A dark time in our world’s history is the Holocaust. It was a time of murder, indifference, and the loss of humanity. Either one is obsessed with it, wants to ignore it due to the pain it causes, or they deny it.
Any discussion of the Holocaust involves the Germans, specifically the Nazis. The evil that draped these men and women are described in various degrees by all who write and speak of the atrocities they committed. The words Elie Wiesel used to describe them speak louder than any thunder clap ever could.
Words can be used like ‘evil’, ‘monster’, or ‘demonic’ in describing the Nazi Germans. The atrocities that are laid out for a reader can turn a stomach and sicken a heart. The most moving accounts are those that did not call the Nazi’s names, but described them in the acts of murdering Jews. It was their words, their facial expressions, and their reactions to the world of the concentration camps that truly described the Nazi.
Those who believed the Nazi platform and completely followed the propaganda that Hitler and his party delivered did not wear red, carry a pitchfork, and possess horns. To many, they were respectable looking and even human. Wiesel described the first impression that his family and friends had of the Germans that entered their town to be “rather reassuring.” There was nothing fearful about these soldiers. In fact, some of the Jews described them as being “calm, likable, and polite” as well as charming.
Indifference to Suffering
Once the order of arrests came to round up the Jews to be put on the trains for death, these nice soldiers became indifferent and hostile to the same people that they once were nice to. The Nazi soldiers let the terrified Jews know that all had changed by letting them know that they would not hesitate to kill anyone as they would an animal if they tried to escape. These words reveal to the reader that killing came easily to the Germans. They were just a small hint of what Weisel and his family would face.
Death was nothing to feel emotional about. Putting people to death was just as unemotional to the Nazis.
Arriving at the concentration camps, a little more of the nature of the guards were revealed…