Skip to main content
Login | Suomeksi | På svenska | In English

Browsing by Subject "defence"

Sort by: Order: Results:

  • Meling, Emilia (2018)
    Tiivistelmä - Referat - Abstract The purpose of this bachelor´s thesis is to illustrate the lives of the concentration camp prisoners in Auschwitz and the changes in their morality, using memoirs of the prisoners as the main source of information. The morality of the prisoners is observed in relation to themselves, to their peers and also to the system. The aim is to portray the psychological defense mechanisms that the prisoners were able to resort to in the extreme conditions of the concentration camps. Besides categorizing the psychological defense mechanisms, the thesis analyzes how those mechanisms affected the prisoners and their community. Objectives: This research aims to exhibit the events and circumstances of the holocaust that affected the lives of the concentration camp prisoners. It also intends to find out what kind of an impact the extreme conditions had on the minds of the prisoners and how the human mind defends itself in such circumstances. Methods: The research is based on narrative literature overview. Research material from original sources consists mainly of memoirs of the prisoners that lived on the Auschwitz concentration camp during Third Reich. The phenomena that come up in the research material are then explained and observed in the light of existing literature in the field of moral philosophy. The purpose of this literature overview is to compile a cohesive overview of the processes of the human mind in the extreme conditions of the concentration camps by studying original literature sources. Results and conclusions: The extreme conditions of concentration camps changed the prisoners´ mindscapes. The prisoners were robbed of their identity and left with nothing to remind of their former lives on the outside, which led to a chaos that affected the whole community. The established morale changed completely. The only way stay alive was to accommodate to the rules and practices of the concentration camp. On the other hand, the prisoners had to try to hold on to their morale to not lose themselves and their will to live. Besides maintaining the shreds of one´s morality, survival on the death camps also demanded immense mental strength. Each prisoner had their own ways of gathering mental strength. It was essential for the prisoners to find a reason to keep fighting for their lives. To endure the horrors of the camp and stay sane, the inmates had to resort to an illusion created by the defense mechanisms of the mind. They had to hide away mentally from the reality that would haunt their everyday lives even long after surviving Auschwitz. No one came out a winner from the camp. The Third Reich destroyed all its prisoners - either physically or mentally. The survivors would have to suffer from their mental scars for the rest of their lives. According to my interpretation, the roots of the holocaust were in upbringing, learning and socialization. The oppression of a group of humans was justified by irrational dehumanizing. With its systematic actions, Authoritarian Germany made the horrors of the holocaust appear normal and justifiable. The SS soldiers were made to compete for attention at the expense of the wellbeing – and even life – of the persecuted. As the SS soldiers enjoyed the rewards of their actions, the victims were fighting for their lives.