Elie Wiesel Essay

Elie Wiesel Essay-81
America understands that a nation is great not because its economy is flourishing or its army invincible but because its ideals are loftier. And what are we to make of the despicable, abominable “interrogation methods” used on Iraqi prisoners of war by a few soldiers (but even a few are too many) in Iraqi military prisons?Hence America’s desire to help those who have lost their freedom to conquer it again. And the support some administrations gave to corrupt regimes in Africa or the Middle East? Hope is the key word for men and women like myself, who found in America the strength to overcome cynicism and despair. It takes vision and courage to undergo serious soul-searching and to favor moral conscience over political expediency. Not surprising, some Europeans do not share such views.In America, compassion for the refugee and respect for the other still have biblical connotations. What made it worse was the realization that, at that time, racism was the law, thus making the law itself immoral and unjust.

America understands that a nation is great not because its economy is flourishing or its army invincible but because its ideals are loftier. And what are we to make of the despicable, abominable “interrogation methods” used on Iraqi prisoners of war by a few soldiers (but even a few are too many) in Iraqi military prisons?Hence America’s desire to help those who have lost their freedom to conquer it again. And the support some administrations gave to corrupt regimes in Africa or the Middle East? Hope is the key word for men and women like myself, who found in America the strength to overcome cynicism and despair. It takes vision and courage to undergo serious soul-searching and to favor moral conscience over political expediency. Not surprising, some Europeans do not share such views.In America, compassion for the refugee and respect for the other still have biblical connotations. What made it worse was the realization that, at that time, racism was the law, thus making the law itself immoral and unjust.

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The Crusades, the Native American being murdered by the Europeans, the Forced Famine in the Ukraine and the Killing Fields of Cambodia are all examples of genocide (Altman,55).

The word genocide comes from the Greek phrase genos meaning race or tribe and Latin root cide meaning to kill (Altman,13).

Opposition to oppression in all its forms, defense of all human liberties, celebration of what is right in social intercourse: All this and much more is in that text, which today has special meaning. I happened to witness it in the late Fifties, as I traveled through the South. True, it took much pain and protest for that law to be changed, but it was.

Today, while fanatically stubborn racists are still around, some of them vocal, racism as such has vanished from the American scene. Jew-haters still exist here and there, but organized anti-Semitism does not—unlike in Europe, where it has been growing with disturbing speed.

Genocide can be defined as acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part a national, ethnic, racial, religious group by killing members of the group, causing serious bodily of harm to members of the group, deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction, imposing measures intended to prevent birth within the group and forcibly transferring children of the group to another group (Altman,14).

When a planned genocide is occurring, ethnic cleansing is usually hand in hand.The Nazis accomplished their goal by rising to power, using techniques such as propaganda. The term Hitler used was Untermenschem meaning subhuman (Ayer, 9). Gypsies, communists, male homosexuals, Jehovah witnesses, Poles, political enemies, and the physically and metally handicapped also suffered (Ayer, 9).Even thought Hitler killed many people, Jews were his most targeted victims.Like lost children, the American soldiers wept and wept with rage and sadness.And we received their tears as if they were heartrending offerings from a wounded and generous humanity.Even if only one free individual is left, he is proof that the dictator is powerless against freedom.But a free man is never alone; the dictator is alone.The Holocaust in Germany during World War II was one of the most horrific moments in human history.The Goal of the Nazis was to exterminate all 11 million Jews in Europe; this included those Jews in neutral and unconquered countries (Altman, 56).One of the most horrific genocides of all time was committed by the Nazis against the Jews during World War II.After the Holocaust occurred, the nations of the world vowed to prevent another genocide.

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