“I want to know how they managed to have enough will and strength to live through this horrible time?”
Exactly! I don’t think that I would be able to survive in these camps for even a day… I know that we all have the natural will to live, but quite frankly I wouldn’t want to live in a world knowing that you have been shoved into living hell just because you look/think/feel differently. You know that hatred has been engraved into these people’s minds and it might take them years, or even their lifetime to realize how wrong they are for condeming you. As pathethic as this sounds, I would probably starve myself to death under such circumstances.
I completely agree with Alix. I have no idea if could last 6 months in one of those camps, but just having the will to survive is in us and it would be extremely difficult to let yourself die of starvation. That’s probably one of the worst ways to go. Its not like anyone was going to care if you did anyways though. The people in charge would still make you work and force you to work. There was no way of getting out of the work. Starving yourself would only make it worse.
I always forget about how fortunate we are and how separate we are from experiencing war. Our generation has no real experience with a major war and cannot truly connect with our grandfathers and great-grandfather, we can’t even begin to think of what it would be like, but just hearing this help us try to understand. Being excited to eat raw potatoes and grass is something I can’t image being excited for. I want to know how they managed to have enough will and strength to live through this horrible time?
David, the fortunate prisonner
Can you imagine learning of your siblings’ deaths while being forced to carry 50kg cement bags on your back? Where do you find the will to keep living? You wouldn’t ever know for sure when you will be liberated, because you wouldn’t know exactly when the Allies will be coming to your rescue. Personally, I am very close to my older sister(although we fight a lot) and if we were to be placed in concentration camps and she ends up dying, I would be more than devastated; I probably wouldn’t even mind dying at that point. David, on the other hand, seems to be very strong-willed and I respect him for that.
I honestly can’t imagine people eating grass to stay alive… But then again, we saw that when people are desperate for food, they’ll even cannibalize children. I guess grass is better in that case.
My question for everyone is, if you were to be sent to a concentration camp and to be kept there for at least 6 months, would you rather starve yourself to death at the camp, or do all you can to stay alive?
I think it’s human nature to stay alive. It is in our blood, our instincts and our moral development to do anything not to die. On the other hand, if you grow deep into depression and have no strength or the mental capacity to continue thinking about the future, what may happen, what could come and save you… you may just feel the need to end your life because you feel as though you have no hope. I don’t believe I’d starve myself to death unless I was in that complete stage of darkness.
What I found interesting in this video was not only the speaker’s struggle for survival, but the whole host of events that where in fact occuring around the same time as their “Death March”. Perhaps the most striking of these is Hitler’s persistence in the war, and how he was unwilling to give up his Third Reich; so much so that he made his Hitler youth, children yet to reach adulthood, fight for Germany. It is not enough that men must go through the chaos and hell of fighting, but having the new generation going through that fight for survival… It is perhaps one of the most horrendous things “de Fuhrer” has done, besides the holocaust.
This essentially ties in with the speaker’s message of respect for human life: no matter the color, relgion, ethnicity, creed or age. And this is something that was destroyed in its enterity, during this period of darkness in our history, and is something that should never be repeated again.
I never knew the extent of Hitler’s possessiveness over his prisoners until this video. He is much like a petulant child who keeps his toys away from others only to smash them later; he subjects prisoners like David to leave Auschwitz, and other camps, to trek on death marches only for him to kill them later. Going from working in Auschwitz and stealing potatoes and eating grass to marching in the bitter winter with snow to the knees to working in a mine and eating nothing is like finding the oblivion of hell: the next place worse than the last. If the physical burdens were not enough, David had to discover the death of his two brothers. At that point, I would not have been able to continue being subjected by the physical and emotional torture. This is truly “what happens when racism goes unchecked” and I am further appalled with each fact like this that a Tumblr assignment unveils. Though, as appalled as I am, as a student, this is intriguing to learn.
“We must learn to give our fellow students, as you grow up, our fellow neighbours respect regardless of their colour, regardless of their nationality, regardless of their religion”.
David’s words are the lesson that WWII and the Holocaust teaches others throughout the world; though we have advanced, I wish every person in the universe could follow his advice more thoroughly.
My answer to Emily is that it really depends on the circumstances. I need all of the variables before I can decide a proper answer. If I was a patient of the experiments, a prisoner who had to console children and their mothers before sending them to the gassing chambers, or a prisoner forced on a death march, I would try to stay alive only to try and find my loved ones. If I found out they had died, I would have no purpose if I survived the camp and would then resort to starving myself.
After the video, I wondered if all of the death marches were heading west, due to the Russian front closing in; if anyone is interested, I found a map of other Auschwitz Death March routes: http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/media_nm.php?ModuleId=10005162&MediaId=308
I could never myself living in those camps either. But I agree with David that those raw potatoes might taste good, since they haven’t got any REAL FOOD for so long, and it’s better than grass soup. I would rather eat anything I can see & grab than being eaten by the other people. However, living in that kind of condition and facing all those horrible things happening might be extremely disturbing. I think I would have just commit suicide rather than suffer to death.