The Effects of the Holocaust on Individual and Society Essay

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The Effects of the Holocaust on Individual and Society

"What the world learned from the Holocaust is that you can kill six million Jews and no one will care."1 The Holocaust occurred because society neglected the individual, allowing six million Jews to be killed before the rest of the world intervened. In the aftermath of the Holocaust, society had to come to terms with the changing needs of the individual, especially the Jewish individual. The effects of the Holocaust caused the Jews to re-identify themselves and develop their loyalty to the Jewish race. Society had to overcome the initial view of the Jews as "the other" and learn to accept them and other minorities. Society also had to implement methods by which to prevent
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However, the self that was left differed greatly from the normal self. The survivors of the Holocaust were forced to discover and create a new identity to replace the idea of self that was torn apart during the war. Some survivors experienced self-hatred in response to their perceived weakness and lack of power during the Holocaust.4 These survivors responded to the humiliation and abuse suffered during the war with disgust at their own inability to help themselves in any way. Their sense of self was shaken. After experiencing such enormous torture, there was no way for them to remain normal, as they were before the Holocaust. Survivors felt separated from the rest of society because no one had experienced what they had, and no one could relate to them.5 The Jews lost a great part of themselves with the deaths of so many of their loved ones and were forced to build a new identity for themselves. Survivors of the Holocaust believe that "one can only count on oneself."6 Therefore, they developed an identity upon which they could rely. The Holocaust left the Jewish survivors with a changed view of the self. After the Holocaust, the Jews formed a bond with each other and began to identify themselves as a group. The suffering experienced by Jews during the Holocaust fused them together and led to the development of a collective Jewish identity.7 The survivors could relate to one

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