The Crucible And The Holocaust: Similarities Between It And Salem Witch Trials
The Crucible is similar to many other cases of abuse of power, The Holocaust being one of the main ones that include a form of fear and ultimately unwarranted hatred. Over the years millions of people have been unjustly imprisoned. During the 1930s, The Holocaust was a genocide known to man, having 11 million people killed during the Holocaust. Then in 1692, witch hunting and hanging in Salem was a prime example of people wrongfully accusing and punishing other people. Although the two events have huge differences, they do have quite a few similarities that they share.
What made the Nazis’ hatred of the Jews unusual was that it was racial. They believed that the Jews grabbed economic leadership, were intrusive in politics and culture and that the Jews were the ones that were biologically and racially distinct and were fighting for dominance over the entire human race between the Jews and everybody else. The Nazis’ feared that the Jews life and even a child was a threat to the fatherland, they believed that they acquired vast power that was used in a malign way. (Cesarani). Hitler believed that if he destroyed all Jewish communities, they would reverse the war effort and stab Germany in the back as he had learned from 1918. He convinced many people that the world would have been a better place if all Jews and all other “undesirables” were also killed or used for medical experiments.
A similar situation happened in the story “The Crucible”, where a young girl named Abigail Williams convinces the whole town of Salem that certain people are “witches” and or even practiced witchcraft. Despite the fact that she’s a child, the whole town seems to listen to her accusations and were convinced that she was telling the truth. The reason the town believes her is because they came to believe that children are pure and innocent compared to the adults, that’s where Abigail‘s influences were the greatest. In every situation or accusation, Abigail always had to be present with the other girls, that way whatever or whoever Abigail accused, the girls would agree with her and even acted out. Abigail and the girls had similar characteristics with The Holocaust that they both enable them to have power over people’s ideas and beliefs.
Besides sharing common traits, Abigail also discriminates against people that had to obey the rules of society. The victims were just plain outsiders that were only accused of witchcraft because either the girls wanted something from them. Hitler killed all the Jews and other people because they had different views of religions that were differed from the ones that were taught to him or saw that it was right in his eyes. Along with the Jews, he also thought that people that were impaired or had a mental disability were undeserving of life and had deserved to die just like the Jews.
The people that were accused of doing witchcraft were the ones that lived their lives, unlike the town folks. An example would be Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne who were both accused of being witches simply because they were known to be either an alcoholic or homeless. When Elizabeth Proctor was suggested as being a witch she claimed she wasn’t a “Goody Good that sleeps in ditches, nor Osburn, drunk and half-witted. She’d dare not call out such a farmer’s wife.” (Miller, 2003, p. 61). In both events all the people that lived outside the regular standards often found themselves being persecuted.
The Holocaust, in the end, was found out by the Allied troops as they moved across Europe in a series of offensives against Nazi Germany, they began to encounter tens of thousands of concentration camps prisoners. (Abzug, 1994). Hitler knew he was caught and would face the consequences, which left him to commit suicide before the Soviet Union got to him. Compared to the Salem witch trial, Judge Danforth had come to realize that he had been wrong in listening to Abigail and the girls and was at fault for all those that he had killed. The people that were in high power know that John Proctor’s confession was very important to the town because he was a well-known and respected citizen of the town that it was quite impossible for him to have committed a crime such as have an affair. The need for having him sign the statement was important for the court because without him signing it that the town couldn’t back up the hanging case unless they convinced that a respectable citizen was trailed for working with the Devil. Mr. Parris stated, “It is a weighty name; it will strike the village that Proctor confesses. I beg you, let him sign it.” (Miller, 2003, p. 141). The people in power in both of these events became out of control and regretted how far they took the situation. The links between the two happenings are massive and plentiful. The goal of each horrifying incident was to “purify” society and rid the world of all the people that did not fit into the normal standards of society. The similarities between the Holocaust and The Crucible remain in people’s memory throughout their lifetimes and the victims that died in both situations have left people with encouragement to stand up for what they believe in.
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