Bystander

Muranga Maina

Theme Paragraph

2/9/14

To you, which one do you think would be better, a bystander or an oppressor? Similar to what Yehuda Bauer, a Jewish Historian once said, " Thou shalt not be a victim. Thou shalt not be an oppressor. But most of all, thou shalt not be a bystander." If you are particularly the bystander and the victim is being attacked, then you're only supporting the wrong doing of the oppressor's action.

For instance, this fictional story Terrible Thing represents what had happening during World War II in Europe to the Jews being taken away. What the people were displaying was ignorance because they seemed not to care, they were supporting what the Nazi were doing. They should not had agree with them because what they had done to the Jews was gruesome.

First They Came for the Communist is a fictional poem based on true occurrences about people not always being what you think. "'When the Nazis' came for the communist, I remained silent; i was not a communist.'" What this is saying is he or she was watching as these people were being abducted and not saying a word. "'When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.'" Then this person ends up being taken and there wasn't anyone left so there wasn't anyone left to speak out. So instead of taking action and helping the victims, this watches what happens.

All But My Life is an interpretation about people not always being what we think of them. "A big truck filled with German soldiers parked across the street. Our neighbors serving them wine and cakes and screaming as though drunk with joy 'Heil Hitler! Long live the Fuhrer! We thank thee for are liberation!'" These people, cheering on the Nazi are the same people this person has known her whole life and rather then them hiding in their homes and and trying not to be noticed, they shower them these horrible people and wine and cakes. The stage being set here is the people supporting and cheering on the Nazi, accept the fact that what the Nazi were doing was okay, which it isn't because what they had done to innocent people was cruel and inhumane.

As a result of you being silent, the victim is being even more persecuted then before. Despite the fact that you aren't doing anything and staying out of it is still causing an even bigger effect. To conclude, put yourself in the victim's shoes, you seeing as a person watches as you're being bulled, wouldn't you want them to take action?

"First They Came for the Communist"

Works Cited:


Terrible Things-

Bunting, Eve, and Stephen Gammell. Terrible Things. New York: Harper & Row, 1980

First They Came for the Communist-

Challancin, Susie. "Springboard." First They Came for the Communist. Bellevue: Washington, 2011. 255

All but my life-

Klein, Gerda Weissmann. All but my life. A new, expanded ed. New York: Hill and Wang, 1995. Print.

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