The Decline of Society: Nazi Germany vs Children of Men Prt.2

Between the actual events from World War II and the fictional reality portrayed in the film, an underlying theme is present. The isolation and ultimately the disposal of undesirables, foogies and Nazi targets, were seen as a cure for the problems of both Britain and Germany.  Although the Germans targeted Jews, Gypsies, and other non- Aryans as the cause of their countries downfall, while Britain targeted a general population of non British born people before they could cause drastic devastation to the mirage of normality that had been retained. Both nations held a belief of self superiority that in their respected perspectives gave them the right to dehumanize their targets.  In the commercial played on trains and in other public locations the message and ideal that Britain was a superior nation was propelled by the illustration of all other nations collapsing and the message “Only Britain Soldiers on”, with “Britain” bolder and more pronounced than the surrounding text.

In the film, British forces stormed into residences evicting the foogie residents and essentially ransacking the residence of all its valuables.  This method of rounding up the foogies is strikingly similar to the methods used by Nazi forces to move Jews and other undesirables into ghettos and concentration camps.  Many people who were targeted under the Nazi regime were forced to leave their homes and relocated into less desirable areas of cities (Appleman).  Testimonies can be found of Nazi troops storming into homes, demanding each person prepare one small suitcase for transfer to a ghetto (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum- Klein-Pollack). It is completely inhuman that people who have been active members of a society for years, be told to pack on suitcase, no more. People were expected to fit a whole life worth of memories, and hard work into a small suitcase. Ultimately the suitcase argument becomes insignificant, because upon leaving their homes people were stripped and searched for valuables (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum- Aronsen).  The film portrays foogies being placed into holding cages like animals. Viewers are shown the realism of young, old, men, women, businessmen, and the common man caged in the streets, stripped of all belongings and valuables, while  guarded by military forced armed with firearms and dogs. A similar picture can be painted when examining the initial aspects of the Nazi roundup campaigns.  The relocation of the foogies, and Nazi undesirables was one of the first steps in the process of complete dehumanization. These attacks were conducted on the emotional aspect of the human condition, in an attempt to strip the targets of their hope.

From the time they exited their homes, to arriving at the refugee camps or ghettos targets would often experience more acts of cruelty that would enforce the governmental position on dehumanizing the targets. Aside from the cages, the removal of valuables, and the violation of civil rights, targets were met with extreme cruelty from the guards at both British and Nazi camps. Upon arrival at Bexhill Refugee Camp the characters are confronted by guards who clearly see the targets as subhuman. The guard proceeds to express his disdain for “you people”, and then proceeds to beat a woman who was simply praying.  In Nazi camps testimonies can be found of the elderly being beaten for walking to slowly. In Cecilie Klein-Pollack’s memoirs, a survivor of the Holocaust from Czechoslovakia, a detailed account can be found of an old woman being beaten with a horse whip for asking an SS guard not to take a bottle of milk from the baby she was holding; her grandson.  With the cruelty and resentment expressed by both British and Nazi guards the complete dehumanization of the targeted peoples is almost complete.  The experiences to come, reach the climax of cruelty from the film, however they have only scratched the surface of the perversion found in Nazi society.

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