chapter  5
21 Pages

Confusion

Nazi occupation of Warsaw (1939–43)
ByAntonia Bifulco

Erik Erikson's next stage of development involves the onset of a sense of identity. This begins in adolescence and leads into early adulthood. Social roles become important, as does a sense of belonging to a group to help develop social identity. The associated virtue identified by Erikson is 'Fidelity', the negative aspect, 'Confusion'. This chapter highlights the confusion of the political events that occur. It describes Poland invasion at the start of the Second World War. Myszka and Maria are separated from Jurek, and Warsaw is put under extreme siege and threat of destruction. The Nazi ideology insists on the Polish population as being subhuman and their treatment is dehumanising. The Jews are segregated by the Nazis, and knowledge of their mass extermination leads to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The chapter focuses on Myszka and her response to the invasion of her country and threat to her city.