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A Disaster Resulted from Anti-Semitism Dotted with Prejudices: With Emphasis on the Memoirs by Rolf Kralovitz, a Survior of the Nazis Concentration Camp

  • Journal of Humanities
  • 2015, (57), pp.41-65
  • Publisher : Institute for Humanities
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : April 2, 2015
  • Accepted : May 7, 2015

SHIN JONG RAK 1

1성균관대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

During the period of Nazi Germany, Rolf Kralovitz was deported with his family to a ghetto in Leipzig by the secret police. He then was sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp (Konzentrationslager Buchenwald), one of the major German Nazi concentration camps, in Weimar. With the defeat Nazi Germany in World War II, he barely escaped death and later published his memoirs in order tell the youth of today the reality of his own experience in the concentration camp.Many of the Jews like Kralovitz were forced to be sent to the concentration camp without knowing the reason and ended their lives there. The massacre of the Jews, however, was by no means the accidental brutality of the Nazis. It only manifested the climax of the prejudices against the Jews among the Europeans, which had been accumulated in their ethos since the Jewish diaspora-or the exile of the Jews. The holocaust was a drastic manifestation of antagonism against "the others." The people of Europe had long harbored prejudices against the Jews. Therefore, it was not easy for the Jews who believe in Judaism and maintain their own way of life to enter into the existing order of Europe. Since the Middle Ages, the Jews had been defined as misers who were engaged in trade and loan-sharking. The prejudices that the Jew would govern the world with their accumulated wealth had been incessantly reproduced and were later been established as a firm ideology - not easily persuaded by any other ideas or ideologies - after the Europeans experienced racism and the 19th century imperialism in the modern period. As part of their schemes to make the best use of the European antagonism against the Jews, the Nazis instigated racism and began to oppress the Jews. The Jews, however, neither raised objections to nor resisted the move; it was closely related to their own history. As a result, the Europeans' economic and racial prejudice made the Jews in "the others" and laid a foundation for the oppression of the Jewish people. The holocaust in the period of the Nazis shows that the systems and the technological development of the contemporary society - when accompanied by a disregard for other people and interspersed with prejudices and misunderstanding - can destroy human beings more easily.

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