Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade April 2001

download word file, 4 pages 3.0

Downloaded 59 times

The events leading to the Holocaust were said to be led by some of the most hateful and evil people to ever live. The practices of death led by these people were thought to be insane. How could anyone in their right mind commit such atrocities and show no signs of emotion? These views are best found in both Robert Jay Lifton's "What Made This Man Mengele" and the film "Judgement at Nuremberg". In opposition to some people's view of the crimes of the Holocaust, it is clear that Nazi crimes were committed by ordinary, not insane individuals. Circumstances cloud moral judgement in any man, clearly which happened to Josef Mengele and the nazi judges.

Josef Mengele was a man who symbolized the killing of many during the Holocaust. Known from an acquaintance as " a popular young man, an enthusiastic friend" and an "intelligent, serious student who showed a very distinct ambitiousness" (Lifton 372), justifies Lifton's own theory of doubling.

Lifton had a theory that there were two sides to each man, good and evil. This was doubling. To the Germans, they were doing what was "right" in order to preserve Germany. In the film Judgement at Nuremberg the nazi judges are being judged innocent or guilty to the crimes they "permitted" or "participated" in. Ernst Janning similar to Mengele. Both were a Nazi, but aside from that, they were compassionate, intelligent people. Janning demonstrated his compassion by threatening his "innocence" in the courtroom with a compelling speech where he states "I wish to testify about the Feldinstein case because it was the most significant trial of the period. It is not only important for the tribunal to understand, but for the whole German people.

But in order to understand it one must understand the period...