Using Viktor Frankl, Hitler, And Sartre Sources To Show That We Have To Make Our Own Choices: :"Lessons In Choosing"

2007 words - 9 pages

The end of The Great War left the Second German Empire in shambles. Inflation and food shortages in the nation were enormous and beyond belief. These problems were said to be caused mainly by the Jewish population. Anti-Semitism, this hostility towards the Jews was seen as a religious and social problem. But amongst the rubble, a man by the name of Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) joined the German Workers' Party which later became known as the NAZI party. By using his clever writings, propaganda knowledge, and great speaking skills, Hitler quickly rose to power within the political party with his ways to help the nation rid it of the Jewish burden. Hitler's justification of why Germany should get ...view middle of the document...

Existentialism is a branch of modern philosophy centered upon the analysis of existence and stressing freedom, responsibility, and usually the isolation of the individual. One of the leading existentialists of the time was Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980). Sartre in his essay "The Humanism of Existentialism" (1948) clears up misconceptions about the philosophy as well as teaches the lesson that man is in charge of his choices and it is these choices that create who he is. These three figures in history were all linked to the choices that man makes in different ways, but the lessons learned from each of their works are lessons that everyman should follow if they want to live their life properly.Hitler used the lesson that man should do all that is possible for the good of one's nation, and he did this at all costs with trying to rid Germany of the Jewish population. Anti-Semitism was widespread in Europe at the time Hitler came to power. Much of this anti-Semitism was rooted, first, in religious beliefs that arose more than 1500 years before Hitler came to power, and second, on political beliefs, often cynically exploited for political gain. Though it was not accepted by everyone, this existing anti-Semitism was common and provided a receptive audience for Hitler's anti-Semitic claims. Hitler did not just exploit the existing anti-Semitism in Germany; he changed it and built on it until it became an all-consuming obsession both for him self and for the rest of the National Socialist leadership. They also used the political expression of anti-Semitism coupled with the myth of the Aryans. This myth had developed in Europe the last part of the 19th century. According to Hitler's philosophy the Germanic peoples called "Aryans," were superior to all other races and had the right to rule over them. Hitler and the other Nazis claimed that other races, such as the Slavs and the Poles, were inferior species fit only to serve Aryan man. The Jews were even lower than the Slavs. Hitler believed that "Aryans" were the builders of civilization while Jews were parasites fit only for extermination. He said in Mein Kampf (Hitler 285) that "the stronger must dominate and not blend with the weaker, thus sacrificing his own greatness." This racism towards the Jews also had a political agenda as well. Hitler blamed the Jews for the loss of World War I, which he called "the stab in the back" and made the focus of his political campaigns. The combination of religious anti-Semitism and political anti-Semitism with patriotism led many German people to accept Hitler's message. It was the acceptability of Hitler's beliefs about the Jews that made the German people believe that Germany must rid themselves of these parasites. This would make their homeland a land truly only for Germans and thus exemplify his lesson that one must fight to do the best for his nation.Dr. Viktor E. Frankl, in Man's Search for Meaning, wrote that a lesson everyone needs to learn is that the will to...

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