Polarization

1939 – December – the legal obligation for Jews to wear armbands with the Star of David on the Polish territory occupied by Nazi Germany

Polarization

At this stage, there is a differentiation in the attitudes of people belonging to given groups towards certain types of problems. Using hateful propaganda, extremists divide people, which usually creates two camps – those against and those in favor of solving a given social problem. The process of polarization very often contributes to the outbreak and escalation of social conflicts. Paradoxically, people with moderate views who are members of the perpetrators’ group have the greatest ability to stop genocide, which is why they are usually arrested and murdered first. The dominant group establishes unlimited power for itself by introducing states of emergency or ruling by decree, abolishing civil rights and liberties. The victim group is disarmed so that it cannot defend itself and the dominant group can take full control.
To prevent polarization, human rights groups and organizations must be supported and international sanctions must be put in place.

“The slaughter of millions of defenseless people is taking place amidst a general ominous silence […] This silence can no longer be tolerated […] Whoever remains silent in the face of murder – becomes an accomplice of the murderer. Who does not condemn – condones.” Zofia Kossak-Szczucka

Bent Melchior was born in 1929 to Danish parents in Beuthen, Germany (now Bytom, Poland), where his father Marcus held a Rabbinical post. His family moved back to Denmark in 1933, and. in 1943, during the Nazi German occupation of Denmark, Bent’s father, Rabbi Marcus Melchior was instrumental in saving Danish Jews...

Maria Nowak, née Bożek, was born in Cracow in 1920, to a family of railway workers. In the girls’ high school that she went to, there were students with different backgrounds – Catholic, Protestant and Jewish...