The introduction: the fundamentals of Michael P. Johnson’s work
First of all, I would like to point out that Reading the American Past is considered to be one of the most important books about American history. Zoltan is of the opinion that “Reading the American Past Vol. 2 from 1865 can only enhance any readers understanding of American History and the reader provides a great match when paired with any U.S. history textbook” (par. 9).
The author wants to draw the readers’ attention to the events, which took place during the Second World War and other important points of the US history. When reading Michael P. Johnson’s work, one can make a conclusion that this war is recognized to be the most cruel and destructive all over the world.
The thesis statement
America’s participation in the World War II causes many contradictions concerning the support the most powerful country provided the victims of Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich with. Thus, one of the diverse questions is America’s relation to the Holocaust until 1942.
The body: some interesting points
In my opinion, the most important aspect, which is to be highlighted, is Jews’ mass annihilation. When I was reading the work written by Johnson, I’ve remembered terrible events I read about, – the events, which occurred in Auschwitz. “Of the victims, 1.3 million were Jews and 300,000 were Gypsies, Polish Catholics, and Russian prisoners of war” (“The Holocaust” par. 2).
However, the most interesting fact I would like to point out is that the policy of Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich was not only to eliminate Jews and other imperfect nations, but also to annihilate people with disabilities, homosexuals, tramps, etc.
In his work, the author describes 1942. This makes me to remember one interesting point. Earlier years of Holocaust are omitted as America “adopted a policy of Isolationism, preventing their involvement in other country’s domestic and international conflicts” (“The United States Sits in Silence, Where Was the US During the Holocaust?” par. 1). However, one is to keep in mind that during the World War II America had great power.
It was the most economically developed country. For this sense, the most essential question, which is still to be discussed, is the reason of America’s denial of horrible realities. There are numerous theories, which can be used to answer the question; however, I suppose that it was the so-called isolationist policy, Americans wanted to keep to. Other studies include Anti-Semitism approaches, and ignorance factors.
Thus, Lauran Freeman is of the opinion that “While many Americans would not physically harm a Jew, they had negative internal feelings towards them. Throughout history, Jews have been continuously looked down upon, and have been used as scapegoats” (par. 2). So, in my opinion, such explanation is also possible.
To be honest, ignorance factors give rise to doubt. For instance, there is an opinion that America was unfamiliar with the events, which took place during the Holocaust. “If we the idea that the American press was not given correct information, it is fair to state that it was not in denial about the realities, but instead as ignorant” (Wexler par. 3). However, I don’t believe that America, the most powerful country at that time, could be unfamiliar with the horrors of the Holocaust.
The conclusion: the most widespread theories
The relation of America to the Holocaust is still considered to be rather ambiguous question. There are many theories concerning the Holocaust in the United States. The most widespread theories include isolationist policy, Anti-Semitism policy, the American press disinformation, and the Holocaust denial in the United States. Carly Wolf describes the last point in the following way: “Denial served as a way for Americans to look the other way in order to avoid complication or involvement” (par. 6).
Freeman, Lauren. Anti-Semitism, 2003. Web. 27 Feb. 2012.
“The Holocaust.” Digital History, (n.d.). Web. 27 Feb. 2012.
“The United States Sits in Silence, Where Was the US During the Holocaust?” Ucsb.edu (n.d.). Web. 27 Feb. 2012.
Wexler, Keren. Ignorance, 2003. Web. 27 Feb. 2012.
Wolf, Carly. Holocaust Denial in the United States, 2003. Web. 27 Feb. 2012.
Zoltan, Melanie. Reading the American Past Vol. 2 from 1865 by Michael P. Johnson, 2010. Web. 27 Feb. 2012.