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Humans have always moved, since the beginning of the species: humans have tracked

and moved after their food sources, when the prey moved, they moved. And so they

existed, until the invention of the farm. Humans could now settle, stay in one place, not

need to worry about having to hunt down their food. And so humans ceased to be a

nomadic species.

Although as a species we no longer need to follow our food in order to survive, people

still move from one place to another, some even make huge pilgrimages that span

hundreds, even thousands of miles. The reasons of movement have vastly changed

since the dawn of the species. No longer do people move in order to track food, they

now move due to other factors such as religion, jobs, family, money, and many others.

One of the biggest factors in moving large masses of people, however, is persecution

by other people.

On January 30th, 1933, the National Socialist Workers Party came into power in

Germany. Their leader was Adolf Hitler, his plan was to conquer and annex the

neighboring country of Poland. The invasion began with the taking of the city of Danzig

in 1938, then later, in 1939, the true fighting began. A full scale invasion of Poland was

launched. The small nation fell in less than a year, and poland was split between the

German Empire, and the Soviet Union. (Wikipedia, invasion of Poland).


In 1939, ​60,000 Polish former government officials, military officers in reserve,

landowners, and clergy were executed in accordance with a secret German operation

named Operation Tannenberg. During the next few years, hundreds of thousands of

Christians and Jews were killed. (Wikipedia, Nazi crimes against the Polish people).

This ethnic cleansing forces millions of people to flee from their home country in order to

escape from the grasp of the Nazi Party. This resulted in one of the largest migrations of

people every known to the species. Many people fled to far countries such as the United

States, Argentina or other parts of Europe. Most of the people who fled where Poles of

Jewish descent, these where the people that were mainly targeted by German forces.

Many of these people had to flee without any of their possessions, taking only their

paperwork and clothes they could fit in a suitcase.

Examples of such people can be found on both sides of Adriana Rubinstein’s family.

Both sides of her family come from Poland and both sides are Jewish. And both fled

due to the rising tensions and rising levels of religious persecution. Her great

grandmother went to Argentina, in part because she had a sister there who had just

gotten married, but it also served as an excuse to get away from the ongoing events in

her homeland. Adriana’s great grandfather also comes from Poland. His family where

tailers and and he lived with his 10 siblings. Not much is known about his story, only

that he had a falling out with his family, and he ran away from home. He attempted to

enter the United States, however was turned away due to him not having his papers. He
was sent to Argentina where he settled and later met Adrianas great grandmother.

Nothing is known about his family in poland, it is nearly certain that they all perished in

the events that came after his leaving. (Adriana Rubinstein Interview).

Between 1931 and 1950 over forty seven thousand Polish people immigrated to

Argentina. (Wikipedia Polish Argentine). These people fled the persecution that they

faced in their home country, many where not given full citizenship, but rather a partial

citizen. This is because in order to become a citizen of Argentina you had to state what

country you where previously a citizen of. And because Poland had been split by

Germany and the Soviet Union, Poland technically no longer existed. This meant that all

of the people who fled Poland where now stateless. And could not be granted full

citizenship. (Between exile and exodus).

This issue of ethnic and religious persecution may seem like its a problem passed,

however it is still very much an important and ongoing issue. In the young country of

South Sudan, these are very real and dangerous issues. There are two main ethnic

groups, the Dinkas who make up most of the government, and the Nuers who have the

second largest population of South Sudan. (wikipedia, Ethnic violence in South Sudan).

As of the end of 2017 over four million civilians have been displaced and are fleeing to

neighboring countries. (council on foreign relations). It is clear to see that this conflict is

very comparable to the events that took place in Poland in the forties.
In today's world, many people are moving from one place to another, some for work,

some pleasure, many in an attempt to save their lives. Persecution has occurred for as

long as humans have had stable homes. The German invasion of poland, and the civil

war in South Sudan are only two of hundreds, if not thousands of events that push

people out of their homes because of who they are, or what they believe. It doesn't take

much for prejudice, bias, and hate to turn into genocide. Hopefully it will be avoided in

the future.