Night: Dehumanization “He was so terrible that he was no longer terrible. Only dehumanized” (F. Scott Fitzgerald). Jews were treated so badly that they began to act terribly but eventually they reached the point beyond repair and it was all due to dehumanization. The Holocaust took place in WW2, it was a horrific event that killed millions of Jews. Many Jews were taken from their homes and were killed, or were treated less than animals until death of starvation or exhaustion.
“Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes.” This quote explains how traumatizing the first night of the next two years would be like for Eliezer. In Elie Wiesel’s book, Night, he retells his horrific story about him and his father enduring the challenges of multiple concentration camps. Eliezer changes throughout this book by, questioning his faith, learning self-preservation, and realizing that evil is worse than he could imagine. Primarily, Eliezer believed in an all powerful God, but after he experienced the tragedy of the concentration camps, he questions his faith. After Elie was separated from his family, people around him were saying the prayer of the dead, for they thought they were going to die.
The prisoners of the concentration camps are constantly tortured and neglected by the German officers who run the camps. The cruelty of the German officers at the concentration camps change Elie’s personality throughout the novel. At the beginning of the novel, Elie is deeply religious and spends most of his time studying Judaism. However, by the end of the novel, Elie believes that God has been unjust to him and all the other Jews, and has lost most of his faith. The cruelty of the German officers also changed the other Jews as well.
The author describes the children as dying and helpless, which describes the truly dark nature of the concentration camps. One of the biggest mass deaths was during the run to another camp. Nearing the end of the run Elie observed, “Death hardly needed their help. The cold was conscientiously doing its work” (92). During their run the Gestapo would shoot and kill anyone who fell behind.
When Moishe is taken away from the town of Sighet, he returns only to described the horrific series of murders he witnessed. Saying in detail how German officers would use babies as target practice for the machine guns, family members were killed in front of other members, and of the father who plead to be killed before his son. The other Jews did not believe his stories, until the German army arrived at their town. The army took their rights away slowly, which prompted the Jews to change emotionally. Eventually they stopped being seen as human, as they were prohibited to go to restaurants or cafes.
At the beginning of Night, Elie was someone who believed fervently in his religion. His experiences at Auschwitz and other camps, such as Birkenau and Buna have affected his faith immensely. Elie started to lose his faith when he and his father arrived at Birkenau. They saw the enormous flames rising from a ditch, with people being thrown in. Elie could not believe his eyes; how could this been kept covert.
These violations are being compared to the holocaust, “This may sound like Nazi Germany, but these are the horrors being lived through in North Korea today” (Walters, G.). North Korea has around thirty concentration camps where a lot of brutality occurs. The people are brainwashed to worship their ‘Dear Leader’ despite the physical privations and mental tortures they have suffered. Their leader is presented as a god. There was a man that used a newspaper printed with a photograph of Kim Jong-Il, their previous leader, as a mop to clean up a spill and got sent to prison for it.
In “Resistance During the Holocaust” resistance was so hard because many Jews were murdered by the Nazis and they had very little access to weapons. The purpose for passive resistance was to forget the worries of the ghetto life and to keep themselves clean, and personal satisfaction. The types of cultural and spiritual resistance were Violins of hope, poems, books, music, reading, writing, singing, photography, and art. Oskar Schindler, Raoul Wallenberg, and Chiune Sugihara were forced enormous risks to save and care for those being persecuted in Europe. For example, people can best respond to conflict by passively resisting because of legacies, hope, and survival.
In summary, he was forcefully separated from his family, bared the death of the only motivation he had and was left to live with the nightmares of the atrocious doing of Hitler and his Nazis. Elie’s innocence was taken alongside everything else he had. Instead of remembering his childhood and laughing, he prays one day he’ll forget, forget what he was forced to see. Moreover, forget what was taken from him. Elie had undergone an immense amount of pain albeit the fact that many think of WW2 but don’t mind much of it’s events.
I called to my lovers but they deceived me; my priests and elders perished in the city while seeking food to revive their strength. See, O Lord, how distressed I am; my stomach churns, my heart is wrung within me, because I have been very rebellious. In the street, the sword bereaves; in the house it is like death. They heard how I was groaning, with no one to comfort me. All my enemies heard of my trouble; they are glad that you have done it” (Lamentations 1:18-21).