?Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into onelong night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed.
Never shall I forget that smoke. Nevershall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smokebeneath a silent blue sky. Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever. Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire tolive.
Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned mydreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as GodHimself. Never. ? -Elie WieselThe Holocaust-the mass murder of European Jews by the Nazis during World War II. Itwas the unthinkable, the horrific murder of 6 million Jews and millions of civilians of differentethnic and racial backgrouds.Order now
It was average men entering the German army and turned intoNazis, cold-blooded killers. It was the connotation of Holocaust which became Night, by ElieWiesel. This paints a picture, full of vivid imagery and truth, about the genocide of his ownpeople. Elie witnesses the starvation, brutal beating, and eventual death of his friends, family,and fellow Jews. Wiesel, himself, survived Auschwitz, Buna, Buchenwald, and Gleiwitz, allGerman concentration camps, where atrocities such as cremation and murder hung thickly in theair like a heavy cologne. Born September 30, 1928, Eliezer Wiesel led a life representative of many Jewishchildren.
Growing up in a small village in Romania, his world revolved around family, religiousstudy, community, and God. Yet his family, community, and his innocent faith were destroyedupon the deportation of his village in 1944. One of the main topics in this book is how Elie, a boy of strong religious faith, along withmany of his fellow jews, lose their faith in God due to the horrific effects of the concentrationcamps. Elie Wiesel lived his early childhood in the town of Transylvania, in Hungary, during theearly 1940s.
At a young age, Elie took a strong interest in Jewish religion, while he spent mostof his time studying the Talmud. Eventually he makes aquaintances with Moshe the Beadle whotakes Elie under his wing, and also instructs him more in depth of the ways of the Talmud andcabbala. Elie is taught to question God for answers through Moshe’s instruction. Moshe is sent away to a concentration camp, and upon his return, Elie finds that he haschanged dramatically. This is a foreshadowing of what will become of Elie’s faith in the strengthand power of God.
?Moshe had changed. . . He no longer talked to me of God or the cabbala, butonly of what he had seen. ?(4) The first evidence of Elie’s loss of faith, is while he questions God during the selectionprocess. This process is concerned with separating the young, strong, and healthy Jews, from theold, weak, sickly, and/or infants.
The Jews were separated from their loved ones who wereimmediately sent to the crematory or burned in large fire pits. Elie says goodbye to his motherand sister, unknowing that it will be the last time that he will ever see them again. Many of hisfellow Jews began to pray and recite the Kaddish, a Jewish prayer for the dead, with hopes toconsole their own grievances for the loss they had suffered. However, Elie questions, ?Whyshould I bless His name? The Eternal, Lord of the Universe, the All-Powerful and Terrible, wassilent.
What had I to thank Him for??(31) Elie witnesses a load of children being dumped into apit of flames which he labels as the ?Angel of Death,? and at this point, the diminishing effectsof the first night of camp life are already taking a toll on Elie’s religious faith and personalself-worth. The final deterioration of Elie’s idea of God, where he renounces all belief in Hisexistence, is during the funeral of 3 Jewish males who were hanged the day before. One ofwhom was a child, so mere in weight, whom struggled amidst the others for over an hour beforedeath came to take him. Here the reader can sense the collosal loss that Elie is overcome by,having spent the majority of his childhood seeking salvation only to come to realize it was all awaste of time. During this time of losing faith in religion and overcoming the tasks put forth by theconcentration camps, Elie finds strength of survival through his relationship with his father andthrough hope.
Although earlier in Elie’s childhood, prayer and religion had separated the two,the experience at the concentration camps was the ultimate connection between Elie and hisfather, for they believed that together they could overcome everything because they were family. A good example is when Elie’s father is beaten for not properly marching in rank. Elie takestime in the blocks to teach him to properly march in place. He could not leave his father to fendfor himself, although he was criticized by many of the other Jews who believed in ?every manfor themself. ? Some kinships are not like Elie’s and his father’s. One son purposely loses his father sothat he does not burden him, and another son beats and kills his own father just for food.
Fatherand son relationships can be seen in many parts in Night and takes a very large roll in the novel. An example is when Elie begins to grow weary of life in the concentration camp, because at thatpoint he had become the strength of two lives, his own and his father’s. He feels less and lessremorse for his father and begins to believe that the beatings his father receives for not beingable to peform the various tasks put forth by the S. S. Officers are a product of his own fault fornot being strong enough nor young enough. He begins to despise his father for weighing himdown and having to take care of him, and at one point when he is in search of his father thinks,?Don’t let me find him! If only I could get rid of this dead weight, so that I could use all mystrength to struggle for my own survival, and only worry about myself.
? (101) Elie had becomehardened by his new way of life, and realized that only the fittest would emerge from thisexperience still alive and well. It was truly a survival of the fittest. However, he is overcomewith guilt after a blow to the head by an officer finally ceases his father’s existence.