Writing Homework Five Student Three
Week 4 Maddie N.
The good, the bad and the war
World War II brought out the true hero in some, but the villain in others. The war was started by horrible people who were twisted and cruel, but was won by true heroes. True heroes are people who are not extraordinary until they need to be. One of them is St. Maximilian Kolbe who inspired people to put others ahead of themselves and to help those around them. St. Kolbe chose the holy path, he did not care if he was healthy or wealthy, he only thought of others. Adolph Hitler also made a difference, a truly horrible difference. Hitler showed us how cruel some people can really be. St. Kolbe was from Zdunska Poland, he lived from 1894 till 1941. He had five brothers two of whom died before they could reach the age of five. When he was a teenager Maximilian had a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary, asking whether he wanted a red crown, meaning that he would die for God, or a white crown, meaning he would live a pure, chaste life. He told her he wanted both. Fr. Kolbe was in Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland because he had been publishing a newspaper condemning the Nazis. He was also a Catholic priest. Fr. Kolbe said Mass and ministered to the sick in Aushwitz. However, if he had been caught he would have been tortured and killed immediately. Fr. Kolbe did not care what happened to him but cared how he could help people in this terrible place. Stories are told of him giving away his food to some child or a sickly person. Fr. Kolbe most heroic act was when a prisoner escaped from Maximilian’s bunker, so the men of the bunker were forced to stand outside all day in the blazing sun without food or water. At the end of the day the soldiers finally brought them their water and soup, just to pour out in front of them. For days this sick act was done to them. The escapee was not caught so ten men were chosen to die in the starvation bunker. When one man was chosen he started screaming and crying wondering about what would happen to his family. Fr. Kolbe stepped out of the line and said “Take me instead, I am old and weak.” He knew if he said that he was old and weak it would convince the Nazis. They put Father Kolbe and the ten other men in the starvation bunker. One of the prisoners who were being held at Aushwitz lived to tell us a little about Father Kolbe. Usually screams and cries of agony were heard from the starvation bunker but when Fr. Kolbe was there only hymns and prayers were heard from the bunker. Maximilian was similar to Jesus in that he didn’t give up hope. He didn’t let his enemies get to him and he helped those who didn’t always deserve it. He would risk his life for another’s, someone who he didn’t really know. Maximilian gave up his life for another just because he could. While Fr. Kolbe was willing to give his life for one, Hitler took the life of millions. Adolph Hitler was a totalitarian. A totalitarian is someone who exercises control over the freedom of others. Hitler had pagan advisers who would “stargaze” and tell him when to attack. He also believed that Germany could be the strongest nation in the world. He believed in a “perfect” world free of what he thought to be racial imperfections. The Nazi party was lead by Hitler, but the people who made up the Nazi party were also cruel and disgusting. Hitler and the Nazi party believed that Jews, gypsies, disabled people were inferior and needed to be terminated. They also believed that other political parties were wrong and if they kept their ideas and thoughts that they would deserve to suffer and die for them. The Nazis were horrible people who would not have followed Hitler if they did not agree with him to some extent. People such as Jews, gypsies, clergy and handicapped were loaded on to trains and sent to concentration camps. Concentration camps were built by The Nazis, under Hitler’s orders. If you were among one of the many at a camp, you would wake up early, not eat and then work thirteen hours. When the Nazis wanted to kill in large numbers they would send people to chemical showers. At random people were separated from the group and tortured mercilessly. If you were weak, old or handicapped you would probably be killed immediately without thought or hesitation. Lampshades were found to be made of skin. Just take a moment to think about this, the skin of people just like you and me were skinned and made into light shades. These same people were used as slave laborers then medically experimented on. Human beings were medically experimented on just like lab rats. Take a second to think that one of your neighbors, because of what he believed would have been put in one of the camps, and treated like garbage. The Nazis threw people’s lives away as we would throw away a dirty rag, with no thought of what we were really doing. After six years of war the Nazis were defeated. It took a lot of true heroes to defeat this monster. During winter Hitler made the mistake of trying to take a city in Russia. But, His men froze while the people inside of Berlin survived off of rats. Maximilian Kolbe was, in a way the opposite of Adolph Hitler. Fr. Kolbe cared about people. Adolph Hitler cared to kill people. World War II is in our past but not forgotten, the horrors that went along with this, truly devastating war are hopefully the last we will ever see.