The most important lesson I took from, A Lexicon of Terror: Argentina and the Legacies of Torture, was the importance of individuals in the making of history. Feitlowitz's book is an examination of several individual people's experiences in Argentina during the "dirty war." All of the stories are very personal and examine individual lives. History is usually taught from top down perspective. This book emphasizes the roles of the people on the bottom. One of the best stories that I read in this book was the story of Emilio Vega and Maria Ester Ravelo (Pinina). They were blind and had a young son named Ivan. Then on the night of September 15, 1977 the military moved in and sealed off the neighborhood. The couple's home was emptied of all of their belongings and the couple was arrested. The whole neighborhood watched as the National Gendarmes took over the family's home. Soon the house was used for parties and other official business. Negrita, Pinina's mother, soon began to work on finding out who took her daughter and her son-in-law. She has never received a straight answer but she went on to become the founding president of the local chapter of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo. .
Several times in class we discussed the possibility of something like this happening in our country. We would be hard pressed to imagine such a situation. The culture that was created in .
Argentina in order for this to happen was a culture of fear. People tried the best they could to live normally but there was always a fear in the back of their mind that they could be next. I found this to be very similar to the culture created in Germany during the Holocaust. Not every German was a supporter of the Nazi party. Germans were afraid to speak out against the Nazis because they knew what the Nazis were capable of doing. I am currently taking a History of the Holocaust class and one of my classmates is a woman that lived in Germany during the Holocaust.