Upon my visit to the Imperial war Museum and tour of both the Holocaust and Crimes Against Humanity Exhibit, I learned more about the relationship between human nature and law than I ever imagined possible. Genocide, the act of mass killings with the intent of erasing an entire…
The most valuable thing I took with me from this experience was how the duality of law could be manipulated to serve one’s ulterior motives for the better or for the worse.
The use of the Holocaust Exhibition to educate European citizens, as well as individuals worldwide on the historical implications resulting from the First World War is undoubtedly an invaluable resource. As noted on the exhibition website, “Taking as its starting point the turbulent political scene in Europe immediately after the First World War, the exhibition traces the rise of the Nazi party, how anti-Semitism as a Europe-wide phenomenon made a fertile seedbed for Hitlers anti-Jewish beliefs, the perversion of science to support Nazi race theory, the isolation of German Jews, the refugee crisis and the advent of so-called Euthanasia policies in 1939 (london.iwm.org.uk).” These policies point to the deeper issue that caused the Holocaust, namely the policies that lead law abiding citizens to perform acts of genocide As Staub says in Zimbardo’s work in the course notes, “Genocide was not perpetrated by evil people of extraordinary, demonic characteristics. Rather by ordinary individuals in extraordinary social circumstances (Staub, 1989; Zimbardo 2004).” All of this shows how detrimental corrupt laws enacted by those empower can lead to horrific occurrences disguised in the form of policy. The powerful impact these exhibits have on its visitors is telling in its own right. As further noted on the site, one visitor cited “Moved, deeply… shocked. Although we all know the truth now, it is a shaking human experience to be confronted with it.” Another visitor noted that, “This powerful exhibit should act as a warning to our children.” My reaction to these exhibits was very similar to that of these visitors. I was appalled but also intrigued by the human nature and frailties in the legal system that allowed it to happen. The visitors ...
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