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Holocaust survival and conformity

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  1. Introduction
  2. Conformity and big on individuality
  3. The Jews during the Holocaust
  4. Post liberation and Jews
  5. Nazi ideology
  6. Conclusion

Throughout The Drowned and The Saved there is the motif of conformity. Conformity during the Holocaust was necessary for survival in terms of life and death. The need for conformity to survive was present in the both the minds of the Jews and the Germans, soldiers and civilians alike. The need for conformity however did not disappear after WWII was over. Afterwards the conformity was necessary, more or less to survive yourself, and your own torment in dealing with what happened.

[...] Their responsibility was to keep order among the new arrivals that were being sent to the gas chamber, and move bodies from the gas chambers to the crematoria. Before being taken to the crematoria they had to pull gold teeth, sort luggage, and cut the women's hair. (Levi, 50) However this did not ultimately save their lives, as they were gassed and cremated by the next SS in line. Even though it did not perhaps save their lives, it prolonged them for maybe a few months. [...]


[...] All of German society, soldiers and civilians alike had to conform to the Nazi Ideology. Conforming to the Nazi Ideology was either voluntary or involuntary because brain washing did occur. There is a defense that Nazi soldiers use when describing their situation. They claimed that they were intoxicated with ceremonies and demonstrations, and were diligent executors and they were praised and promoted for it. The decisions were not their own, but were decided for them. These Nazi soldiers did not consider themselves responsible and that they should not be punished. [...]

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