Dehumanization: The Holocaust & Slavery
Maus, by Art Spiegelman, brought a renewed sense of Holocaust consciousness to the American public. It also introduced the topic of dehumanization to new audiences because of its accessibility as a comic-book narrative. Dehumanization can be defined as the deprivation of an individual's human qualities, personality, or spirit. This process transpired for many years, to many innocent people for no logical or intelligent reason during the Holocaust. The prisoners of the Holocaust were systematically and bureaucratically annihilated by the Nazis during World War II. Some of the offenses incurred upon the Jewish people included being placed in concentration camps, separated from loved ones, stripped of clothing and belongings, forced into laborious work conditions and eventually murdered. These offenses were the main dehumanizing factors during the Holocaust.
Not many can fully contemplate the idea of this occurring in our world, and in such recent times. Reading and learning about the circumstances of the Holocaust will never fully allow society to understand how those involved could have felt, but many authors attempt to interpret the moods and feelings of those involved. Although Spiegelman's work fully details emotions and thoughts of the persecuted, it is highly doubtful that readers could ever truly understand what thoughts could have been going through the victims' minds. Only the children of the victims could possibly have somewhat of an understanding of the sentiments that the casualties of this atrocity felt.
If many today cannot imagine life without the luxuries, (televisions, cars, cellphones, etc.), how can they begin to imagine and even relate with the pain and torture that was prevalent to the Jewish people during the Holocaust? Another reason that people may not be able to relate to the the killing of hundreds of thousands because they were not of the right genet...