JS211 Final Essays - Part B Essay (60 points) 2. The...

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Part B –Essay (60 points)2.The extreme conditions facing Jews during theShoahoften forced Jews into makingwhat Lawrence Langer has called a “choiceless choice.”What were the choices that facedvictims as the Final Solution progressed?In this essay, discuss Langer’s idea in relation tothe writings of the victims that you have read this semester.What did the victims knowduring these stages and how did their knowledge affect their understanding of the realityfacing them at the time they wrote? Be sure to include the work of Appel, Landau, Levi,Kovner, “Facing Death in the Bialystok Ghetto,” and Chaim Kaplan.Choiceless choiceChoiceless choice is the critical decision that did not reflect options between life and death butbetween one form of abnormal response and another. both impose by a situation that was in noway of the victim can be choosing. There’s only the undignified alternatives in a choicelesschoice. Trying to salvage moral values would only impose fatal burdens.Survivors record their experience, uses language to create value where no exists.documentaries “clarify their vision of how utterly the Nazi mentality corrupted moral reality forthe victims”.Langersituation that consumed so many millions imposed impossible decisions on victims not free toembrace the luxury of the heroic life.Langer mentioned in his article - an episode narrated by a nurse in Auschwitz -A jewish girl killed a new-born baby with a pan of cold water. The nurse wanted to shout‘murderer’ but she had to keep quiet and not tell anyone because both she and the jewish girlknew that the mother of the child would have gone to gas chamber if she knew what had becameto the baby.Langer said that moral choice has no meaning here. People coolly sacrifices one life to preserveanother, as a deed of naked necessity. Nazi law states that mother who refuses to surrender hernewborn infant to death must accompany them to the gas chamber. The jewish girl and the nursein this case is merely saving the mother’s life. Under normal situation, who would be able todrown a newborn infant?! But here, it was trulynecessity.LeviThe choiceless Choice - under extreme condition, men and women have to suspend their moraland virtues in order to survive. ‘words like dignity and choice had temporarily lost theirtraditional meaning because Nazi brutality had eliminated the human supports that usuallysustain them.In the camp, people survive by letting go of moral parts of old life. Try to maintain sense of ownhumanity, but not all of it because then you wouldn’t survive. The idea that he really emphasizesis about adaptation—everything changes, the people who hold on to past values were bound tofail because they didn’t understand that there was an entirely new world that they had to adapt to.
They don’t learn the techniques to get by, don’t learn rules until its too late, they are the drownedpeople, they were the backbone of the camp.

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Term
Summer
Professor
Gillerman
Tags
The Bible, Germans

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