La Vita e Bella: A Look into Nazi Concentration Camps Movie: Life is beautiful. Hitler had a different vision of beautiful, which he shared with others of the Nazi party. They believed their race to be “pure” and wanted only the so-called “pure” to remain. Hitler and the Nazis took advantage of their power and tried to execute all people who they didn’t believe to be of their “pure” race. “As for the Jews, they are incapable of being enlightened by German culture. Instead, they are destroyers of culture, defilers of Aryan blood, the enemies of all that is noble and pure.
Throughout the pages of Mein Kampf, Hitler heaps abuse on the Jews, calling them “maggots,” “blood-suckers,” “vampires,” “a pestilence,” and “personifications of the Devil. ” The goal of the Jews, he writes, is to defile the German race, dilute the pure Aryan blood, and take control of the world. ” (Lace 40, 41) The Nazis’ viewed other cultures as being below their own. Children were taught from the beginning to despise Jews, even in school. Children were enlisted in the Hitler Youth, where they would be taught and trained in Nazi policies.
Millions of people were separated from their homes and families, forced to do strenuous labor, tortured, and killed. In the Nazi concentration camps, many people did not make it out with their lives; they were placed in the Nazi’s hands of fate and unfortunately had to endure trials no person should ever be put through. The Italian movie La Vita e Bella is based in the 1930s. The small family of Guido, Dora, and their son Giosue are taken from their home by German forces and put into a concentration camp.
Giosue and his father stay together, while his mother is taken to a separate camp for women. To get Giosue to cooperate with the Germans’ demands, his father tells him they are playing a game, and he has to do exactly as they say to win the prize, which he believes to be a tank. Guido tells his son that he has to be quite and follow directions so they can gain more “points” in the game that they’re playing against the others in the camp, or other “teams”. When Giosue wants to go home, Guido tells him that they can’t leave now, because they are in the lead.
Guido tells his son to hide in a sweatbox until everyone leaves, pretending they are playing a game of hide and seek. While Giosue is hiding, Guido tries to find his wife by dressing up and sneaking into the women’s camp. He is found by a Nazi, shot and killed. An American tank shows up to free the camp when the war is over and Giosue comes out from his hiding spot. He is excited because, after being skeptical of his father’s stories about the game they have been playing, he believes the tank is the prize and he has won. An American soldier takes him into the tank until he is later reunited with his mother.
He exclaims that they won the game and is overjoyed about the tank, while his mother is simply happy he is alive. Giosue is very young at the time and doesn’t quite realize the sacrifice his father made for him, to spare his innocence and his life. Research: Hitler believed what he was doing, not only to Jews, but other groups as well, was right and acceptable. He tried to justify himself using nature as an example: “To Hitler, the plan seemed no more immoral than the process of evolution, the survival of the fittest. “Nature is cruel,” he said in 1940. “therefore, we, too, may be cruel.
If I don’t mind sending the pick of the German people into the hell of war without regret for the shedding of valuable German blood, then I have naturally the right to destroy millions of men of inferior races who increase like vermin. ” (Steward 94) What he was doing was unethical and immoral. Between 1942 and 1945, approximately 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust. More than half of them were exterminated through the gas chamber system. Many times, exhaust fumes from truck or tank engines were pumped into sealed gassing vans, sealed railroad cars or chambers made especially for the task.
Others were shot, hanged or beat to death. Between 1933 and 1945, there were about 20,000 Nazi camps established, used for forced-labor and extermination. As the war progressed, the camp system expanded rapidly. However, there was no solid evidence that the prisoners were being murdered in the camps. (http://www. ushmm. org/wlc/article. php? lang=en&ModuleId=10005144) As of January 20, 1942, camps were constructed for the singular purpose of mass extermination of Jews and other groups which were not acceptable for the Aryan race such as Communists, Democrats, Socialists, political criminals, gypsies, and homosexuals.
Originally, they were only intended for criminals, security risks, and enemies of the regime. After Germany took over Czechoslovakia, Poland, Austria, Holland, and France, there were hundreds of camps built throughout their land. Soon, the death rates became so high, disposal of corpses became a problem. Conditions in the camps were very bad; many people died from malnutrition, exhaustion, exposure to the elements, and disease. In addition to the gas chambers, there were also gallows and crematoria used for extermination and disposal of the dead.
Mentally and physically defective individuals, as defined by the Nazi government, were considered “undesirable” and “life unworthy of life”. Operating from the Berlin Chancellery at Tiergartenstrasse 4, they organized government-sponsored killing. Anyone considered to have defective genetic material were euthanized because they were believed to be endangering the Aryan purity. Some could not believe how doctors, who were supposed to be committed to the healing of patients, would even begin to get involved in something such as the euthanization of mtentally or physically disabled people.
It took a gradual course which began with “mercy killing” and eventually led up to the genocide of millions of Jews and other undesirable racial groups. There was a “Protective Custody” law passed on February 28, 1933. It allowed police to make arrests on suspicion of criminal activity. People were incarcerated without a trial. (http://frank. mtsu. edu/~baustin/holocamp. html) Auschwitz, the largest concentration and execution camp, located in Poland, was the most efficient camp in carrying out the “Final Solution”.
During the Holocaust, it was the killing centre where the largest number of European Jews were killed. The number of dead from this particular camp will never be known; most of the prisoners were not registered. It is estimated somewhere between one and two and half million were murdered there. A total of about 985,000 Jews were killed in Auschwitz, and approximately 890,000 were gassed on arrival. Women would cut themselves and rub blood on their cheeks to give the appearance of being healthy. If they looked too pale, they were considered unhealthy and killed.
Most of the time, children in the camp were killed upon arrival, and children born in the camp were usually killed on the spot. Camp doctors would often times torture children in the camp. They would inflict suffering upon them in many forms, such as being put into pressure chambers, tested with drugs, or frozen to death. They also did a lot of testing on twins. A camp doctor by the name of Josef Mengele did many studies on twins and how they were affected by things such and drugs and surgeries. Not many survived.
He performed his experimental operations without anesthesia. He would experiment with their bodies, dissecting them and comparing. Mengele would transfer blood from one twin to the other, see how they reacted to injections of lethal germs, and remove organs and limbs. He also tried injecting chemicals into children’s eyes, attempting to change their eye color. For the completely absurd and inhumane experiments Mengele conducted on his patients, he was nicknamed the Angel of Death. (http://www. auschwitz. dk/Auschwitz. tm) Between 1933 and 1945 approximately 9 million Jews lived across the 21 countries of Europe which were occupied by Nazi Germany during World War II. By the end of the war, two of every three European Jews had been killed. About 1. 5 million children were murdered, 1. 2 million of them being Jewish. (http://www. deathcamps. info/) Historical Analysis: For the most part, the movie La Vita e Bella is historically accurate. It shows how the people taken captive were taken from their homes and sent to camps where they were treated crudely.
It was shown how Guido, representing men in the camps, was forced to do backbreaking manual labor while Dora, representing women in the camps, worked within the camp by doing things such as sorting clothes, sewing, and cooking. Most children were killed upon arriving in concentration camps. In the movie, all the children were called to take a shower, where they would actually be put into a gas chamber. Giosue refused to take a shower, which in turn saved his life, leaving him as the only child left in the camp. Toward the end of the movie, Guido snuck into the women’s camp in search of his wife.
He was going to try to sneak her out of the camp before they could take her to be executed. He was stealthy in hiding from the Nazis keeping watch over the camp, but he was unfortunately caught which lead to his death. Many people in the camps tied to escape and surreptitiously gain back their freedom. However, in the movie they did not portray any of the torturous events that went on in death camps. Many people died, but they were either put into gas chambers or shot. Overall, I saw the movie La Vita e Bella to be a historically accurate and very touching film.
In the Nazi concentration camps, many people did not make it out with their lives; they were placed in the Nazi’s hands of fate and unfortunately had to endure trials no person should ever be put through. The Jews and other groups the Nazis targeted were treated carelessly and brutally during the time Hitler was at power. The Nazis’ goal was to create the perfect race, so they thought to simply eliminate all who stood in their way. Did they not see mass-murder as a problem? Once the war was over, and those few still alive in the camps were once again free, they still had all the terrible memories of what they saw, heard, and went through.
It is unfortunate that millions of people had to die in concentration camps alone, while a world war was going on where even more lives were taken. During the genocide of the Holocaust at the hands of Hitler and the Nazi party, many gruesome events occurred and people were put under horrid circumstances. We study what happened in the past, and learn of what was inflicted upon the Jews and other targeted groups so that we can see what grim times they went through and the horrible things a respected leader, such as Adolf Hitler, would turn to when given enough power.