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    The Holocaust and Human Rights: The Case of Elie Wiesel

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    Elie’s experience going through concentration camps during the Holocaust at only fifteen years old gives him a unique perspective on human rights. Elie Wiesel, the author of the memoir Night, became a Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1986 for his advocacy of human rights 41 years after the Holocaust. He was without basic human rights for the majority of duration he was at the German concentration camps. We can learn many things from Elie about ourselves and how we should approach life.

    Elie’s advocacy for human rights was clearly spurred by seeing what being treated and herded around like animals does to people. From the Jews first encounter with SS officers in Night, they were thrown into cattle cars, without basic human needs such as adequate amounts of food, water, windows or any lavatories. This quote is right after the Jews are taken away from their homes: The following morning we marched into the station where a convoy of cattle wagons was waiting. Eighty people in each car. We were left a few loaves of bread and some buckets of water (20)”. This is just the beginning of the Holocaust victims dehumanization and inhumane treatment in, Night. Not only this but the JewS are routinely dehumanized, “I became A-7713. From then on, I had no other name (43)”. This is similar to how farmers brand their animals to claim ownership of them. This is not only another example of the Jews treatment like cattle or second class citizens.

    One of the first lessons that we can all learn from Elie is that we should never repeat the atrocities of the past. Given that the Holocaust is an event that caused the genocide of millions of innocent people based on solely their religion. This quote demonstrates Elies stance on equality, “No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgements are wrong. Only racists make them”-Elie Wiesel. What we can leam from this is that, we are all equal. The next lesson that we can learn from Elie is about gratitude, “When a person doesn’t have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity.

    A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude.” During his time at the concentration camps, he had to be gracious for living another day, as well as being one of the few Holocaust survivors. The final lesson that we can learn from Elie is his viewpoint on neutrality, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” This quote clearly shows Elie’s influence from the past where anyone opposing the actions taken by Hitler, such as the purification of German blood were imprisoned. Overall, Elie Wiesel’s background played a huge role in his ability to be a powerful advocate in the fight for human rights. Along with this the lessons and ideologies that can be learmed from, Night are numerous. In conclusion, without Elie’s past he wouldn’t have been nearly as persuasive of an orator for the fight for human rights.



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    The Holocaust and Human Rights: The Case of Elie Wiesel. (2023, Apr 02). Retrieved from

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