Ethical Dilemmas : Examples During The Holocaust

1040 words - 5 pages

All around the world, every minute of everyday someone encounters a moral dilemma whether it is minuscule or monumental. Going against ones religious or moral beliefs can be problematic; it may in fact be so moving that it causes one to reexamine their entire thought process. Before the Holocaust, Hitler campaigned in Germany with promises that Germany will be great again, people took these promises like candy and followed his every word. Soon they were so loyal to Hitler that they never stood up for the innocent people being murdered. Many tentatively followed each order shouted at them. When told to kill, they killed; when told to scare, they scared; when told to harm, they harmed. Each ...view middle of the document...

Crisis situations and heavy consciences
Times before the Holocaust wasn’t easy for the German people; World War I had left Germany in an economic depression. People at the time had been searching at all angles for a scapegoat. Adolf Hitler gave them one: The Jewish people. Gradually Hitler and his unforgettable Nazi party worked their way up the mass murder of the Jewish “race” and toward the “master race” known as Aryans. Whilst many disagreed with what was happening, most feared rebellion as if it was the Anti-Christ. The Jewish people turned to their religious leaders; those who were brave and interested in fighting back turned to rebellion leaders. Some disagreed with the Nazi party’s actions yet took part in Nazi tyranny. Others would rather have faced death than carry out an order for a deportation. When placed in a crisis situation psychology shows us that people jump towards any decision in order to escape.
Being placed in a crisis moment is difficult, it may in fact cause a person to challenge their own morals, allow a person to see how far they will go. In September 1942, one particular Jewish med student gave deadly doses of morphine to many Jewish patients to spare them the inhumane death that the Nazis were going to deliver upon them (Nevins). This medical student decided to fight back against what the Nazi Party had in store for them. He killed many people to protect them, regardles of the consequences that would later be in store. This was an ethical dilemma with a difficult decision to make, let the Jews be tortured, starved, or shot by the Nazis or end their suffering and risk ones own death. It was a generosity to the Jews who were headed for a concentration camp. Risking ones life to save or protect another is an honorable thing.
Psychology is the study of the mind, this includes how the mind reacts to making quick decisions under pressure. Studies show that when the subject is placed under pressure they are more likely to agree to...

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