The Crimes of the Nazis

By Ryan Z., 7th Grade

May 2017

In Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz, the Nazis are characterized as monsters who take advantage of their power by torturing others and being arbitrary, making them the antagonists of the book. Nazis are characterized as monsters because they tortured innocent Jews. While in the concentration camp, Yanek is called to be part of a choir for the Nazis, and “for a hour, our …voices serenading them as they laughed and talked and ate-and the food they ate!” (Gratz 192). Nazis force Jews to watch them eat. As they sing, their mouths water as they are tortured, wanting the Nazi food. The Nazi specifically do this just for their entertainment and are taking advantage of their power. Also, Nazis are characterized as monsters because they are arbitrary. After some prisoners try to escape, the Nazis start killing everyone, even those who were innocent and were never involved in the escape plan. The Nazi officer says, “‘Bring forward their work detail!’…prisoners who had done nothing but work alongside the men who’d run … the SS man shot them too” (Gratz 142). This quote demonstrates how Nazis are arbitrary because they kill innocent people for the slight chance they helped the runners. As a result, the prisoners feel totally helpless since they know that even if they follow rules, the Nazis are random and will still kill them. It’s like a game Jews cannot win. Nazi behavior reveals that those who have power are eager to belittle weaker people, and they relish this action.