The Nazis systematically exploited the Jews in many ways, but a subtle, and lesser-known approach they used was to silently capitalize on the positive-thinking of the Jews. The Jews consistently denied reality during the Holocaust in an effort to shield themselves from the horrors that were occurring to their people. Many historical pundits see the Jews’ collective denial of their genocide as a mere lack of awareness, despite obvious evidence of the ubiquity of Nazi anti-Semitism at the time. It is clear that the Jews were wrong to deny reality during the Holocaust because it prevented a possible means of escape for them, concealed evil with optimism, and hindered their decision-making processes.
As a result of the Jew’s rejection of the truth, they crushed all chances of them planning an escape before Nazis captured them. In Night by Elie Wiesel, Eliezer talks about his community’s reaction to Moishe the Beadle’s warning about the Germans. They disregarded his forewarning and continued on with their lives. Eliezer even went as far as to say, “There could no longer be any doubt: Germany would be defeated.” While he was correct in predicting the outcome of the war, Nazi Germany still continued their anti-Semitic acts well until the very end.
In an article by Scientific American titled “Can Positive Thinking Be Negative?” the topic of optimism was analyzed. The article states that researchers found that “optimism can be detrimental under certain circumstances.” The same can be said for Eliezer and the other Jews’ view of the war against them. A variety of factors reinforced for the Jews that there was nothing of immediate danger to them. Eliezer’s father, a respected member in his community, even asserted “the situation was not all bleak” when confronted about the Nazi’s arrival in their town. Community leaders agreed with him, and because of their positions of power, all of the Jewish residents followed suit with positive thinking. The Nazis were also excessively kind to the Jews upon their arrival. They were completely aware of the Jews’ untarnished image of them, and they exploited that. The Jews saw them as non-threatening and as things escalated to even worse conditions for them, they continued to look past the wrongdoings done to them.
Unquestionably, optimism can be both a “good” and “bad” thing. At first, the Jews lived in peace while the...