Initial understanding of the Holocaust: My initial understanding of the Holocaust is that it was a movement of hatred towards the Jews ran by Adolf Hitler.
How my understanding has changed: I now realize that is is much deeper than just hatred for a specific group of people. This hatred drove Hitler to put these people in concentration camps and to kill them for being a certain race and torture them. Very few lived to tell the stories.
Why didn't the Jews stand up to the political party of Nazi's?
The Nazi's were extremely powerful. They were armed with various weapons, and extensively trained to survive in the harshest conditions. There were many factors that made resistance difficult, including a lack of weapons and resources, deception, fear, and the overwhelming power of the Germans and their collaborators.
Suzanne Spaak exemplifies my meaning of courage because: Angry with the suppression, brutality and racial intolerance of the Nazis, she volunteered to work with the underground National Movement Against Racism. Risking her life and the life of her husband and 2 children, she worked to save the lives of Jewish children who were facing deportation to the German death camps. She hid some of the children in her own home, helping to provide the children with clothing and ration cards and arranging for them be moved to the safety of homes of people in various parts of France willing to risk hiding them. She was executed by the Gestapo at only 39 years old.
Connection with the present: Isis (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) could be considered a modern day holocaust. Christians are being driven out of their homes and brought to death by the sword if they do not bow to ISIS' Islamic god — Allah. Their places of worship are being decimated and holy sites are being destroyed. They run a campaign of instilling fear in any that cross their paths and are violent and relentless, much like how the Germans were towards the Jews.