Hope of the Damned

Hope of the Damned - Hope of the Damned by Marco Mujica IDH...

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Hope of the Damned by Marco Mujica IDH 2121, Valencia Community College Professor Dennis 29 January 2008
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Mujica Hope of the Damned The Spanish-American philosopher-poet George Santayana (1863-1952) once said that “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” (“Hirsch”). History can teach the world valuable lessons that, if ignored, could be disastrous. The ancient Romans taught us that too much power corrupts and destroys cultures. The Spanish Inquisition taught us that religion can be used as propaganda to justify atrocities. In the beginning of the twentieth century, many cultures around the world learned some very valuable lessons almost at once; inflation skyrocketed, economies crumbled and democracies failed. World War II and the Holocaust taught us the lessons that mankind can both be persuaded to do and overcome just about anything. The self-possessed Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) used his political prowess and the ideologies in his book Mein Kampf (1925) to kickstart a propaganda machine that would win the hearts and minds of the disenfranchised post-World War Germans. The book became a blitzkrieg symbol of national superiority that helped elevate Germany from a hobbled economy and scarred patriotism. Its teachings led to the Holocaust; the imprisonment and massacre of millions of non-Aryans, most notably the Jews. One such Jew, the psychologist Dr.Viktor E. Frankl (1905-1997), used his experiences in a concentration camp as the basis for logotherapy and his book Man’s Search for Meaning (1959) which showed how, even under the will-shattering conditions of the Polish work camps, one could find meaning to their life of suffering. Also in the book are examples of how military guards and Capos (prisoner policemen) treated their captives. In Steven Spielberg’s film Schindler’s List (1993), both examples of sadistic “ethnic cleansing” and surviving horrors were represented from historic facts. World War II and the Holocaust provided our generation 2
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Mujica with powerful lessons of how one could be moved to believe anything or surmount anything. The strength of Germany’s National Socialists’ Party (or Nazi) was its mantra- like philosophy of German superiority and Jewish inferiority. This philosophy was based on an almost dormant state of anti-Semitism that has built on the Jewish people’s religious solidarity. Adolf Hitler, the Nazi representative and future dictator of Germany, combined this underground resentment with Germany’s need for a patriotic revolution. In his book Mein Kampf , translated as My Struggle , Hitler rationalizes and outlines the subjugation and eventual eradication of the Jews. Hitler’s innovative and tragically effective use of Mein Kampf as Nazi propaganda serves as a shocking lesson; Man can be persuaded to do just about anything. Even so, its effects on the nation were in some ways positive. After World War I, Germany’s economy was in shambles. Its people were demoralized and void of national pride. By demonizing Jews, Mein Kampf
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This note was uploaded on 09/14/2011 for the course IDH 4 taught by Professor Frame during the Spring '08 term at Valencia.

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Hope of the Damned - Hope of the Damned by Marco Mujica IDH...

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