Synthesis Essay (Bystander Apathy)

Topics: Elie Wiesel, Human, Bystander effect Pages: 2 (793 words) Published: August 31, 2013
Imagine yourself sitting in a store resting after a long day of shopping, and the next thing you know is an innocent person is being hit in front of you and others; ten minutes pass and the person is still being beaten now you may be asking yourself “Why are people not doing nothing about this?” but the real question is “Why have you not tried to stop it or call 911?”. In the two articles, “Gang Rape Raises Questions About Bystanders’ Role”, by Stephanie Chen, “The Nuremberg Trials”, and the novel Night by Elie Wiesel show how bystander apathy and obedience to authority effect the way a human being reacts to an emergency. But a person’s responsibility when another’s human rights are being violated should be to help stop it before it becomes a greater problem.

If a person witnesses an emergency event or sees another human being treated unequally in an unlawful way they should react by trying to stop it or calling for help. But in a California gang-rape case, “Richmond Police Department officials said some of the witnesses in [the] California gang rape ended up participating in the sexual assaults” but sense the victim was fifteen, people were not obligated to report the crime (Chen). This a case of both bystander apathy and obedience to a higher authority because people were watching it happen but no one did anything to stop it, but the people that join could have been because the person that was doing the crime could have been consider “cool” and got pressured to do it. After the war some Nazis that were responsible for some crimes that were committed during the Holocaust were brought to trial for what they had done “...although most claimed that they were simply following the orders of a higher authority” which became known as the Nuremberg Deffence (The Nuremberg Trials 19). The ones that got brought to trial ended up getting punished for doing what the authority's told them to do, even though they did it so they could stay alive, and protect their family....

Cited: Chen, Stephanie. “Gang Rape Raises Questions About Bystanders’ Role.” CNN.com. CNN, 30 Oct.
2009. Web. 10 Feb. 2012.
“The Nuremberg Trials.” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. United States Holocaust
Memorial Museum. 10 Aug. 2007
Wiesel, Elie. Night. New York: Lawrence Hill and Arthur Wang 1960.
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