Relationships and Their Role During the Holocaust

Literature was highly inspired by the Holocaust and provides new scripts for authors on the positive and negative effect relationships play during intense trying times. The short novel Four Perfect Pebbles helped to compel the topic of relationships and their role during very trying times. Throughout the novel there were examples of the relationships shared to help families get through their hardships, until they made their way into safety, or met their untimely demise. Literary elements, plot and characterization and the wording of many of the events deeply express emotions that are being felt by each and every character.

Four Perfect Pebbles is the memoir of Marion Blumenthal Lazan’s experience as a child during the holocaust. After Hitler rose to power the Blumenthal’s, a young Jewish family, where stuck in Nazi Germany despite their attempts to escape. When he became Chancellor, discrimination against Jews began to grow rapidly. The Blumenthal’s store was boycotted quickly. The relationship shared by Marion’s mom and dad had with their parents almost prevented them from being able to escape from the torture of Nazi Germany. In the fall of 1939 Westerbork, a permanent Jewish refugee camp was formed and in December the Blumenthal’s moved in.

Marion had a very close relationship with her mother although they argued consistently. Their relationship help each other get through much of Nazi torment. Another relationship that helped Marion get through such torture and hardship was that of which she shared with her brother. Another relationship that held families together was food. Since the immense stress felt from being discriminated against based upon their religion, food was difficult to come by. Many family members would let another take their ration so they wouldn’t worry about eating later.

Marion found four pebbles and gave three to her mother, father and her older brother. This was a way of always have them be able to be together (Perl). The novel Annexed also helped to compel the topic of relationships and their role during very trying times. Throughout the novel there were examples of how each of the relationships shared by each character was helpful for families to get through their hardships, until they made their way into safety, or met their untimely demise. Anne and Peter’s relationship begins to grow again as they experience even more traumatic events during the Holocaust.

Although, peter has alone time, from Anne, at his work he never can get her out of his head. Peter began to feel even more pressure from Anne as they started to sleep together and Anne began to open up more and more. The short novel Four Perfect Pebbles and the novel Annexed both compel the thesis topic of relationships and their role during very trying times. Throughout both novels there were examples of the relationships shared that tore some families apart while they dealt with their hardships, until they made their way to safety, or met their untimely demise.

Plot and characterization and the wording of many of the events deeply express emotions that are being felt by each and every character. For example before their family was captured many Jewish families shipped their youngest to a distant family member. Many who could not withstand their hunger stole from family members, friends and even strangers who were in the same vicinity. Mr. Frank is having a hard time of continuing this troubling life style. For example, he and his daughters relationship grows distant because of each of them are slowly building an emotional barricading themselves.

Anne and Peter’s relationship and attraction although growing reached rough spots at times. Peter’s relationship with Anne grows difficult because of the multiple personalities Anne shows while they are together. Peter’s also confused about his feelings with Margot (Dogar). The website “The Atlantic” shows the relationship that grew with literature as the Holocaust and WWII waged on. Literature and the Holocaust have a complicated relationship. The Holocaust has influenced, if not defined, nearly every Jewish writer since.

Since the genre emerged, this has been the defining stance of Holocaust literature. Since the genre emerged, this has been the defining stance of Holocaust literature. Although a time of grief and mutilation the holocaust helped provide the most influential genre for all types of literature, while giving new perspectives on life. Elie Wiesel helped personify of Holocaust remembrance. From Night to Schindler’s List, each literature piece has repeatedly demonstrated just how slippery and arbitrary the division between fact and fiction really is.

Yet show the same historical remembrance of the horrific and demonic in its discrimination against the Jewish faith. Literature, although, affects us in ways that even the most brutal history cannot. Memoirs, even Holocaust memoirs, might be properly understood as, or at least overlapping with, literature. This is no downgrade. Literature is supplementary, not antithetical, to history. The unadorned facts and uninflected history (pictures, texts, and accounts) are almost unbearably distressing.

Viewing images of stacked corpses or numerous organized lists of dead children and infants, who couldn’t even process what was happening, or hearing of the screams of tens of thousands of people that had the troubling misfortune of being placed in the ovens, how wouldn’t your soul doesn’t collapse? Even Wiesel’s Night, when compared to his autobiography betrays some artistic license. Moshe the Beadle is, in fact, a composite character and much of Wiesel’s ordeal was excised and sharpened for Night’s publication. Anne Frank’s diary was originally edited by herself, then later by her father, Otto.

He also censored her original draft. Memoirs are surely part of this legacy. “Night’s power isn’t derived only from its harrowing story, but from its unflinching, deceptively plain delivery of that story, as well” (Kaiser). Many Holocaust works, like Night, have hit a perfect emotional pitch, or, notes of tragedy in an agonizingly effective arrangement. Also, the website “MyJewishLearning” defines the relationship people shared with their families and friends and also with god throughout the Holocaust. Many lost their faith in god and just waited for the end to come.

Although they lost their faith, what did not die, however, is hope. The Holocaust exemplified the enormous evil humans can inflict one another. Until the Holocaust, the traditional view of God and his/her connection with Israel had remained intact: God was our Provider and Protector. This expectation carried the Jews through the failed Bar Kokhba revolt, the Crusades, repeated humiliations and expulsions, pogroms and myriad persecutions, even the Spanish Inquisition. Was God dead? Was God not watching, turning the other cheek? If he/she could not be counted on to live p to his/her reputation for mercy and intervene, what good was he? And if he/she did not intervene, by what reasoning did He merit our allegiance? This tremendous upset called into question whether the covenant–what was supposed to be an eternal contract between God and Israel–had expired. There was no sense of order in the universe, no purpose in life, no hope for a better future, no meaning in past or present suffering, no need for Jews or Jewish life. This was exactly the conclusion desired by the Nazi Fascists, who had to eliminate belief in absolute Divine power.

This was also exactly the response of many victims, for whom the covenant had been rendered null and void. They could not believe that God and the Holocaust’s degree of evil could coexist. They had no faith that such crimes would never again occur and feeling no hope in life, and expecting no meaning in death, saw no reason to perpetuate Judaism. To spare their descendants the horrors they had endured, they abandoned Judaism, sometimes converting and raising their children as non-Jews. Much of the former Jewish faith turned to Atheism to distance themselves from the lack of protection from their God.

Religion attempts to make sense out of the world around us, finding order and meaning in what often seems chaotic and meaningless. The holocaust had a major role in changing the literature many authors used dealing with relationships. Would your relations withstand the immense torture put forth during the Holocaust? Although an unbearable and demonic time period of WWII the holocaust proved to be one of the most important successes in history for literature and to strengthen the global community.

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