Silence? Or Taking Action?

"We must take sides."

Living through the Holocaust, would you rather stay silent and hurt the victim? Or speak up and take action against the oppressor? Elie Wiesel, a concentration camp survivor, had experienced life during the Holocaust. He states, "I swore never to be silent whenever or wherever human beings endure suffering or humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor and never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor and never the tormented." It would have been better if people at the time of the Holocaust spoke up ; even if it meant loosing their own lives.

To start off, if a person takes action, not only will they help one life, but they will help many. Staying silent about a conflict will have no good outcomes. Madame Harkness' family secretly fought against the Nazi soldiers by helping many Jews avoid getting caught. She told the story of her grandmother helping refugees escape to the free zone. Her grandmother chose to help even though her life was on the line. Madame Harkness' grandmother rescued 300 refugees. If she had not taken action ; if she never had the dedication to save those Jews, she would've taken the Nazi's side and not the victims.

Alongside that, never stay silent until the end, or else it will be too late to fix the mistakes that were made. "When they had all gone, Little Rabbit crept into the middle of an empty clearing. I should have tried to help the other animals, he thought. If only we creatures had stuck together, it could have been different." ( Page 26, Terrible Things ). Little Rabbit kept quiet as other animals ratted each other out. He listened to Big Rabbit, though he still had doubts on his actions. The mistake was, Little Rabbit did not say anything against him. Little Rabbit stayed neutral but quickly regretted it after everyone in the forest was taken away. This shows that people must take sides. Silence is only causing the tormentor to gain more control and the tormented to become much more weaker.

Last but not the least, the act of taking action and speaking up has many benefits. "Dear editors of the Grapevine, this is a story I have written for the Grapevine. Don't bother looking for my name because you won't find it. I don't want my friends or kids to know that I wrote this." ( Page 80, The Wave ). Laurie began to notice the dark side of The Wave group but she kept silent about it. Although, Laurie receives a letter from a junior who confessed that a Wave member tried to force her to join. Due to the junior who spoke up, Laurie took action, Laurie began to fight against The Wave group when the letter was sent to her. Even though Laurie was loosing her friends who were members of The Wave, she chose to fight against them rather then having non-members bullied.

It would have been better if people at the time of the Holocaust spoke up ; even if it meant loosing their own lives. Never in your life should you consider being in the side of neutrality. Even if the risk is dangerous, you must speak up for the victim. Always remember that silence only means packing the oppressor with power and taking confidence away from the victim.

Work Cited


"A Remarkable Photograph Of The French Resistance." All That Is Interesting. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2014. http://all-that-is-interesting.com/photograph-french-resistance

"An Allegory of the Holocaust." PaperBackSwap.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2014. www.paperbackswap.com/Terrible-Things-Allegory-Eve-Bunting/book/0827605072/

"Helen's Book Blog: Review: The Wave (Todd Strasser)." Helen's Book Blog: Review: The Wave (Todd Strasser). N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2014. http://www.helensbookblog.com/2010/12/review-wave-todd-strasser.html

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

Moore, Dan. "Time And Day". 13 Feb. 2014 www.timeanddate.com/holidays/un/commemoration-of-holocaust-victims

Strasser, Todd. The Wave. New York: Dell, 2005. Print.







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