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Relationships between individuals were profoundly altered by the experience of terror and genocide. Using Lydia Chukovskaya's - Term Paper Example

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Altered Relationships between Individuals in the Times of Terror Introduction The first half of the twentieth century was a real ordeal for humanity. There were two world wars. However, in some countries the horrors of war were enhanced by terrible policies held by their leaders…
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Relationships between individuals were profoundly altered by the experience of terror and genocide. Using Lydia Chukovskayas
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Download file to see previous pages Inhumane living conditions made people doubt about the future of humanity. For instance, those who managed to survive in Auschwitz admitted that people there were not humans. They were creatures who longed to survive. Some may say that distorted relationships between individuals in concentration camps should be regarded as the most horrible example of taking humanness away from humans. However, the relationships between individuals during the Great Purge in Soviet Union are the case of unprecedented eradication of basic human traits: compassion, empathy and readiness to help. Altered interpersonal relationships in Auschwitz This statement can be easily proved when comparing the two cases. In the first place, it is possible to consider the peculiarities of relationships between individuals who had to live through the horrors of concentration camps. Notably, many inmates understood that the majority of people would die in the camps and “[o]nly a minority of ingenuous and deluded souls continued to hope” (Levi 14). At the same time one of the basic biological rules can hardly be evaded. Therefore, though people in Auschwitz knew that prisoners were dying there, everyone tried to survive. From the very first seconds inmates witnessed things that could not be understood or accepted by moral or at least reasonable people. Wretched prisoners were beaten, humiliated, tortured and eventually killed. Starving and frightened to death people saw terrible scenes which could make anyone crazy, so their ideas about the world or rather perception of the world were distorted. The new world, nightmare-like reality which absorbed millions of innocent people deadened the best feeling and best human traits. Young, strong, intelligent people were turned into “squalid human specimens” who lost their strength to resist (Levi 92). Of course, many inmates tried to help each other when no one was watching as the helper could become one more victim. However, there were prisoners who could easily set up their comrades for a scrap of bread or for being left alone (without tortures). Primo Levi who survived in one of those horrible camps claimed that it was impossible to call those who lived their humans (Levi 10). Interpersonal relationships in Soviet Union during the Great Purge This was the life in prison. Prisoners had to survive and sometimes did “indecent” things. On the other hand, Soviet people who lived in late 1930s were free people (at least the leaders of the country proclaimed principles of freedom in their speeches). Nonetheless, they were not safe and they lived in constant fear. There was quite enough food and people had their homes. However, every minute something horrible could happen. For instance, Lydia Chukovskaya depicted a story of a woman (herself) who lost her son because of some uncertain accusations. The young man was a Komsomol activist, who admired the Party, but someone testified against him and he simply vanished. All Soviet people knew of the vanishing and were afraid to do something wrong. As far as wrongful acts are concerned it could be anything: a wrong (too bold) word, relationships with suspicious people, or even a misprint. For example, a skilled and professional typist, Natasha, was fired because she typed Ret Army, instead of Red Army (Chukovskaya 63). The meeting, where the case of Natasha was discussed, is really illustrative and it can justify that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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