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Bystanders are ordinary people who play it safe At the beginning of Cynthia Ozicks Of Christian Heroism we learn much about bystanders and the affects of their actions - or rather their inaction - during the Holocaust Ozick directly involves us in the story of Christian heroism she asks us to really imagine how it was during the Holocaust and to explore the ordinary human reaction during that time By identifying with and pointing out the indifference of the majority we learn how rare and magnificent heroism was then and still is now Ozick recognizes that it may be human nature to be a bystander however she urges us to try heroism instead to learn how we can make a difference for mankind At the start of her essay Ozick includes a quote by Herbert Gold There is a story about Clare Booth Luce complaining that she was bored with hearing about the Holocaust A Jewish friend of hers said he perfectly understood her sensitivity in the matter in fact he had the same sense of repetitiousness and fatigue hearing so often about the Crucifixion 167 Before starting her essay I believe Ozick is setting the tone to show that we live in a time where indifference becomes an everyday reaction Our minds are filled with stories of death and suffering of millions yet it tends to leave us feeling numb When the terrorist attack on America took place September 11 2001 our nation was astounded by the atrocity of this event As time passed however the story replayed over and over on the television and through memorial services and many of us including myself became numb and indifferent towards hearing these terrible stories It is a shameful quality to brush off such atrocities but it is a characteristic common to the human race During World War II the Nazis attacked the Jews attempting to commit racial genocide This notorious event lives in our history
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