The following asocial elements are to be transferred from the prison to the Reichsfuehrer S.S. to be worked to death: persons under protective arrest, Jews, Gypsies, Russians, Ukrainians, Poles . . . Czechs, and Germans with sentences of more than eight years . . . quoted by Reichsfuehrer S. S. Himmler, on September 18, 1942.
When author Ina R. Friedman wrote this book, by accumulating stories from people in various parts of Germany and the U. S., she unveiled hidden truths that not many people had ever had the opportunity to know, whether due to ignorance, sadness and sorrow, humiliation, secretes to be hidden, or just a desperate need to forget. There was a need for people to know the truth. In reading this book, we find out that sixty years after the Holocaust many people believe that only Jews were the victims of the Nazis. Today, more and more, the truth is being revealed in books like Friedmans and movies from producers like Speilburg. It is important for others to know not only the harrowing stories of the Jews persecution, but of the others that many never knew were being persecuted. In the book, THE OTHER VICTIMS, Friedman reveals true accounts of who these other victims were and why they were persecuted. Her reasoning behind her writings, Like the young people whose stories are told in this book, each of us has a responsibility to safeguard the rights of others. If we do not, our own rights could vanish.
It is interesting to learn that Heil Hitler was more than just a salute, it meant complete surrender to mind control. Hitler wanted complete control over Germany first and then his control would eventually extend out to other countries, other people until he had complete control of this world. As he began in Germany, he not only wanted to exterminate the Jewish people, but he identified those that were unworthy of life. This group included Romani or Gypsies and homosexuals. Friedman states, Rewards were offered for Gypsies, dead or alive. If a Gypsy woman was discovered, her left ear was cut off. One of the stories told states that in the nineteenth-century Denmark, on hunt bagged 260 men, women, and children. Hitler also went to war against the church, Christians, Jehovahs Witnesses, and any other religion that did not believe the way he did. He not only wanted to conquer the world, but create a new religion. This new religion was based on Love thy neighbor, but only loyalty to the German Nazi ideals: the purity of German blood and a willingness to die for Hitler. With this belief of purity, came the assignment of Breeding a Master Race. Hitler had a program to identify and eliminate inferior non-Germans (Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, Blacks, Czechs ) and German defectives which were the mentally and physically handicapped. Hitler wanted to control the minds and the lives of all people and create slaves for the Nazi empire. In fact, Hitler makes this statement, We shall have no other God but Germany.
There are many stories throughout this book that reveal inhumane acts against almost every kind of person, even of German decent. It is hard to understand what makes one person think like this or have so much hatred for anyone. It must have been that he was full of the devil himself! Every story was mesmerizing and made the book hard to put down. How could one person have ruined the lives of so many people? The contents of the stories caused many emotions to flame. Things that had never been thought of before actually happened in the twentieth century. It was amazing! For instance, black entertainers were popular in Germany before Hitler ever came into power; they were boycotted when the Nazis took over. The book even revealed the famous story of Jesse Owens, the American track star who had won three gold metals at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Hitler refused to be present when the medals were presented. It seemed to be so childish, possible jealousy, but most probably, hatred. How can anyone hate so strongly? This book moved emotions not normally felt this day and age. The acts in these stories were appalling. One incident most disturbing was the Nuremberg Laws that forbade marriages between Christians and Jews to prevent race defilement. Why was Hitler so concerned about race defilement between two groups of people he thought already to be defiled? It was horrible the agony Hitler and his ungodly rules put people through. People were stolen from, lied to, sterilized, controlled, ravaged, beaten, put into slave camps, worked to death, euphemized, children taken from their parents, families torn apart, children left to themselves, people executed, gassed, starved, and fear gripped the hearts and lives of people due to the unknown. Although the stories were hard to imagine, there were incidents that proved perseverance brought promise. As with Zbigniew Zawadzki who was one of the few among nineteen hundred students of the University of Warsaw Medical School who lived to recount the story of his education that was under fire in 1940. He came through hell and back and in January 1947, he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Medicine. His dream had finally come true.
As an educator, this book revealed the hardships of people just like you and me. The lessons in this book and the stories are so profound. There are encouraging outcomes at the end of most every story. It revealed the pervasiveness of Hitlers attack and parallels with the possible hatred in todays society, though not as gory, yet still as harmful. Hitler did not accomplish this horrible task alone. It took many people. Just as Hitler caused a world of hurts, it is important to believe that each person can make a difference in the world in which we live. It will come through educating people that everyone is different and by accepting that difference as long as our differences are not deadly to others. For educators, this book will encourage ones desire to strengthen cultural differences and educate teachers of ways to implement successfulmulticultural classrooms for the twenty-first century.
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