"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."
"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest."
"Not to transmit an experience is to betray it."
"Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds."
"I decided to devote my life to telling the story because I felt that having survived I owe something to the dead. and anyone who does not remember betrays them again."
"I write to understand as much as to be understood."
Affirmation and encouragement are a plus, but remember that the bulk of your posts and responses to one another should address the subject matter of the week and its impact on your learning.
In the pre-writing stage, you are advised to use KWL charts (What you knew. What you wanted to know. What you learned.), your daily reflection journals, and tree maps to generate and organize your content.
Remember that you must Tell. Tell. Tell. Type your draft into a Word Document. Edit for focus and conventions (spelling and grammar). Then, and ONLY THEN, post.
Each time you write an entry, consider the above quotes of Elie Wiesel, survivor of Auschwitz concentration camp. How are your words combating genocide? How are they attaining the quality of deeds? How are you gaining understanding...being understood?
***As it is an academic site, this is not a forum for evangelizing or criticizing the faith of others. Respect for diversity is to be adhered to at all times.
This week was full of intriguing experiences in Holocaust and Genocides class; at the beginning of the week, we were able to start officially reading The Sunflower. Things that impacted me from this book so far were the Jews posing as Aryans to escape persecution and when Simon visited with the SS man, who I view as selfish. Another thing that impacted me was learning about the Reichstag fire the day that we had a substitute teacher.
I have found The Sunflower very interesting so far; through starting the book, we learned that some Jews pretended that they were Aryans in order to become part of the SS. We discussed whether or not it was right of the Jews to abandon their own people in order to save their own selves. I do not think so because I believe that this made these people cowards; like Paige said, I also think that these Jews were selfish. How could they persecute their own brothers and sisters? I can’t imagine seeing my family killed when I escaped through a lie. Mrs. Parker posed this hypothetical situation: her mother was speaking as a guest speaker in her class and a gunman came into the class. When Mrs. Parker was asked whether she would be shot or her mother, she chose for her mother to be shot. What obligation did she have to her? Why not shoot her mother and let her live? Olivia said that no matter who was shot, someone would be in grief; I don’t agree with this at all. If I chose for my mother to be shot, I would be full of regret for the rest of my life. If I chose myself, my mother may be sad, but I think she would feel grateful and honored that I sacrificed my future for her. What these Jews did was not a choiceless choice; how could they turn their backs on their people?
Also in this book, Simon is taken from working outside at the hospital and is ordered to go inside and listen to a dying SS soldier confess a horrible act that he had taken part in. The group of soldiers had driven Jews into a house with gas in it and threw grenades into it; this caused an explosion that set the house ablaze. The dying soldier, who witnessed a family jumping from the upstairs window, sent for a Jew to confess to and ask forgiveness from. I am glad that Simon didn’t grant the SS soldier forgiveness. The soldier was being very selfish because he wanted to be at peace with himself before he died; this would make it easier for him to pass. He thought that the Jews had it better because they died immediately when he had to suffer in a hospital bed. I asked Angie and Bijowski if they thought he knew about the concentration camps; this fact would prove his point wrong. Maybe he was one of the Nazis who didn’t know Hitler’s whole plan, or maybe he was just in denial of the whole truth.
Besides these two impacting parts of The Sunflower, I was also impacted by the lesson plan that Mrs. Parker left for us the day that she was out; we had to read news articles about the Reichstag building fire that occurred on February 27, 1933. We had to create a cause and effect chart for the event; Molly, Bijowski, and I found this event particularly interesting because it seemed like a conspiracy theory. Through our research, we discovered that this occurred right before the election to see who would take over the German parliament. Some believe that that the Nazis did this to find a reason to suppress the Communists, which it did. Communist and Socialist newspapers were forbidden to be printed after the fire. Another view was that the Communists set the fire to make it look like the Nazis did it; this failed because the blame shifted to the Communists. I can now see how influential the Nazis were; they had the German government thinking that they didn’t do it, and had the government wrapped around their fingers. If I was a Communist who was convicted of this crime, I would see this as unfair; I do not think there was enough evidence to prove who actually did it.
This week, I was impacted by starting the book, The Sunflower. Things that impacted me from this book were the SS Jews and the dying Nazi soldier. Another thing that impacted me was learning about the Reichstag fire the day that we had a substitute teacher. The days in this class are coming to a close, but I know that we will be filled with more and more knowledge each day.