Paper Example on Romanian Army Joins Soviet Union's 'Holy War' in 1941

Paper Type:  Literature review
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1804 Words
Date:  2023-05-17


During the year 1941, the army of Romanian joined upon the Soviet Union to stressed what their military leader believes in. Their leader believes in what is known as the heritage of Romanian people, their cross, and their justice. Their leader expounds that the campaign advanced by Russia could be termed as a holy war for the right, for the cross, and their entire civilization, for the honor and the future of the nation. An expression of anti-Semitism followed the campaign that was advanced against the soviet nation in its quest to regain the lost territories. Romania people hated Jews, terming them as to belong to a stereotype and pro devil network. During 1944, Romania had managed to kill 270000 Jews. But, since they did not keep a record, they managed to kill over 400000 Jews (Oldson, 302-303). The people who participated significantly in the massacre of Jews were the church, the political leaders, and the bystanders.

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Literature Review

The Role of the Church in the Holocaust

The church contributed heavily to the killing of the Jews, and this is because they were opposed to the Orthodox Church. Some priests advocated the instant killing of the Jews as opposed to taking them to the concentration camps. The leadership of the Orthodox Church agreed on the persecution of Jews. They were treated as second class citizens. Based on their policies, the Orthodox Church demonstrated allegiance to the dictatorial regime. They opposed internationalism and communism advocated by the Jews. Some leaders like Corneliu Codrenau, who formed an iron guard fascist, collaborated with the church in advancing anti-Semitic movement. Corneliu stated that the Jewish found in Romania was a source of the curse, and the solution lies within the dictatorial tendencies of Christianity, truth, and love (Oldson, 304).

Patriarch cristae and the British ambassador held a conversion which clearly displayed the position of the Orthodox Church on Muslims. They both assert that the Jews have siphoned the blood of the Romanians. Cristae finally stated that Romanians have an obligation to protect themselves against the Jews. Most clergymen of the Orthodox Church were members of the iron guard. Cristae has lamented for a very long time that the Jewish immigrant populations were too many in Romania. The statement led to an alliance between the Orthodox Church leaders and the fascist forces (Oldson, 305).

When patriarch cristae were appointed as their leader, the Orthodox Church was at their forefront in their anti-Semitic movement, relying on their principle of cultural nationalism. They transform education to be pure Romanian. The citizens were granted the priority in everything hence eliminate the Jews. Additionally, cristae advocated for revocation and deportation of the Jews. The orthodox priest had massive followers and could influence people easily when pursuing their iron guard fascism. Approximately 33 percent of the orthodox clerics vied for the parliamentary post through fascist iron guard (Oldson, 306).

The Holocaust and World War II never separated bystanders, the perpetrators, and the victims. The persecution of the Jews never occurred by accident; it was planned before by the Naza leadership and Hitler himself. Initially, before the war began, violence and anti-Semitism had spread in entire Germany. The first batch of Jews was killed through euthanasia before the real fight began. Moreover, they were incarcerated and tortured in concentration camps comprising of nearly 25000 individuals before transforming being murdered (Fettweis 226).

The war entered into the climax in 1942 and resulted in millions of murders. When Germany confronted the Russians, it strained their massive resources in their country. Hence, it leads to abandonment of some measures like deporting Jews and keeping in camps to killing directly. Individuals who participated in the war were religious groups, camp commanders, soldiers, and doctors. The ordinary Germans citizens supported the murder of their neighbors by being silent on the cruel regime. Others feared to criticize the killing of Jews for fear of being labeled non-patriotic. The war leads to the massacre of millions of German citizens. The ethical constraints of Germany reduce due to their public slogan of anti-Semitism, which campaigned for the elimination of Jews. Children and women were killed; hence the soldier displayed no remorse (Fettweis 230).

Religious leaders in Germany and international spiritual pressure contributed to killings by deciding to remain silent during the period of the Holocaust. For instance, Pope Pius XII was infamously mute in the entire period of the Holocaust and gave no direction to the 22 million German Roman Catholics (Fettweis 231).

The Role of Rescuers

Rescuers were people not from Jews origin who risked their lives to protect the Jews during the period of holocaust. These people were individually motivated and supported by the Israel slogan of righteous among nations. Warsaw, other ghettos in Eastern Europe, and cities like Amsterdam offered a sizeable underground network responsible for providing and maintaining hideouts for the Jews. Well-orchestrated underground movements across entire Europe, starting from the French and Belgian to Soviet partisans behind enemy lines, admitted Jews in their ranks, giving them a dangerous and uncertain path to survival. Another instance that saved Jews was significant Transformations in government policies, which happens after the summer of 1943. The wave of war had turned irreversibly. State organizations considered abolishing pre-determined deportations of Jews (Kerenji, 57-59).

The Pope's Dilemma

Some priests were accomplices to mass murder, but Pop Pius XII chose to remain silent on the matter. He avoided criticizing his catholic followers and decided to prioritize his spiritual activities. Pop did not want to put into danger catholic structures and institutions. He had cautious temperament. His primary obligation involves leading the catholic faithful's towards salvation (Cucchiara, 297-299).

The Moral Psychology of Rescuers, Bystanders, and Nazis during the Holocaust

The Bystanders

In the Holocaust, a bystander was a term that was used to explain passivity to Nazi crimes. Bystanders, they portrayed passivity since they failed to act to the pleas of others, failure to assist, and speaks against the injustices put on them. Most institutions and local people engaged fully in Nazi crimes, through involvement in persecuting Jews in Germany and other parts of Europe. The bystanders ranging from political figures such as Pope Pius XII, President Franklin Roosevelt, diplomatic and humanitarian, international banks, and corporations exhibited moral failure when millions of people were murdered (Barnett, 635).

Bystanders benefitted immensely from the properties that were initially owned by the Jews. Institutions like Swiss banks failed to disclose to the relatives the bank accounts of those who have been murdered. They obtained a significant amount of profit from the gold trade they did during the Nazi war. German citizens identified themselves with the Nazi party, and this aided in the spread and spread of the Nazi police state. Local citizens who had horse-drawn carts were paid money at a fixed rate to enable transportation of their Jewish neighbors from the ghetto to trains to be deported (Barnett, 635-639).

The factors that lead to the eruption of genocide include the intentional destruction of religious groups, racial, ethnic, and national groups. Others include dictatorial regimes, individual psychological factors, and wars, and economic depression. Bystanders perceive themselves as who lack control and have a low level of efficacy. The Nazis individual image view themselves as victims who deserve to protect themselves and their community. Rescuers believe they are linked to all human beings through bonds of common humanity. The Nazis and bystanders gave priority to the community and use out-group or in-group distinction. They also believed they had no power to change what was taking place. They believe whatever is happening to humans was dictated by history and had no choice to interfere by helping others. These groups of people opined that the suffering inflicted on others was something over which they could not control (Monroe, 699-701).

Previous wrongs inflicted on individuals, the legitimacy of a group claiming a particular territory, and self-image or identity plays a fundamental role in justifying genocide. Psychologist claims that social identity theory stressed on in-group or out-group change, and is central to the classic description of how group identities solidify. These groups develop enmity on each other and restrict individual choice by informing what good behavior is. One argument asserts that genocide starts when ethnic identities become established, and boundaries reinforced into politicized as opposed to less polarizing cultural identities. Other scholars affirmed that the development of groups could make members end up engaging in a genocidal dynamic. This act increase when the identities are coded into formal power-sharing arrangements (Monroe, 701).

Politics and Poetics of Vatican Holocaust Discourse

The reasons why Pop Pius XII remained silent on world war and Holocaust is because he wanted to display himself as a political peacemaker, and used the opportunity to save western Europe from communist encroachment and maintained the Vatican power. Secondly, he was worried that the Vatican might be physically destroyed. Thirdly, his intervention might have led to aerial bombardments from both axis and allied powers. Also, he wanted to affirm the neutrality of the Vatican church in foreign affairs. Even though the church dissent on the racial perception of Nazi towards Jews, they also agreed that Jews pose so many problems because of their religious doctrines and initial support of French revolution (Lang, 217-218).

Additionally, Pius XI's prohibited the marriage between the Catholics and converted Jews and the ban on catholic schools. The church's intention to convert the Jews to Catholics shows their neutral stance. However, even after conversion, they still did not agree that the converted Jews were equal to the Catholics. A letter written by a converted Jew requesting Pop Pius XII to intervene on behalf of Jews in Europe and publicly speak against Nazi German was not taken into consideration. This proves that the Vatican was receptive to pleas from Jews to be assisted (Lang, 221).

The Execution of High-Ranking Nazis after the Second World War

When the Second World War came stopped, the atrocities done by Nazi raised some very tangible challenges. The government was concerned about how the perpetrators should be judge, which ways should be employed to execute the criminals who were given death sentenced, and what their bodies should be done after their death. Most top public officials who participated in Nazi were executed. The bodies of some leaders like former SS Captain Erich Priebke and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were rejected in their countries, forcing them to be buried secretly elsewhere. War criminals who worked for Nazi and built Hitler's were all sentenced to death, and up to now, nobody knows of where their bodies were taken and methods of their executions (Patin, 248-249).

Some leaders who participated through mass murder and extermination of Jews were attempted to be killed through attacks and assassinations. For instance, polish resistance fighters tried to kill Hans Frank, the governor-general belonging to occupied Poland. The local resistance networks attempted murder on the life of Reinhard Heydrich in Prague. The Polish networks were also unsuccessful in trying to assassinate Friedrich-Wil...

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