Could the Jewish people have been their own bystanders?

By: Molly Reeves

On Friday the 19th, our class had a socratic seminar to discuss the role of bystanders in marginalization. A socratic seminar is a way to discuss a topic by having a group in the center of a room having the discussion and a group outside the circle taking notes. In this specific discussion we used examples from a true story from a person whose home was taken over because of the holocaust during  World War II.  One of the ideas that we mentioned in our discussion that I believe is intriguing was in one of the sources we had used in class while learning about bystanders, which was how the Jewish people did not leave their homes even though they knew that the nazi army was coming. It had said in the text that they listened to the radio and knew that the front line was getting closer many times, so why would they not leave? Even as the soldiers slowly started to invade this village, the townspeople did nothing. Each time the soldiers took away a freedom, or put up a new law, the villagers became used to it and kept on living their normal lives. By standing by and letting all of these terrible events happen to themselves, they eventually become their own bystanders.

Please comment below on what your thoughts are on this idea. I would love to hear your opinions!

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