Written by a 24 yr old phd Chemist from Italy. In Italian it was originally titled "If this is a man?" The title was changed by the publishers in the...moreWritten by a 24 yr old phd Chemist from Italy. In Italian it was originally titled "If this is a man?" The title was changed by the publishers in the US version for marketing purposes. But throughout the book he tells his personal account of dehumanization in the camps and throughout the story one should be asking themselves "Is this a man? Is this a human being that thinks, acts, speaks, and is treated like this?" Levi also composed volumes of poetry and I think he is more articulate than Wiesel.
Educated in a less-than politically charged environment, I was apathetic towards politics and world issues. After reading these personal biographies of the holocaust, racked with guilt and anguish while I crawled through some of those emotionally challenging books, I read a phrase by Kershaw, "The road to Auschwitz was paved with indifference." Germany was not full of venomous anti-semitics, but the large majority of Germans just didn't care. No majority spoke up to stop the atrocities. I felt so much guilt for being indifferent that it spurred me to vote, research issues, and read world newspapers (I still read the jpost daily). Learning about the holocaust dramatically changed my life, and to me Levi's voice is the clearest and most moving of all the painful voices arising from the ashes of the holocaust.(less)
400 years later this cry for acceptance is just as relevant for minority groups. Insert Black, Mormon, or Gay in the place of Jew and Shylock's plea i...more400 years later this cry for acceptance is just as relevant for minority groups. Insert Black, Mormon, or Gay in the place of Jew and Shylock's plea is relevant for today's socially marginalized.
Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, heal'd by the same means, warm'd and cool'd by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that.
Some modern audiences are uncomfortable with this play because of the antisemetic themes: the subtitle was once "With the Extreme Cruelty of Shylock the Jew" However, it is Shylock's speech that shows us we are all the same, irrespective of race, religion, sexual orientation, etc... (less)
Fogelman was one of two researchers to conduct personality tests on rescuers in the holocaust in an attempt to find common traits. "Rescuers were unab...moreFogelman was one of two researchers to conduct personality tests on rescuers in the holocaust in an attempt to find common traits. "Rescuers were unable to articulate all the reasons why the participated in altruistic acts. When I asked them 'Why did you do it?' they responded 'It was the right thing to do'".
Fogelman contends there are 5 categories of rescuers: Moral - people who were prompted to rescue Jews by thoughts or feelings of conscience; Judeophilic - people who felt a special relationship to individual Jews of a closeness to the Jewish people as a whole; network - people fueled by anti-Nazi ideology, joining others politically opposed to the Third Reich; concerned professionalis - people such as doctors or social workers who held jobs in which helping was a logical extension; and children who helped rescue Jews at the behest of their families(less)