Examples Of Dehumanization In Night By Elie Wiesel

1496 Words6 Pages

The Holocaust is the most horrible genocide that has ever occurred, and it must never be forgotten. The dehumanization of the Jewish community results in innocent people suffering emotionally, physically, and spiritually. This also causes them to lose their sense of identity, their faith, and their general sympathy for other people. As Eliezer's degradation worsens, he begins to lose confidence in God and wonders how He could be so wicked as to permit such heinous and cruel atrocities to occur. Eliezer loses his identity and his understanding of self when he faces the brutal crimes and savagery that take place in the concentration camps of the Holocaust. Due to the awful circumstances he must undergo, Eliezer stops caring about the welfare …show more content…

When Eliezer first enters the camp as a prisoner, they force the Jews to strip off their clothing and stand naked in the room, trembling and terrified. During this process Eliezer says, “Our clothes were thrown on the floor at the back of the barrack. For us it meant true equality; nakedness.” (Wiesel 35). Being forced to stand naked in a room full of other prisoners, who are also unclothed, makes the Jewish people feel non-human or animal-like as clothes are part of people’s comfort and identity and without them one can feel alone, scared and vulnerable. Furthermore, Eliezer and all the prisoners in the camps have their names stripped from them and instead get numbers tattooed onto their arms which becomes their only identity from then on. As they are lining up, Eliezer remembers, “The three “veteran” prisoners, needles in hand, tattooed numbers on our left arms. I became A-7713. From then on, I had no other name.” (Wiesel 42). Since he can no longer be known as Eliezer, the name he has been called his entire life, losing his name causes him to lose his identity and his sense of who he is as a person. As a result, he must now accept his new identity and adjust to this transition. A person's name is a holy gift bestowed upon them at birth, and it plays a significant role in shaping their sense of self and identity. More dehumanization occurs once the prisoners' names are removed since they can no longer relate to their former identity and start to lose all control over their lives and circumstances. The Jewish population is given the order by the Hungarian police to board cattle carriages. Mrs. Schächter lost herself and went wild as a result of the dehumanizing conditions in the cattle carriages. Mrs. Schächter loses her mind and sobs uncontrollably on the first day

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