Humanity: What Does it Take?
It was for six years that one man faced senseless killings, going on with life under command instead of free thought. World War II was one of the bloodiest wars to date, a time when it seemed as if nobody’s life was worth anything except perhaps the chance to end someone else’s. Some of the horrendous crimes committed against the human race that occurred over the course of this war are depicted in great detail in the books Night and The Diary of a Young Girl. These books tell the story of life the suppressed, Jewish citizens in a totalitarian, fascist political system from the first person point of view. They talk of life before and during the war and they tell stories of living in hiding and suffering in concentration camps. In these books the humanity of the oppressors are shown and the humanity of the oppressed are put to the test. Night by Elie Wiesel and The diary of a young girl by Anne Frank are two books that altered the view of the world and of humanity for so many. Both books are written by vulnerable teenagers experiencing the most heart wrenching hardship of all times, the Holocaust. Due to their young age they look at the world from a very unique perspective, so their account of the War is very different then that of others’. Not completely understanding what’s happening around them leaves the two young writers in a state of disarray and confusion. They question so many things that they held important in their lives; religion, family, and the humanity of others. Humanity comes from within, its how one thinks of another and the actions they take that are fueled by those thoughts. These actions are determined by one’s force from inside to be and to do good, and from forces that other’s have. For some it might take religion to achieve it, while many others can have it on their own. But what is really important is that it’s there.
The dictionary defines humanity as the quality of being humane, having kindness and benevolence. These are all very important traits of humanity but it goes further then that, it takes something a little bit deeper. Humanity takes kindness and compassion, but it also needs a level of independence. During World War II. there was tremendous hatred and violence against Jews in Europe. The actions rooting of this hatred stripped the Jewish people of dignity piece by piece, robbed their existence by methodical, unemotional machinery. They lost their independence. Many people went along with this hatred, often times out of fear for their own safety but there were some who stood up, and stood out by helping the Jewish citizen’s of Europe so that they could stay alive. People like the employees of Otto Frank’s firm broke very strict laws in order to help the Frank’s, Daan’s and Mr. Dussel make it through the war, Tragically , in the end their great sacrifices were unsuccessful because only one man, Otto Frank survived. Throughout all the terrible things that were going on in society around both Anne Frank and Elie Wiesel there were still those who pushed through with that “light within” to help out those who were being killed from the inside out. In the book Night there was a peasant maid of the Wiesels’, Maria who tried to help by offering shelter in a faraway village. “Maria, our former maid, came to see us. Sobbing, she begged us to come with her to her village where she had prepared a safe shelter.” (Wiesel 20.) The goodness of people during these times where also showed by how they went along with life as if there weren’t all those terrible things happening, helping those who were suffering to feel as if they weren’t in that terrible point in life. A good example of this is in The Diary of a Young Girl. Evidence of Margot’s goodness.” I received this today, March 20, 1944:/ Anne, yesterday when I said I wasn’t jealous of you, I wasn’t being entirely honest. The situation is this: I’m not jealous of either you or Peter. I’m just sorry I haven’t found...
Bibliography: Wiesel, Elie. “Night”. New York:
Hill and Wang, A division of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006.
Frank, Anne. “The Diary of a Young Girl”. New York:
Bantam Book, 1997.
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