Monday, 26 March 2012


Why did so many people stand by and do nothing?

The bystander effect (the idea of ignoring a situation if it does not personally impact on you) is really interesting to us and we wanted to understand why so many people choose not to act upon what is going on around them.

We stopped people in the Sukintza (main square in Krakow) and asked them their knowledge of the Holocaust, what it means to them, why it happened and why terrible things continue to happen today. People gave such different views and we love getting other people's opinions and thoughts on this super interesting subject. We weren't asking to gain some definitive answer but to understand the different views out there.

Left to right: Mariam Fabian, Megan McFarlane, Kelly Fabian, Leanna Ratcliffe

Left to right: Ben, Asia Rychlicka, Justyna Michalik, Jared

Left to right: Marina Ivanova, Alena Aniskiewicz, Tom Duffy

A Family of British guys visiting the Galicia Museum

It was really interesting and we were so happy that people were so generous with their time, stopping and chatting to us for up to forty five minutes! 

As we said earlier we think the Holocaust happened because good people did nothing. We genuinely believe that if people had felt an element of responsibility to the welfare of their fellow man (regardless of religion, sexuality, colour, background) then they would have stood up against the Nazi policies. And before the age old argument that they were too afraid to do so, we want to point out the systematic murder of physically and mentally handicapped men and women and children under Aktion T4 was halted after public protest. If they could halt the systematic murder of children with disabilities, then why couldn't they halt the murder of Jewish children? Is it because they saw Jewish people as a different group in society that had nothing to do with them, whereas, the mental and physically handicapped were considered German?

The bystander theory only works if people deflect responsibility to the world around them and if they stop caring.

1 comment:

  1. Out of respect for over 23,000 of Righteous Among The Nations, it's so unfair to say about good people doing nothing for the victims of Holocaust. Of course people should have protested: but what could they possibly do? Organize some marches against the army who didn't hesitate to destroy whole cities if they stood on their way to realise sick idea of how the world should look like? Moreover, as far as I know, the Nazis have been successfully hiding their crimes, so the great majority of people in power to do anything had no clue how serious things were in Auschwitz and other concentration camps. But that is of course only my personal impression on your post, which I might have misinterpreted ;)