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Can the Holocaust be forgiven? Show more Show less
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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 perpetrators have not faced justice for their actions

Following the Holocaust, perpetrators involved in torturing the Jews and others fled the justice system. A Naxi that refuses to face the consequences of their actions should not be forgiven.

The Argument

After the Holocaust, only a small portion of Nazis were put on trial and convicted for their crimes. The projected number of Nazis that were involved in criminal activity were upwards of 200,000, yet only 6,656 were convicted. [1]The number of Nazis that ran away rather than facing the consequences for their crimes is appalling. By refusing to face retribution for their crimes, they are refusing to take responsibility for their corrupt actions. If they are unwilling to face responsibility for their actions, then they do not deserve to be forgiven. Therefore, those that run away from consequences do not deserve to be forgiven. A person is not deserving of forgiveness unless they are willing to face justice for their actions. They should also show remorse for their actions in order to be forgiven. A person is undeserving of another’s forgiveness if they are not willing to repent and ask for forgiveness themselves. The Nazis that escaped trials following the Holocaust are still responsible for their actions. They should not be forgiven unless they go on trial for their crimes.

Counter arguments

Forgiveness is about more than facing the consequences. It should be focused on healing between the perpetrator and victim.[2] There is no way that any sort of punishment can atone for the crimes a Nazi committed. Forgiving the Nazis will give a Holocaust victim the peace of mind to heal from their trauma without holding onto the negative emotions towards the Nazis. By forgiving someone of their wrongdoings, it does not excuse the actions of the perpetrator. Therefore, whether or not a Nazi is convicted of their crimes should have no bearing on if a survivor of the Holocaust should be allowed to forgive.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] A person should not be forgiven unless they are willing to face the consequences for their actions. [P2] A majority of the Nazi’s refused to face the consequences for their actions. [P3] Therefore, the Holocaust cannot be forgiven.

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/14/europe/germany-nazi-war-trials-grm-intl/index.html
  2. https://theconversation.com/exploring-the-complexities-of-forgiveness-71774

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This page was last edited on Tuesday, 15 Sep 2020 at 13:32 UTC

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