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< Back to question Can the Holocaust be forgiven? Show more Show less

As a result of the Holocaust, over 6 million innocent Jews perished under Nazi rule. Beyond that, millions of innocent civilians were also murdered under the leadership of Adolf Hitler. Examining this massacre's atrocities and lasting trauma begs a tough question. Who, if anyone, should be forgiven of their involvement in the Holocaust?

The Holocaust cannot be forgiven Show more Show less

The impact of the Holocaust has been felt by survivors and their descendants years later. The lack of justice faced by the perpetrators, and consequently served to the victims, is a key barrier to forgiveness. The absence of genuine repentance on the part of the aggressors is another reason why the aggressors should not be forgiven.
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The Holocaust cannot be forgiven because it is not our place to forgive

It is not up to society to forgive the Nazis for the Holocaust. The responsibility of whether or not to forgive should only be answered by the victims themselves.
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Proponents


The Argument

It is not anyone’s responsibility to forgive on behalf of victims that died during the Holocaust. Although a nation may forgive another nation for the cruelties that they caused as a whole, individual forgiveness is only able to be granted by those that experienced the Holocaust. It is not a decision to be made by anyone who was not directly involved in the Holocaust. According to Jewish traditions, the perpetrator must show remorse and ask for forgiveness. In many cases, the survivor may be unable to see the perpetrator again due to relocation or passing away. Despite the situation, this does not relinquish the power of forgiveness to another person.[1]Therefore, only the victim of the Holocaust has the power to forgive the offender. This leaves the question and power to forgive completely in the hands of the victim.

Counter arguments

Even if a person was not directly involved in the Holocaust, their family could have been forever altered by the Nazis killing family members. This can permanently change generations of a family. People should still be willing to forgive the Holocaust because it can help them let go of any resentment that they have towards the actions of the Nazis in the past. If people could not forgive atrocities that they were indirectly affected by, they will be more likely to harbor negative emotions in their own life.[2] By forgiving the Holocaust, they are taking control of their own life in response to the oppression of their heritage.

Premises

[P1] Nobody should forgive on behalf of another person. [P2] Only people that experienced the Holocaust have the power to forgive the Nazis. [P3] Therefore, it is not anyone's place to forgive the Nazis except those that were victims of the Holocaust.

Rejecting the premises


References

  1. https://theconversation.com/exploring-the-complexities-of-forgiveness-71774
  2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-forgiving-life/201909/can-you-forgive-someone-who-has-not-directly-hurt-you

This page was last edited on Tuesday, 15 Sep 2020 at 13:31 UTC

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