- Term Papers, Book Reports, Research Papers and College Essays

Films and the Holocaust

Essay by review  •  January 2, 2011  •  Essay  •  890 Words (4 Pages)  •  600 Views

Essay Preview: Films and the Holocaust

Report this essay
Page 1 of 4

"In what ways do films enlarge our understanding of the Holocaust that is gained from historical and other writings? Analyze one episode or case in detail. Make sure you refer to films used in the course to date and to the required books."

Within the first week of this class, I learned something that I was astonished to discover. Growing up in a fairly religious household, I had always been taught (like most Jewish children) the basics of the Holocaust. Hitler was bad, 6,000,000 Jews died, the Nazis took over much of Europe, there were concentration camps, etc. The intriguing fact that I found during this class is that the Third Reich was not always planning on extinguishing the Jews.

In THE HOLOCAUST The Third Reich and the Jews by David Engel, we read that there are many different thoughts as to why the killing began. Most believe that it was always Hitler's aim to kill off all of the Jews. That is mainly the first section of chapter six "The Transition to Killing." However, later on in the chapter, Engel discusses that the functionalist view claims that killing did not come into play until after the invasion of the USSR had begun (Engel 52). Many believe that the beginnings of the killing operations should be set in 1939, when ghettos were being established in Poland, not 1941. However, it is fact that although ghettos were the place of mass death, they were only intended to replicate slave like living (as in ancient Egypt).

A man by the name of Christopher Browning even went as far as to research Nazi ghettoization. He found that local Nazi officials who resided or occupied Poland set up ghettos on their own, without orders from Berlin. Historians continue to believe that mass killings were not what the Nazis had in mind throughout the ghettoization period and even into the first month of the USSR invasion (Engel 54).

This is where the book and movie overlapped most for me. The two both discuss how the reasoning for mass killing came about. According to "Genocide," in June of 1941, when Germany attacked Russia (USSR), altogether eight million Jews were found. The SS decided at that point, that they would not be able to handle such masses of Jews therefore, they would kill them. Up until this point, according to Engel's book, Nazis had hoped that they could just bring all of the Jews together and ship them off to a far off locale.

The book gives a bit more detail in describing what would continue to occur. After invading the Soviet Union, and killing off the Jewish state and communist party officials, communal leaders, and then just regular men, women, and children, Germans found that their conquest of Soviet territory was not going as smoothly as expected and realized they had to ship out Jews cross continent to make the major German cities "judenrein" (Jew-pure) (Engel 53). When Jews arrived to the ghettos, Nazi officials in charge were angered for there was no room for them. So instead of



Download as:   txt (4.8 Kb)   pdf (78.6 Kb)   docx (10.7 Kb)  
Continue for 3 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2011, 01). Films and the Holocaust. Retrieved 01, 2011, from

"Films and the Holocaust" 01 2011. 2011. 01 2011 <>.

"Films and the Holocaust.", 01 2011. Web. 01 2011. <>.

"Films and the Holocaust." 01, 2011. Accessed 01, 2011.