Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write in the HISTORICAL genre (05/03/07)
TITLE: Spirit or Human
By Monica Raye Daly
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He asked “what was the one thing that helped you survive?” The reply was “you have to find the beauty in everything, even the fish head in your soup.”
Oct 5.1942 Hermenn Graebe was an eye witness to Einsatz executions in a small town of Dubno Ukraine. He was not stopped as he heard shooting behind mounds of dirt. He describes how a S.S Nazi sat at the edge of a tremendous grave with a Tommy gun on his lap and smoking a cigarette. Twenty naked people, children and adults, were counted off and lined on a step at the foot of the grave. They were shot and another twenty were counted off. No complaint or plea of mercy.
How could this historical holocaust happen? In the early 1960’s Dr. Stanly Milgram did a study on obedience. He instructed several doctors to shock a patient in another room every time he gave a wrong answer. The shocks were from 15 volts to 400. As the patient yelled and screamed he could not take it anymore the doctors became uncomfortable and hesitated, but were told to proceed. Shedding responsibility, they obeyed. 60 to 65% of Doctors did not take responsibility to stop. Something told them it was wrong, could it be God? but they did not listen.
In 1971, Stanford University did an experiment titled “Mock Prison”. 24 men were selected out of 70. 12 guards and 12 prisoners. The guards were given hand cuffs, uniform, and mirror sunglasses. The prisoners were given a blind fold, a smock to wear, a number and a chain on one foot. It only took one guard to decide he was going to be the meanest out of twelve. Day one: guards ordered prisoners around, made prisoners do push ups, used a fire extinguisher to sock prisoners,and dragged the prisoners out of their cells. The prisoners rebelled, tore off their numbers, refused to leave cells, cursed, and did things back to the guards. Day 2: the guards put prisoners in a closet, (solitary confinement). Taunting escalated and prisoners were made to clean toilets with bare hands. Prisoners taunted back, one showed emotional break down. Day 4: guards turned sexual. More Prisoners had emotional break downs. By Day 5: a social psychologist friend of one of the guards visited the group. She told her friend he was not the person she thought he was. What happened to the loving, caring person she once knew? The experiment ended after five days.
It was realized that the way people respond in a crude situation, with out clear rules, creates a transformation of human character.In their minds they did not see that they were doing wrong. It is likely you would do what the majority does. That is the human side of us. It is rare that a person that can resist and stand against what is wrong. Such a person like Oskar Shindler and other countless Germen citizens who saved Jews from certain death. Oskar made the right choice saving 1200 people. I believe he had a spirit that drove him to save as many people he could. I believe God has and will ask each and every one of us to step up and be that rare person. Do not follow in the steps of men. Follow Jesus. There are many lessons we can take from these experiments. Many lessons we can learn from history. We are responsible for every thing we say. We are responsible for everything we do. For me I would like to think the spiritual side would preserver, but am afraid the human side would win out of fear. So with tears in my eyes I pray God give me strength when that day comes.
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