Elie Wiesel: Humanity On The Perils Of Indifference
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Humanity on the Perils of Indifference
Every person on Earth is a part of humanity. “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty” (Gandhi 246). ‘The Perils of Indifference’ is a famous speech delivered by Elie Wiesel at the White House in 1999. He is a Holocaust survivor and expresses his concerns about the situation of humanity in the world. Wiesel believes that humans are on the verge of losing the sense of humanity as people indulge in pointless violence. He gives the example of the World Wars and various small wars in last 100 years. However, Wiesel also believes that all is not lost, and presents some good things like the fall of Nazism, and the…show more content… In one of his complaints against the American Government’s strategy during the Second World War (WWII), Wiesel states that the USA could have saved thousands of Jews if they were granted refugee status instead of being sent back to Germany. He asks "Why didn't he [Roosevelt] allow these refugees to disembark? A thousand people -- in America, the great country, the greatest democracy, the most generous of all new nations in modern history. What happened? I don't understand” (Wiesel). He argues that the decision made by the US government was cowardly and inhumanly. Moreover, the level of treatment given by the Germans to the Jews during the World War II was beyond the darkest imagination. Although the US did step up to fight beside the Allies, in the initial phase of the war, the US chose to play safe and not intervene. This decision made by the US government can be applauded in a sense. However, it also means that they thought only about themselves. Humans are humans, no matter the region, the religion, or any other divisions that they have made themselves. It is against humanity to see the slaughtering of others and act passively. Furthermore, this action of the US to refuse to protect Jews from the Nazis is a definite example of selfishness and fear. After explaining about America’s failure to protect Jews in the USA, Wiesel moves on to explain lack of anti-Nazi movements in WWII. He questions “But then, there were human beings…show more content… Moreover, the US army was the first troop to reach the camp where the Nazis held him. In spite of seeing the worst scenarios of dying friends, people getting slaughtered by the gunfire, the soldiers still had the look of horror on their face after seeing the condition of the work camps. Furthermore, they were sympathetic, and at the same time furious about the situation. Wiesel states that he would never forget the experience, and neither will those soldiers who saved him. Similarly, after explaining the ‘Righteous Gentiles,’ and the lack of support for fighting against the Nazis, Wiesel moves on to explain some good things that happened after the World War II. He explains:
And yet, my friends, good things have also happened in this traumatic century: the defeat of Nazism, the collapse of communism, the rebirth of Israel on its ancestral soil, the demise of apartheid, Israel's peace treaty with Egypt, the peace accord in Ireland.