Essay about The Was Broken After World War I

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Minorities are often blamed for the vast array of problems any society faces. In today’s America we can see it in the cries of “they are taking our jobs” or “they are overwhelming our social services.” When citizens of a country feel insecure, they search for a reason, and finding no easy answer, they look to a scapegoat. Such was the case for the Germans following World War I. In “Defining Enemies, Making Victims,” Omer Bartov argues that in Nazi Germany and the subsequent Holocaust, the world has found the ultimate enemy in Nazis and the ultimate victim in Jews. Germany was broken after World War I on almost every level—financially, physically and psychologically. And, while German Jews had built a strong sense of solidarity while fighting side-by-side with their countrymen, in the aftermath of the war, all that goodwill quickly vanished. When Germany experienced its lowest point, following World War I, the overwhelming desire for an explanation, and a solution to their many problems, led the German people to misplace blame on the Jews. The events of World War II and the Holocaust illustrate a larger issue in society and human nature, one in which we immediately look to identify enemies and victims, even though it sometimes generates rather simplistic, inaccurate and damaging conclusions.
Although World War I was not as massive in scale as World War II, it resulted in more of a shock to the European system. It altered the mentality and consciousness of European…

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