The first 13 of the 18 documents, collectively called The

Extermination of the Jews, were not in any way new stories to me. In
fact I came into this book with the same attitude that I usually do
when faced with Holocaust stories, that of "Yes it was horrible, but I
know all about it already. This reading isn't going to do anything to
my attitude." I, as I always am in thinking such a thought, was wrong.

No matter how much you know, no matter how many Holocaust survivors
speak to you, no matter how much you read about it, no matter how much
the atrocities are ingrained into you mind, you can never be immune.

You are always horrified by this extermination, and every time that
you read about any incident you are more disgusted than the last.

You are always reminded that these people that were being slaughtered
like animals were not much different than yourself or anybody that you
know. It does not matter whether you are Jewish, Christian, Muslim, or
any other religion, you have to sympathize with these people because
they are people. Despite whatever the Nazis tried to make them into,
one can easily see that is was not the Jews who were sub-human, but
the vicious, blood-thirsty Nazi murderers who were the animals.

Many of these readings reminded me of the question "Where were
the people? Where were those who said, `NO! This is wrong!'? Why would
no one stand up to such an obvious wrong?" The ninth document shows
how the Nazis eliminated Jews' rights. It amazes me that there weren't
more non-Jews who would speak out against these ridiculous, arbitrary
laws. Can fear truly silence a person to the point of just accepting
the dehumanization and deaths of millions of people? I still cannot
bring myself to believe that this is human nature. No thinking human
being could accept this, yet an entire nation bowed to the insane
will of a madman. Clearly, somewhere in human nature is an innate
passivity possessed by many people. This passivity must be so powerful
that it can silence those who wish to be active, who will stand up for
what is right. Is it not reasonable then to think that ,despite all of
the good intentions and courage that people display, it could happen
again.

Document five shows how a person can be fooled into believing
in the superiority of one group over another. Globocnik must have felt
this way or he would never be able to make boasts about burying bronze
tablets in order to commemorate his murderous work. What does it take
to make a human, the only known sentient creature, pride himself of
doing something that is below even the barest of creatures? It was
this document that was the most shocking to me. Where the others show
the suffering of those the Nazis captured and killed, this one shows
in ghastly detail how some delighted in the misery these people.

The final five documents attempt to show varying explanations
as to how this abomination known as the Holocaust could have occurred.

The first, an excerpt form Machiavelli's The Prince shows reasons that

Hitler was able to retain such control over the population. He states
that fear enables a ruler to retain perfect control over those he
rules. Indeed this was one of Hitler's strategies. He scared people
into not reacting by using the threats of imprisonment and death. The
statements made by Hobbes attempt to prove that man is naturally evil.

Although upon first glance at the Holocaust one may think that this is
true, it seems that a more accurate representation would be that some
people are evil, and that they when in power can influence the
primarily neutral population. Locke's view of the rationality in man's
nature seems an absurd optimistic opinion after reading all of the
offenses against humanity. Although there may well be people governed
by rationality they quite obviously cannot make up the bulk of those
living or such illogical random acts of cruelty and evil , such as the

Holocaust, could not occur. Ardrey makes statements that there is a
natural instinct for man to be aggressive. Indeed this may be true, as
it explains the behavior of the Nazi executioners. Without some sort
of murderous tendency it would not be possible to kill that many
defenseless people. Skinner's opinion that the actions of a man are a
direct result of his surrounding situations effectively explains the
reasons for the Holocaust happening. The surrounding conditions of
economic depression and a general anti-Semitic attitude enabled

Germans to accept something that they would