Compare the following two books: Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland by Jan Tomasz Gross, t - Term Paper Example

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“Neighbors” by Jan Gross and "The Pianist" by Wladyslaw Szpilman: A Comparison Word Count: 1500 I. Introduction Neighbors by Jan T. Gross, and Wladyslaw Szpilman’s The Pianist are going to be compared by completing: a summary of each book; a critique of each book; and a placement of the wroks within the historical context of the historiographical arguments about their subjects…
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Compare the following two books: Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland by Jan Tomasz Gross, t
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Download file to see previous pages The historical context of each book will be analyzed with regard to: how the books relate to the times in which it is written, the effect the book had on historical interpretation of the subject, and in particular the culpability of a nation for the massacre of the Jews in Europe. It is hoped that with the proliferation of such works, that peace and justice will be promoted throughout humanity in the world, and seek to prevent such violence from occurring to any group of people in the future—no matter who those people are in any case whatsoever. II. Summaries Neighbors is a work that seeks to understand the massacre of the Polish people in one relatively small Polish town, Jedwabne. This book demonstrates that hatred can “[W]hat Poles have learned recently is that the perpetrators in this case weren't Germans, though the Nazi occupiers clearly approved the slaughter. They were Poles, the Jedwabne neighbors of the Jews. And the revelation of their role has triggered a wave of agonized soul-searching since it emerged…”1 Basically, the people from this small town are so blinded by hatred, that one half kills the other half of the town. In The Pianist, Szpilman relates how he used to be playing the piano on the radio in Poland, until the invasion of the Germans, which would change his life inextricably forever. After working in a labor camp for awhile, he is able to escape into the Warsaw Ghetto for awhile, scraping by simply by foraging for food in the basically empty and lifeless ghetto setting—where he is the only person around. Finally, a German officer discovers Szpilman. Szpilman offers to play the piano for the officer, and in turn, the officer decides not to report him. Szpilman is able to survive the ghetto in order to once again be able to play the piano on the radio. However, in his postscript, we see how Szpilman talks about how the German officer who saved him begged a violinist friend of his to get him out of the German prisoner-of-war camp, saying, “Tell [Szpilman] I’m here. Ask him to get me out. I beg you—”2 Thus, Szpilman has come full-circle—from once having played piano on Polish radio to continue doing it again after the war is over. Obviously, his life has been shattered, his family members have probably been sent to Treblinka or other concentration camps, but he is the one who survived. This is an amazing story of remarkable triumph over evil with the good of the human spirit. Hopefully, stories like Szpilman’s will get the proper credit and attention that they deserve, telling the heroic tale of one man’s struggle to survive in the face of challenging, and yes, even daunting, odds. Basically, Szpilman’s life becomes a symbol or a metaphor for survival and what it means to truly be a Jewish Pole in an era when Nazi persecution of the Jews was prevalent and accepted by society in Nazi Germany. III. Critiques Now we have seen how both books have logical—if not albeit organized—elements and theses. What will now be discussed are the author’s prejudices and how they affect their writing. Interestingly enough, Gross, being Polish, does not give any explanation for why this massacre happened. That might be due to the fact that the story hits so close to him because Gross is Polish, too. To imagine that one’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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