Michael Berenbaum Marxist

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Contracts with Human Commodities Nelson Mandela once said, “Only free men can negotiate. A prisoner cannot enter into contracts.” He was right, not only for the Apartheid, for all universal rights conflicts. This quote can apply to the Holocaust as well. The Jews were treated like objects, and the Germans believed that the Jews had no feelings or thoughts, and that they were slaves to the Aryan race. Now, of course, we know this is wrong. In Michael Berenbaum’s The World Must Know: The History of the Holocaust as told in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, one can examine the treatment of Jews as though a commodity, not human, which can be looked through a Marxist critical lens. First Jews are seen as unhuman, or animals, and are tattooed and marked like cows in a field. Berenbaum explains, “The introduction to life inside the death camp was the humiliation of being shorn and tattooed.” (Berenbaum 149). Berenbaum is trying to make the point clear that Jews were treated like dirt in the Holocaust. Just like oil barrels…show more content…
As Berenbaum states, “Business firms competed for contracts and received goods including gold and hair. They asked for more.” (Berenbaum 152). The Jews led a very comfortable lifestyle before the Holocaust, which was one reason for Hitler’s rage, and so Jews had gold teeth, nice hair, and they were very rich overall. The Germans wanted gold from them, as though they were oil rigs that people had the right to exploit. Nazi’s would take this gold and remold it into gold that they could use, and they would use other belongings of the Jews for various other tasks. Just as Mandela said in South Africa, German businesses were doing the same thing. Through the Marxist critical lens, we can see that Jews were treated like a resource, because businesses would compete for “contracts” on humans and argue for goods, as though they are working with oil and

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