La Vita è Bella: A Look into Nazi Concentration Camps
Life is beautiful. Hitler had a different vision of beautiful, which he shared with others of the Nazi party. They believed their race to be “pure” and wanted only the so-called “pure” to remain. Hitler and the Nazis took advantage of their power and tried to execute all people who they didn’t believe to be of their “pure” race. “As for the Jews, they are incapable of being enlightened by German culture. Instead, they are destroyers of culture, defilers of Aryan blood, the enemies of all that is noble and pure. Throughout the pages of Mein Kampf, Hitler heaps abuse on the Jews, calling them “maggots,” “blood-suckers,” “vampires,” “a pestilence,” and “personifications of the Devil.” The goal of the Jews, he writes, is to defile the German race, dilute the pure Aryan blood, and take control of the world.” (Lace 40, 41) The Nazis’ viewed other cultures as being below their own. Children were taught from the beginning to despise Jews, even in school. Children were enlisted in the Hitler Youth, where they would be taught and trained in Nazi policies. Millions of people were separated from their homes and families, forced to do strenuous labor, tortured, and killed. In the Nazi concentration camps, many people did not make it out with their lives; they were placed in the Nazi’s hands of fate and unfortunately had to endure trials no person should ever be put through. The Italian movie La Vita è Bella is based in the 1930s. The small family of Guido, Dora, and their son Giosuè are taken from their home by German forces and put into a concentration camp. Giosuè and his father stay together, while his mother is taken to a separate camp for women. To get Giosuè to cooperate with the Germans’ demands, his father tells him they are playing a game, and he has to do exactly as they say to win the prize, which he believes to be a tank. Guido tells his son that he has to be quite and follow directions so they can gain more “points” in the game that they’re playing against the others in the camp, or other “teams”. When Giosuè wants to go home, Guido tells him that they can’t leave now, because they are in the lead. Guido tells his son to hide in a sweatbox until everyone leaves, pretending they are playing a game of hide and seek. While Giosuè is hiding, Guido tries to find his wife by dressing up and sneaking into the women’s camp. He is found by a Nazi, shot and killed. An American tank shows up to free the camp when the war is over and Giosuè comes out from his hiding spot. He is excited because, after being skeptical of his father’s stories about the game they have been playing, he believes the tank is the prize and he has won. An American soldier takes him into the tank until he is later reunited with his mother. He exclaims that they won the game and is overjoyed about the tank, while his mother is simply happy he is alive. Giosuè is very young at the time and doesn’t quite realize the sacrifice his father made for him, to spare his innocence and his life. Research:
Hitler believed what he was doing, not only to Jews, but other groups as well, was right and acceptable. He tried to justify himself using nature as an example: “To Hitler, the plan seemed no more immoral than the process of evolution, the survival of the fittest. “Nature is cruel,” he said in 1940. “therefore, we, too, may be cruel. If I don’t mind sending the pick of the German people into the hell of war without regret for the shedding of valuable German blood, then I have naturally the right to destroy millions of men of inferior races who increase like vermin.” (Steward 94) What he was doing was unethical and immoral. Between 1942 and 1945, approximately 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust. More than half of them were exterminated through the gas chamber system. Many times, exhaust fumes from truck or tank engines were pumped into sealed gassing vans,...
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