Cp English 11



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Thomas Sam

Cp English 11

Ms. Mattor

11/31/09


Essay

The Salem witch trials and the Holocaust were similar yet very different perceptively speaking. Both were tragic events where many innocent people had fell victim to the fallacy committed against them from people with no just cause or reason. These cataclysms the case seemed to be that both parties accused were being scapegoated for things they were not responsible for. Yet in trials they were accused of being witches but in the Holocaust they were accused for their religion. So Jews were actually persecuted for what they really were whereas in the trials the people who were accused were most likely not witches.

The Salem witch trials occurred in colonial Massachusetts between 1692 and 1693. More than 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft (the Devil's magic) and 20 were executed. Eventually, the colony admitted the trials were a mistake and compensated the families of those convicted. Since then, the story of the trials has become synonymous with paranoia and injustice, and it continues to beguile the popular imagination more than 300 years later.

The Holocaust began in 1933 when Hitler came to power in Germany and ended in 1945 when the Nazis were defeated by the Allied powers. It is estimated that 11 million people were killed during the Holocaust. Six million of these were Jews. The Nazis killed approximately two-thirds of all Jews living in Europe. An estimated 1.1 million children were murdered in the Holocaust. The term "Holocaust," originally from the Greek word "holokauston" which means "sacrifice by fire," refers to the Nazi's persecution and planned slaughter of the Jewish people.

Like in any other genocide the Holocaust and the witch trials are no different. Many innocent people die over a worthless cause for no just reason. They were killed without hesitation just because someone said that they were one of the people being accused even if that wasn’t the case. Many people lost their life over the ignorance of human nature, as they say though ignorance is bliss.

People always need someone to blame for anything so they use others as a scapegoat for things that they aren’t really responsible. This was apparent in the witch trials because when someone was accused of being a witch that person would accuse someone else of being a witch to take the blame off their hands. In the Holocaust the Jews were used as Hitler’s scapegoat. He argued that they were the reason why the world has problems and without them the world would be a better place to live, so he took it upon himself to rid the earth of them.

The thing that has baffled me is how in both of these time periods the societies allowed certain atrocities to occur without being checked or stopped by anyone for a certain period of time. In Salem everyone acted like these witch hunts and accusations were a normal thing and they were the will of god. In the Holocaust no one opposed Hitler and agreed with his points and allowed him to be this unstoppable disregarding power hungry monster.

A difference between the two was in Salem the people accused were trialed for the accusations against them as opposed to the Holocaust where if someone said you were a Jew they would apprehend and condemn that person right away. Although they were put on trial, the jury was the group of delinquent girls that would accuse anyone to uphold there name. The reason why the Jews were not trialed was because Hitler was intolerant and had no concern if u were really a Jew so he automatically accused you.



Unlike in Salem the Jews were being persecuted for their religion whereas the people in Salem were being accused of some random accusation of being a witch. The Jewish people had the decision to lie and deny the fact that they weren’t Jewish but, the people accused of being a witch couldn’t do anything but hope the “ jury “ would deem them a normal person. Even though the Jews had the opportunity to change or try to deny and hide their religion doesn’t mean it was the right thing to do, it is a matter of faith.

Even though these two catastrophes happened in different time periods and had many differences they also had many similarities. These are just two examples of many witch hunts that have occurred in history over the years and I’m sure there are many more to come. In a way all these witch hunts in time have many akin characteristics and similarities as well as differences.


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