Memories Of The Camps

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2002

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Memories of the Camps The movie was something unlike I had ever seen before. I did not think that a movie with real footage such as that even existed. The holocaust is something we have always heard about, and something that Hollywood has made many movies about. But seeing this film made it seem like even more of a reality to me. Seeing those people barely alive, or not even at all made me wonder what each person was like. I am half Jewish, race wise, through my Dad's side of the family, so it makes me wonder if I have some distant relative who was put in one of those camps. It hits closer to home knowing that I might not have been born if my Jewish relatives had not left Germany before the holocaust.

I have never had to deal with the hardship of being persecuted for my race or religion like those people did.

I could not even imagine how horrible that must have been for them. It would be especially hard for children, they would not understand why thing like this were happening to them and their family. Babies who were born into the camps probably had mental disorders when they were older from the childhood traumas they experienced. When the camps were liberated the children had things they had never had before One thing I can not comprehend is how the Nazi soldiers could be so cruel. They must have had no consciences to not feel guilty about what they did. Their cruelty is well depicted in the part of the movie where it shows the train full of people who were abandoned and left die. Many of the other scenes disturbed me even more so then that though. When the barbed wire beds they were forced to sleep on were showed I couldn't believe it. One of the most horrific scenes in the movie was watching the Nazi's drag the bodies to the pits. They appeared to have no feelings, and didn't seem to care that they were carrying a human being. They dragged the people off as if they were road kill accidentally run over. I can not believe that humans are capable of such cruelty. I came across a quote that made me realize the Nazi mentality stated by Adolf Hitler, "What luck for the rulers that men do not think." People always tend to follow the masses, and in this case it is no different, people followed Hitler blindly and stupidly.

When trying to imagine in my head what 11 million people look like I can not even picture it. Now to picture 11 million people being exterminated is baffling. When the movie was showing the grave sites, and the numbers marked on the signs I got sick to my stomach. So many graves, with so many people, it seemed unreal. I never knew that there were so many concentration camps in Germany. 300 hundred locations in a small country, it makes me wonder how any German denied knowing of their existence.

In one hut alone there was a recorded 72 deaths in 24 hours solely from disease and starvation. Because of a lack of soap and water lice was spread around the camps. Typhus, a disease caused by lice, was killing many of the prisoners. After the camps were liberated the prisoners were taken to hospitals to be treated. The prisoners were cleaned up, nursed back to health, and received new clothes and with the clothes a sense of a new beginning. The things that we take for granted here are things that they would have loved to have. Everything in my world seems so trivial compared to the suffering that these people went though.