actions committed against the Jews during the holocaust can never be justified.
Dr. Michael Berenbaum is an author and scholar who has written a lot of works on the history of the holocaust. He mostly studies and writes about the tragedy of the holocaust which occurred during the WWII.
When he says, “They could not shelter themselves in the defense that they were merely carrying out orders.”, he means that there is no justification when the Nazi soldiers claim that they were following orders of higher authority.
He says this in regard of those Nazi soldiers were brought before the court for thier actions during the holocaust after the war. He argues that no man can escape from thier actions whether received from a higher authority or committed on one's own discretion. According to him, the actions committed against the Jews during the holocaust can never be justified.
The Piece of String is a short story by Guy de Maupassant narrated in a third-person omniscient point of view.
In the story, a peasant finds a piece of string on the floor and decides to pick it up and keep it, since it could be of use. An enemy of his watches him while he does that and, later, accuses him of having found a lost pocket-book containing some money inside. The pocket book is supposed to be returned to the mayor or its owner. The peasant claims he never found the pocket-book but no one seems to believe him. Even when the pocket-book is finally returned by someone else, his story is still not believed and the more he makes an effort to explain himself, the more disbelieved he is by others. He dies some time later, still affirming his version of what happened to be true.
The reason why the third-person omniscient point of view makes the reader feel sympathy for the old man is: when an author uses such point of view, he allows to reader to know the truth. From the very beginning, the reader knows the peasant is honest and, throughout the story, his feelings and indignation are made clear by the narrator. His desperation to be believed inspires pity. The following lines from the short story demonstrate so:
<em> He took the bit of thin string from the ground and was carefully preparing to roll it up when he saw Maitre Malandain, the harness maker, on his doorstep staring at him. They had once had a quarrel about a halter, and they had borne each other malice ever since. </em>
<em>They said to him:
<em>"You old rogue!"
<em>He grew more and more angry, feverish, in despair at not being believed, and kept on telling his story.</em>
<em>He went home indignant, choking with rage, with confusion, the more cast down since with his Norman craftiness he was, perhaps, capable of having done what they accused him of and even of boasting of it as a good trick. He was dimly conscious that it was impossible to prove his innocence, his craftiness being so well known. He felt himself struck to the heart by the injustice of the suspicion.</em>