The world has a strange history; the need for tribes was recognized when a man came to realize the benefits he would derive from sticking together in forms of large groups which later became nations, countries, cities. Likewise, the need for an organization working in the favors of minorities and trying its best to contain peace throughout the world has been recognized after mass killings and brutal wars.
Some say that World War I caused an end to The Great Depression of the 1920s while some believe that the reason riots started breaking out, which later lead to the war, was the depression itself. The effects of the war left marks on people’s souls, killing them, destroying them morally and changing their views about life forever. When Hitler rose to power in the 1930-1932 elections, little did the world know what horizons of cruelty was the man capable of displaying?
In 1933, when the Nazis rose to influence, their primary targets were the disabled ones with genetic disorders. Hitler considered them harmful for the German society and thus ordered all of them to be killed while the veil of sterilization camps kept the inhumane action hidden by the local people.
Meanwhile, socialists, priests and many people with liberal stance were arrested and punished for their ideas and were forced to work to death under severe conditions in Dachau camp.
The group of people oppressed largely by the Nazis was the Jews in the country. Along with other minorities like Gypsies, Slavs, Russians or anti-Nazi Germans were sent to torture camps in Poland, Siberia, where they were forced to work for the German war industry.
Huge number of prisoners were transported in trucks to the camps and many lost their lives on the journey, subjected to hunger, thirst, cold or physical harassment. The people in the camps were brutally punished for minor errors, experimented upon and tortured to death in front of their families. The children and women were treated no differently; the women were gang-raped in front of crowds, and children used as grounds to carry out medical experiments. Many lost their lives or senses under the cruel actions carried out upon them.
The main objective of the torture carried out by the Nazis was to break the person’s spirit and bring him into an animal-like state. The defense mechanism to be used to protect one’s self was to not think at all; to not think about the past, the family, the torture and do not think about the next day either. The people who were seen discussing their pasts were killed. Thus, the survival of the prisoners depended on the strength of the human spirit-and luck. If a person was lucky enough to escape selection for gassing or being picked out by a guard, or if he did not freeze to death, starve to death and kept his head low and his thoughts to himself, there was greater chance of him surviving the holocaust.
Thus, to conclude, the defense mechanism to be used was to shut out all memories that may make a person weak. A person’s survival depended upon how strong his spirit was, and how long could the spirit, not the body, bare the torture. The human body has some natural defense mechanisms, for example, in some cases, when a person is badly injured, the brain veils the pain under another emotion, for example, anger, excitement, guilt or shock. Thus, the defense mechanism by both, the body and the brain were needed to survive the inhumane tortures carried out under the Nazi’s reign.
H. Lynn, R.M. Thomas, H.R. Barbara, G.S. Bonnie. The Making of the West
3rd Edition. Web. 26 June 2011.