Analysis Of The Dehumanization Of Jews During The Holocaust By Dr. Stanton

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The first of Stanton’s stages, that of classification, is certainly applicable to the genocide against the Jews during the Holocaust. Stanton depicts classification as a process of ‘othering’, the aim of which is to distinguish the differences between desirable and undesirable demographic groups. In this case you have the polarities of the ideal Aryan race and the Jews. The Nazi regime sought to ensure as little confusion as possible as to which category an individual belonged. In September of 1935 the Nuremburg Laws were passed. These were extremely anti -Semitic statutes that sought to restrict and diminish the identity of German Jews in particular, this was achieved through the deprivation of German citizenship. No longer were they German, …show more content…
This act essentially diminishes and ultimately denies the humanity of the ‘other’ group. In this process, people are depicted as parasites, vermin and even diseases. Stanton emphasises the pivotal nature of this stage at it is through this process of dehumanization that we are able to justify the abhorrent acts that are to follow. The genocide against the Jews in the Holocaust is a perfect example of this occurring. The propaganda campaign against the Jews was fierce, Goebbels, the Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda led the vilification and degradation of the image of the Jewish people. To say these portrayals were “just” anti-Semitic is to undermine the pure venom that altered the very fabric of their social perception. They were routinely reported as an inferior race, at best. To the extent where alleged differences between Jews and ‘pure’ Germans were taught in biology textbooks. At the worst they were scum, to be completely exterminated, they would corrupt your children, they were in essence a “hereditary criminals”. So intense and imperative to the Nazi regime was this stage, that this negative image was broadcast through an array of avenues, schools, workplaces, films, radio, posters speeches. It was a constant onslaught of manipulation. The Nazis described Jews as Untermenschen i.e. literally sub humans. In 1943 Hitler declared "Today, international Jewry is the ferment of decomposition …show more content…
Here all Jewish communities were separated from the rest of society and denied basic health and education services. They were taken from their homes, refused many personal items and grouped tightly together with multiple families often sharing the same living space. Earlier forms of polarization included boycotting Jewish businesses, banning marriages between Jews and German citizens, being forbidden to display national colours. Through analysing these methods it is evident that Jews were being pushed away from society, from livelihoods, from any other aspect of their identity other than their Jewish roots. At this time Jews were frequently believed to have been the cause of social and economic problems in Germany, which was certainly the myth perpetuated by Hitler, therefore propaganda was implemented to ensure they were shunned by society. Importantly, those who sought to assist the Jews, who were involved in opposing Nazi policies were threatened and arrested. The Nazis did not want Jews to have rescuers, to have hope. Polarization was the way to succeed in this

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