’s the one who mentioned it) involves one of the train conductors that carted the Jews to concentration camps. He said, “If you lick my heart, it would poison you.”
    Morbid, yet interesting stuff. Good luck on your search!
    Amy Newstead

    1. Wow! Thanks for the insight! I recently read a VERY VERY similar article to the one you mentioned! I was studying sociology 101 and it’s in the 2nd chapter.
      PS
      I “LITERALLY” loved your Parks and Rec reference. 😉
      Thanks for the compliments. 🙂

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