“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
I believe that a lot of people are at fault for the Holocaust, but I think the bystanders were the real problem. I say this because the Nazis and Hitler believed what they were doing was right. Most bystanders didn’t believe what they were doing was right and still let it go on.
First of all, we have to learn what bystander behaviors are. Bystander behaviors can differ because of the situation, person or even both. The first kind of bystander behavior, and the most common is that bystanders are scared to get victimized. This is the most common because anyone who is seeing someone getting bullied or in the case of the Holocaust killed or evacuated to Ghettos, are going to be frightened. However, the bystanders had time before it became physical and inhumane to say they were against Hitler and his ideas or do anything about it. Hitler didn’t invade overnight. People had time to vote against him but some were stupid enough to not vote or were too scared to. Next the bystanders that didn’t think they had power. I honestly think the people that were this kind of bystander were the people that didn’t want to be accountable for doing nothing. Everyone has the power to write no on Hitler on a secret ballot. I not asking them to try to save a million jews from genocide or kill a bunch of Nazis but I think every human has enough power to use a secret ballot.
Finally there are the people that don’t know what to do. I truly believe that someone who can see people getting shipped off to concentration camps, liquidated in ghettos and over all being grim. Would know at least a few things they could do to help. The only thing that keeps them back is fear.
In essence, I really do believe that bystanders led Hitler to power. I say this because there were more people that disagreed with Hitler than did as bystander. There were nine hundred thousand Nazis, but there were three million bystanders. People might say that all of those people agreed with Hitler but didn’t fight. The reality is there had to be more than nine hundred thousand that didn’t believe it was right out of three million. They also led Hitler to power by not thinking he would become chancellor and that they could take power from him when he did. There were many people in government who believed that when and if Hitler became chancellor they could shift his ideas and promise. Almost as if making Hitler think he had power but in reality he didn’t.
Lastly, some might say the Holocaust happen because of Hitler and the Nazis. But I feel it’s wrong to blame only the Nazis when they were doing what they believe in. Everyone in history has had ideas and pursued them and they were either told they were not good, Or their ideas were rejected. In the case of the Holocaust the idea was a little scary and people didn’t speak their minds and became bystanders. Yes, I understand the nazis had guns and stuff but the violence wouldn't have happened toward bystanders if they spoke up earlier. The bystanders had plenty of time to vote or speak their mind, but they chose not to.
For the most part, I believe the bystanders are most at fault for the Holocaust. If something in the future doesn't feel right don’t go along with it. It doesn't feel right for a reason and that feeling is a fight or flight feeling, but don’t pick flight because this is exactly what happened to the bystanders. They got scared and decided to hide and do nothing. Eventually the consequences were much greater for doing nothing.