What would you call a person that is so scared of losing their own life that they will go so far as to risk the lives of others? I'm trying to think of a word that expresses the meaning of someone who is selfish like that, but I don't want to use the words selfish or self-centered. Writing an essay on the Holocaust; please help!
You may need to use a combination of words to adequately explain the depth of meaning you are looking for. Coward, fainthearted, invertebrate, recreant (though this usually means with intent...) are just a few.
Most were so fearful for the lives of their own that they would rather turn a blind eye to the atrocities occurring right in front of them. It's nothing new and still happens with alarming frequency today.