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Katie Berger
Prof. Wertz-Orbaugh
UWRT 1103
13 January 2016
My Holocaust Education
Though many people are fully informed on the subject of the Holocaust, I do not have
extensive knowledge on the topic. Everything I know about the Holocaust is limited to the few
classes in middle school and high school that had discussed it, a few books, and one movie. This
leaves plenty of room for growth throughout this course, and I am very interested to learn more.
The Holocaust was a very traumatic experience in history the nearly extinguished an
entire religion in Europe. Adolf Hitler some may say brainwashed thousands of Germans into
persecuting thousands of Jews. These Jews were treated so terribly, it is hard to imagine that a
single human being can want that for anyone else, none the less 20 million people. Adolf Hitler
was trying to create an Aryan race. He sent these, for the most part, innocent people to
concentration camps where they were starved, worked, beaten, and burned to death. Other than
that my knowledge is strictly entertainment based.
One of the few books I have read about the Holocaust happens to be one of my favorites.
The book Night by Elie Wiesel was a book I read in 8th grade, and continues to be a great read
every time I pick it up. This book recounts one Holocaust survivors experience in a concentration
camp. He had to be dragged from his house, be separated from her mother and sisters, and watch
his father die in a camp. Many people were brutally beaten. Millions were killed. This book
paints a vivid image of all the events that those poor Jews experienced when they were
wrongfully taken and tortured.

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The next place where a lot of my information comes from was the famous movie, the
Boy in the Striped Pajamas. This is an extremely sad movie showing the tale of a young boy
whose father is commandant for a nearby concentration camp. The young boy befriends a Jewish
boy within the camp. This movie shows graphic images of what a concentration camp was like
back then. It was horrific to see, however, it gave more insight into the life of someone in a
concentration camp. It shows gas chambers and the cruel happenings to the prisoners.
As a psychology major, there are many things that interest me within the past events of
the Holocaust. One major question is why would someone like Adolf Hitler even want to commit
genocide? What was wrong mentally with him? Why would so many thousands of Germans
agree with this if they know its wrong? After everything was said and done, many Nazis claimed
that they knew it was wrong. So why would they do it? Also, how could an entire population
claim that they had no knowledge of such an event, or better yet, that it never even happened?
The Holocaust was an international tragedy that affected millions of lives, it was an event
where a government attempted to effectively wipe out another population. My final concluding
perspective on the matter is a melting pot of sorts. I have observed and absorbed many different
views and much information through various mediums to gather my own opinions on the matter.
Every part of my informal education on the matter was ultimately every bit as formal as class
taught material was to me.
My previous education about the holocaust was slight, and limited to a few minor
lessons, a required reading for school, and a sad movie I watched with my family. Regardless of
this fact, I find learning about the Holocaust interesting, mostly for the reason that I am confused
as to how anything like that could happen. Because my current knowledge on the subject is so
little, that allows for much growth within this course.