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The Tragedy Of The Holocaust And How It Developed

1083 words - 4 pages

We have all seen the movies. Improbable situations, villains, heroes and of course just like all great movies, good always triumphs over evil. What would happen if the hero just sat back and let the villain win? Evil would overcome good, not to mention everyone who depended on the hero would be in danger. Although our everyday lives may not consist of evil villains and heroes in tights, they have been filled with good and evil. The only difference is good does not always prevail. Time and time again we have witnessed acts of terror and vice, one of the most renowned being the Holocaust. Over six million Jews were brutally murdered in Europe. How did the world let this happen? Sir Edmund Burke summed it up by saying, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”. This tragedy did not happen over night and no one did much to stop it until it was to late.
The documentary, The American Experience: America and the Holocaust, portrays life in America for Jews and non-Jews during the Holocaust. When Jews in Europe began to be persecuted, many moved to begin a new life in America. Although America’s land welcomed them warmly, its people were not as enthusiastic to give up their jobs. Feeling Europe only wanted to deposit their Jews on them, American storeowners and business managers began to stop hiring Jews and start firing previously employed ones. America strives itself as being the home of the free, not free for a select few. And the Jews who moved there to escape discrimination ran right back into it again. When conditions for the Jews in Europe began to decline during the 1940’s, the Nazi action received little to no press coverage. Often in the backs of newspapers, headlines like, “20,000 Jews Exterminated” were not given a second look, while churches and organizations remained silent. Jews kept quiet in order to keep their jobs although their families were being slain thousands of miles away. America received numbers of reports stating claims of Jews being murdered in concentration camps all across Europe, but swept them under the rug. American’s like Breckinridge Long, the head of the State Department, strongly opposed letting more Jewish immigrants into America. Through his exaggerated testimonies of how many Jews were actually being let into the country, laws were passed that drastically affected the ones still living in Europe. Visas were postponed leaving many Jews stranded, crushing their last resort for hope; America. Numerous Americans saw the destruction our immigration laws were causing and tried to show that we needed to help the Jews. Henry Morganthal started a Jewish pageant that toured five major cities in order to raise awareness of the Jews horrid fate. Finally, in 1944 after over 4 years of staying silent, President Roosevelt passed the War Refuge Board. This was a plan to rescue all of the Jews being held captive. Although this plan of action saved over 200,000 Jews, it was activated a little to...

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