The gods of ancient Greece were quite different from the gods of monotheistic religions. They were produced to a considerable degree by projecting a broad range of human qualities, both good and evil. At one extreme of the scale, gods represent natural forces and are personified as such. The gods and goddesses of Greek mythology are remarkable and fascinating entities that touched ancient Greece.
These heavenly beings, even though fictitious, had a great deal of significance and were designed to represent the most sacred and important aspects of society. This led to a variety of affinities, including childbearing and drinking, being associated with the deities. The location was another essential element that unified these mystery beings. Many holy locations existed in ancient Greece, and their popularity was founded on thousands of years of past activity on those sites. It’s only logical that they’re dispersed among the gods and goddesses to be nurtured, loved, and adored.
There were many different tribes living in Greece before to the arrival of the ancient Greeks, who developed civilization and handed down their traditions. When people began farming instead of hunting and gathering, they began to attribute their success to a goddess of the Earth, which was only natural. Sanctuaries were immediately established in honor of their god in particular geographical places. They were chosen because of their proximity to the sun, moon, and stars, as well as the atmosphere. The location of each shrine was chosen for its spiritual significance.
With the advancement of civilization came the introduction of other well-known deities such as Zeus and Hermes as well as Apollo. These temples devoted to these deities eventually took the place of those dedicated to Earth. The gods’ powers were derived from the mystical significance of the places where they lived. There would be a collection of hymns honoring these revered locations and the gods and goddesses who lived there in the Homeric Hymns.
Throughout the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, there is a clear connection between the gods of particular places and the land itself. At this song, Leto is believed to have given birth to Apollo in all of the places she is said to have visited. All of the places named here reject the goddess out of fear of the yet-to-be-born deity. No other place would welcome the birth except for a desolate wasteland in desperate need of rebirth, which Apollo pledged to give. The song says, “Delos was gladdened actually by the birth of the Lord, the Far-Shooter.” (“Homeric Hymn to Apollo” 90). Consequently, the hymn mentions Apollo’s birth and the ancient Greek city-state of Delos.
Aphrodite’s song is another hymn that refers to specific locations. Much of Greek mythology derives from the mother goddess, Ida, the name of which appears in this hymn. She arrived to Mount Idea, renowned for its many springs, the mother of all animals,” the poem reads (“Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite” 65). Due to its natural beauty, this place is ideal for the goddess of love, who will benefit much from its abundance.
Geographical factors had a role in determining the specific attributes of each deity and goddess. These sites are significant in Greek mythology and culture because they signify anything from a god’s origin to a fundamental depiction of a god’s might. In addition, the presence of these deities lends credence to the location’s value and usefulness. When it comes to legends, mythology completes the cycle, with the creation of deities and their subsequent importance for a certain location based on their natural surroundings.
“Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite.” Center for Hellenic Studies, translated by Gregory Nagy, 2018.
“Homeric Hymn to Apollo.” Center for Hellenic Studies, translated by Rodney Merrill, n.d.
Gray, Martin. “Sacred Geography of Ancient Greece.” World Pilgrimage Guide, sacredsites.com/europe/greece/sacred_geography_of_ancient_greece.html.
The Hate Crime Trials Of Ahmaud Arbery’s Murderers Free Writing Sample
According to data posted by Statista, in 2020 alone, there were 3915 victims of anti-African American hate crimes in the United States, making it the racially motivated hate crime with the most victims in that year. In the same year, the United States witnessed the racially motivated killing of an African American male, George Floyd, resulting in nationwide protests and riots. Moreover, discourses on hate crimes have also roped in the issue of law enforcement and their role in perpetuating hate crimes in the country. Considering the adverse consequence of hate crimes and the trauma suffered by the victims of the hate crimes, it is imperative to investigate the causes of the hate crimes by focusing on the criminal trials of Ahmaud Arbery’s Murderers to understand the motivation of such heinous crimes against an individual.
Ahmaud Arbrey, born May 8th, 1994, met his untimely death on February 23rd, 2020, in Satilla shores, near Brunswick in Georgia. The deceased was jogging when three Caucasian men accosted him, resulting in his death (Smith par 2). The circumstance of his death and killing were disturbing as the law enforcement officers veiled the truth of the cause of his death with lies. The report indicates that on the night of Ahmaud’s murder, the local police department called his family and informed them of his death in a burglary gone wrong. However, an amateur video showed the last moments of his life and how he was brutally shot by the McMichaels’ multiple times, resulting in his death. Just before Travis McMicheals shot the victim, he muttered the phrase “Fucking Nigger” a racial slur, after that firing the shot that killed Arbrey (Yankah 681). Moreover, the prosecution in the case as reported by Kirkland et al. argued that “At the end of the day, the evidence in this case will prove that if Ahmaud Arbery had been White, he would have gone for a jog, checked out a cool house under construction, and been home in time for Sunday supper” (par 2) The statement confirms that the crime was racially motivated
The hate crime trial of Ahmaud Arbery’s murderers resonates with me as it shows just how deeply America is divided across racial lines. Arbery’s death represents the deaths of other African Americans who were targeted because of the color of their skin. The trial illuminates the dark cloud that hovers over American society and the persistent racial injustices that different generations of African Americans have suffered both at the hand of extremists and law enforcement. Nonetheless, as the current society continues to confront the issue of racial injustice and crimes of hate, it is evident that the country has not embraced diversity as it is claimed. Minority groups are continuously lynched and segregated and often become victims of hate crimes or, even worse, are killed either by the police or other citizens. Considering diversity and unity are some of America’s values, efforts must be made to win the hearts and minds of the people and promote harmony in society.
In summation, the Hate crime trial of Arbery’s murders illuminates the problem of racialized hate crimes in the United States and how systematic racism in the police veils such crimes. This topic resonates with me as I have seen how dangerous and deadly racial divides can be and how societies can be torn apart if the issue of race is not addressed sufficiently and properly. In this respect, looking at the trial of the murderers of Arbery and trying to understand how peace and unity can be fostered in society shall go a long way in improving the peaceful co-existence of diverse groups in society.
Kirkland, Pamela, et al. “Ahmaud Arbery Would Not Have Been Killed If He Were White, Prosecutors Say in Hate Crimes Trial.” CNN, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/02/14/us/ahmaud-arbery-hate-crime-trial-opening/index.html.
Smith, Jamil. “The Hate Crimes Trial of Ahmaud Arbery’s Murderers Will Put Racism in the Spotlight.” Vox, 8 Feb. 2022, https://www.vox.com/22922329/ahmaud-arbery-hate-crimes-federal-trial.
Yankah, Ekow N. “Ahmaud Arbery, Reckless Racism and Hate Crimes: Recklessness as Hate Crime Enchancement.” Ariz. St. LJ, vol. 53, 2021, p. 681.
The Holocaust In The Third Reich: Legislation, Policy, Countries And Conditions Free Writing Sample
Studying the Holocaust today fails to capture and recognize its significance and uniqueness as a historical phenomenon and its role in shaping universal concepts. Although the Holocaust occurred almost a century ago, its impacts are still rife. As the most significant social and historical phenomenon of the 20th century, the catastrophe led to Western Civilization, National State, human nature, and modern bureaucracy. The persecution and the extermination of the jews and the weak led to the mass murder of approximately eleven million people across Europe (Dietrich, 1981). The Holocaust as a unique phenomenon exposes people to the fragility of the institutions tasked with protecting life and property and how such institutions should be kept alive through checks and balances.
Implementation of the Holocaust between 1933 to 1939 in Germany
When Adolf Hitler became Germany’s chancellor on January 30, 1933, the country had no blueprint for the mass genocide of jews. Hitler was determined to end the country’s democracy to a totalitarian state by convincing the cabinet to invoke constitutional emergency clauses (Diefendorf, 2002). The suspension of individual freedoms of speech, press, assembly, special security forces called Gestapo, and other state-sponsored criminal acts silenced the opposition (Stephenson, 2001). In his quest to control and weaken the resistance, Hitler used organized terror to threaten and silence opponents and his perceived ideological enemies. The Enabling Act of 1933 granted Hitler all dictatorial powers to advance his antisemitism ideologies. After this Act, the Nazis implemented racial ideologies believing that the Germans had racial superiority over other races. They also propagated the idea that the superior race struggled to coexist with the inferior race, paving the way for exterminating the Jews, Gypsies, and the handicapped (Klaff, 2019). To them, the inferior race posed a threat to the purity of the Aryan race, also known as the master race. The Nazis separated the inferior races from the master race by establishing concentration camps to hold the political prisoners and the inferior races.
The Holocaust assumed different dimensions that contributed to the separation of the master races with the perceived weaker races. The Nazi propaganda booklet helped them determine who deserved superior race and who qualified as an inferior race. The Nazi ideology commenced with anti-Jewish measures based on traditional Christian antisemitism that bordered on racist antisemitism (Diefendorf, 2002). The elements of the conventional Christian portrayed Jews as a destructive and inferior race. Hitler used his book, Mein Kampf, to propagate his views on the inferiority of the Jewish race by insisting that Germans needed a “living space” in the new world order (Klaff, 2019). The propaganda spread fast and fueled the Jews’ archenemy’ narrative in the struggle for the races’ survival. The policy to demean the Jews would soon spread across Europe. The Nazis used mass media to disseminate their perverted narratives as supported by the ministry of propaganda (David, 2019). They also corrupted the educational system to teach the Nazi academic curriculum and convey the Nazism ideologies to the youth. It served as a way for the government to indoctrinate Nazism to the young people and recruit them to their course. The Nazis also used the German cultural and art centers to depict Nazi symbolism and imagery to push its dogma.
In the first year of Nazi rule, thousands of Jews fled Germany primarily by themselves and without any external assistance. The increasing pressure in Germany exacerbated the situation forcing the jews to emigrate, initially through individual efforts, but later, Jewish organizations aided the emigrants. The organizations gathered materials about the hospitable countries and areas for the emigrants to occupy. The humanitarian organizations also prepared the Jews through vocational training and taught them different languages to make it easy to adapt to their new environments. Between 1938 and 1939, it became a Nazi policy to conduct massive emigration of Jews from Germany and Austria (Klaff, 2019). The Jews did not choose to leave their birth-land out of their own volition but were forced by circumstances. In 1938, “Kristallnacht“, a horrific radicalization in the Nazi regime occurred and imparted horrific radicalization against Jews. It represented the “final solution” where all Jews should have been killed by burning them in synagogues, shooting, gas vans, etc. About 17,000 Polish Jews were deported from Germany, and the ripple effects felt and manifested by the culmination of violence against Jews in the Reich. During the event, approximately one hundred jews died.
Jews in Western and Central Europe considered themselves integral society members, but the Nazi regime cut them off from their residential countries. The Jews in France, Netherlands, and Austria faced discriminatory legislation to lose their citizenship status and ban their economic life. In Germany, the jews wore clothes marked with a yellow star or something equivalent to make them visible and identifiable in the choreographed separation and segregation (Chapman, 2020). They were not allowed to use basic amenities like making a phone call. The Nazi policy grew extremely harsh with time until all the Central and Western European Jews were deported to Eastern Europe’s death camps. The Nazi soldiers meted the Jews with extreme humiliation, violent physical attacks, and reckless murder in Poland. The Nazi Policy lacked clear and directed initiatives making the attacks arbitrary (David, 2019). However, the concentrated efforts robbed the Jews of their security and filled their futures with uncertainty. The Jews at the concentration camps as prisoners were being economically exploited. For instance, the SS authorities hired them out to German companies in forced labor without pay as enslaved people. They worked under harsh conditions where diseases spread, causing thousands of deaths in what the authorities called “extermination through labor” applied to people with Jewish roots.
Other activities that indicate how Holocaust occurred include the Anti-Jewish boycotts. These were organized protests directed towards the Jews advocating for their exclusion from political, economic, and cultural lives. In Hungary, for example, the government passed laws to limit Jew’s financial activities. In Russia, the protests led to the revocation of Jews ability to purchase lands or take mortgages. In Poland, the law of “Ghetto benches” limited the Jews who attended universities and separated them from non-Jewish learners (Chapman, 2020). The boycotts spread to reach even the US as championed by Father Charles Coughlin, who agitated for “Buy Christian” campaigns. Resultantly, the Ivy League colleges in the country limited the number of students with Jewish roots.
Role of Different People and Countries in the Holocaust
Germany and its collaborators led to the death of eleven million people during and after the Holocaust. Some countries in Europe either complied with Germany or resisted, but the impacts of the Holocaust were pervasive to be felt far and wide. Poland had noted rising cases of antisemitism before 1939, and the Polish authorities had taken decisive steps to exclude Jews from crucial areas of the society (Diefendorf, 2002). Some Polish leaders had even pushed for the mass emigration of the Jewish population. However, after Germany invaded Poland in 1939 and tore the country between Germany and the Soviet Union, the Nazis perceived the Poles as inferior. The Poles thus received the same treatment as Jews after their leaders were destroyed, intellectuals, teachers, and Catholic priests killed. The Polish government-assisted its citizens while in exile. Hungary, from the onset, remained under German rule and had similar antisemitic legislation as Germany. The Soviet Union granted equality to its citizens regardless of sex, race, age, nationality, or religion and thus was against the Holocaust. Sweden, a neutral country during WWII, did not engage itself directly with Holocaust (Chapman, 2020). However, the government maintained close trading relations with Nazi Germany even after the widespread knowledge of the persecution and extermination of jews. The Swedes did not actively practice antisemitism, but they did not condemn it.
Further, Sweden tightened its immigration policy and admitted very few Jewish refugees, probably due to its strong ties with Germany. Austria was a close ally of Germany in the Holocaust, given that it is where Hitler was born. It conducted systematic plunder, persecution, and extermination of Jews just as Germany advanced.
The Nazis and allies in the war against the Jews used camps and ghettos for the persecution, control, and murder of Jews. The initial stages of the Holocaust commenced with the perceived harmless of legal separation and segregation of Jews from non-Jews. The Nazis advanced the idea that Jews were a problem and represented an inferior race. The Aryans or pure German-born were the perceived superior race Nazis had to protect (Dietrich, 1981). They passed laws that stripped the Jews of their citizenship and properties, among other liberties. Initially, the government used concentration camps to detain “enemies of the state” who were essentially political prisoners. However, the use of camps increased when it started holding a-socials like homosexuals, Roma, Jehovah Witnesses, etc.
The advancement of concentration camps which referred to a place where people concentrated and were held without trial, represented the non-democratic state of the nation (David, 2019). Cases of the inmates being exploited for their labor by the Nazis became rampant. The living conditions in the camps were also deplorable but served to show that the Jews were “lesser beings.” As the Holocaust worsened, a distinction between a concentration camp and an extermination camp became necessary (Beh Aharon, 2020). While people also died in the concentration camps, the aim was to contain the prisoners in one place to curtail their mingling with other races. However, extermination camps were meant to eradicate and murder the inferior or degenerate races. The Nazis operated six extermination camps: Auschwitz-Birkenau (the largest), Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor and Treblinka (BBC, 2022). All these provided means to control the Jews or kill them fast.
Forced labor camps started after 1937 after rearmament led to a labor shortage. The concentration camps separated family members and killed many others due to the lack of hygiene, torture, malnourishment. The initial laws in Germany and Austria allowed and enforced the mass emigration of Jews to separate the races and retain a dominant race. In the process, Austrians and Germans seized Jewish properties, as witnessed by the widespread transfer of properties from Jews to non-Jews (David, 2019). Businesses were also seized and were never returned even after the war. In Poland, the Jews were forced to live in Ghettos with terrible living conditions. The deplorable conditions led to the death of thousands owing to poor sanitation, starvation, and diseases.
Experiences at Concentration Camps
Since inception, the concentration centers exposed the prisoners to unimaginable terrors due to the dehumanizing conditions that forced them to survive against a system designed to annihilate them. The forced labor camps adopted a hierarchical system of identifying prisoners based on their nationalities and the reason for incarceration. Higher social status prisoners had more desirable work assignments while work supervisors (kapos) or camp elders dictated to other prisoners (Caldwell, 2010). The lowest social ladder performed more demanding tasks such as construction and mining. They also suffered the most due to physical exhaustion, harsh guards and kapos, and meagre rations contributing to their high mortality rates. Though changing with time and varying from camp to camp, the living conditions were extremely harsh. The camps had very little food and water, explaining why the survivors were greatly emaciated, and death was a reprieve to them (Beh Aharon, 2020). At arrival, the Nazis had been brainwashed to treat prisoners as enemies that deserved brutal treatment. They abused the prisoners, humiliated them, demanded total domination and imposed a strict schedule.
The prisoners never had enough bed rest, and after the roll call, they marched to work, either mines or construction. After the war, the conditions would worsen, with prisoners being forced to broken-down barracks that leaked without blankets. Others slept in damp tunnels and flimsy tents, and with the looming rationing, the prisoners become more like living skeletons. Sick prisoners were seen as burdensome and were usually deported or executed altogether. Shasha (2004) elaborated that crowding at the camps were usually overcrowded and lacked heating, the prisoners were not properly clothed, and fatigue was the order of the day. There is extreme psychological stress for the forced labor camps due to the uncertainty of survival. Diseases like typhus fever were both an epidemic and endemic and had fatal results. Many prisoners had dysentery, typhoid, tuberculosis, and other communicable diseases. The prisoners were usually injured from gunshot wounds, whiplashing, dog bites, and physical abuse. It was common to come across patients with internal breeding from broken skulls and fractured arms. The conditions at the concentration camps were inhuman from the lack of basic conditions like food, clothing, and shelter to physical abuse (Caldwell, 2010). Despite being forced labor concentration camps, many prisoners died due to the challenging living conditions.
The Jewish prisoners at the extermination camps Auschwitz, which served as one of the biggest concentration camps, had their currency. They used cigarettes as the value of exchange. For instance, the Jewish Virtual Library illustrates that the price of an item was stated in terms of cigarettes; for example, the price of bread was twelve cigarettes (Caldwell, 2010). The doctors in the camps also extended barbaric acts by conducting medical procedures and tests on human subjects. Children, especially twins, underwent brutal and unnecessary medical experiments that Nazis conducted without anesthesia. For instance, Josef Mengele would inject a serum into the eyeballs to research eye color.
Similarly, he would also inject chloroform into the twins’ hearts to see if the twins had any connection if they died simultaneously and in the same manner. The prisoners lived in constant fear as death was imminent. While showering, the cyanide gas came with water, and they could not flee as the barbed wires would electrocute them (Ryn, 1990). Testimonies from the prisoners indicated that Josef Mengele would request all the sick people to wave and go for treatment. However, those sick people would not return as Mengele used lab rats. The prison lacked utensils, and people had to share plates to drink soup, meaning they would share from mouth to mouth until they finished the soup. Any mistake anybody made, including the children, was punishable by death, either hanging or shot.
The Holocaust is a significant event that continues to shape the world. Its history showcases how human beings can sink low under the guise of a cause and the pretence of superiority. Adolf Hitler managed to brainwash his compatriots into killing and maiming the Jews under a legal framework. According to history, the extermination of Jews was the country’s political task, and it thus provided all powers towards this task. The extermination, humiliation, torture, and other nasty things that happened to the Jews were not due to cultural or religious differences but because they were Jews. Hitler thus wanted to remove all Jews and not just their spirit. Some countries like Poland bought into the idea, but the Nazis turned on them too. The chauvinism between 1933-1939 should be a case study used by those who propagate that some races are superior to others. It can also be used to outline what could happen if such people got into power and their perverted ideologies.
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