Inhumanity and Cruelty in Night Adolf Hitler, the Nazi dictator of Germany, conducted a genocide known as the Holocaust during World War II that was intended to exterminate the Jewish population. The Holocaust was responsible for the death of about 6 million Jews. Night is a nonfiction novel written by Eliezer Wiesel about his experience during the Holocaust. Many events in the novel convey a theme of “man’s inhumanity to man”. The prisoners of the concentration camps are constantly tortured and neglected by the German officers who run the camps.
The term Holocaust is now used to describe the mass genocide by the German Nazi regime during World War II. Millions of Jews and members of other persecuted groups deemed unacceptable by Hitler were tortured and murdered in the most gruesome of ways. Elie Wiesel was among the few survivors to have gone through Auschwitz, the primary death camp used by Nazi soldiers. His personal account of the Holocaust encompasses the death of his family, his loss of innocence, and his first-hand experience viewing the evil of man. Through the use of strategic diction and syntax, figurative language and imagery, Elie Wiesel makes the unimaginable horrors incredibly vivid and clear to his readers.
In Night one of the ways that the Jews were dehumanized was by abuse. There were beatings, “I never felt anything except the lashes of the whip...Only the first really hurt.” (Wiesel, 57) “They were forced to dig huge trenches. When they had finished their work, the men from the Gestapo began theirs. Without passion or haste, they shot their prisoners, who were forced to approach the trench one by one and offer their necks. Infants were tossed
Eli Wiesel, the author of Night, demonstrates dehumanization by illustrating how the Nazis tortured the Jews. The foreign Jews of Sighet were being deported out of their homes. Moshe the Beatle tells Elie of his time in Galicia with great emotion. Elie shares what the Nazis did to the Jews, “Without passion or haste, they shot their prisoners, who were forced to approach the trench one by one and offer their necks. Infants were tossed into the air and used as targets for machine guns” (Wiesel 6).
The Jews were considered “bloodsuckers” and “parasites”, and they were too different genetically, physically, and spiritually (Bareth, Karl and Alfred Vogel). The Nazis built camps for both groups and made it their priority to kill as many individuals from each group as they could. The primary difference between the disabled Germans and the Jews was that the disabled Germans were first only subjected to sterilization, while the Jews were murdered. In the beginning, the disabled Germans were sterilized in order to prevent them having children and passing down the less valuable traits ("Law for the Prevention of Offspring with Hereditary Diseases (July 14, 1933)." The Nazis transferred to mass murder when parents of disabled German children asked for euthanasia instead of sterilization (“Introduction to Nazi Euthanasia”).
Towards the end of the novel, Wiesel 's use of figurative comparisons displays how behavior became more inhumane and conditions worsened as circumstances became increasingly dire. An example of this is when the Germans throw bread around for the victims to scramble and eat and relates the men 's behavior to, "Wild beasts of prey, with animal hatred in their eyes;…" (Wiesel 105). Wiesel implies that the victims have been so deprived of nutrition that they have no regard for human etiquette. This shift in nature from acting tactfully to behaving like wild animals signifies that the victims have lost their sense of humanity. Additionally, Wiesel conveys how circumstances were challenging when his father fell ill and had, "become like a child, weak, timid, vulnerable" (Wiesel 110).
They spent about 3 days at Gleiwitz and then they were transported to Buchenwald by train. There they are rescued by Americans and a resistance group that attacked the camp. Sadly Elie’s father died in Buchenwald before the rescue due to a sickness and being sent to the crematory. Dehumanization of the Jewish people in “Night” ,by Elie Wiesel, happened in a variety of ways and helped Hitler achieve his goal of damaging the view of Jewish people to the Germans. In “night” we see how the Jewish people are being oppressed as well as being dehumanized in so many ways.
As the Holocaust came to its near end, torture for those in Sighet, Transylvania begins. On page twenty, cruelty stirs up for the Jewish town after ghettos were set up. “A Jew no longer had the right to keep in his house gold, jewels, or any objects of value.” “There was a new decree: every Jew had to wear a yellow star.” In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, every fellow citizen has privileges that cannot be taken away due to race, color, sex, or language. Since their status was considered inferior, their rights were taken away before they knew that the Germans were going to wipe out their population. Under these quotes recited from the text, article two can be matched with the book’s description of discrimination.
Inside these sectionalized camps people were separated by gender, country of origin, captured enemies of state and their sexual orientation. Roma and Jewish families were ripped apart from each other as part of the Nazi effort to inflict as much emotional and psychological pain as possible. Prisoners were lined up by gender and physicians examined them as part of the selection process to decide who would go into labor camps or who would be put to death (Auschwitz- Birkenau 1). Living conditions at labor camps were less than ideal and more often than not people died from the strenuous activity. The SS guards at the camp worked the people relentlessly and once they became too weak to work they killed them in the gas chambers.
Each animal would then work past their capacity, whilst living in poor condition, death being seemingly inevitable once they had outlived their use. When the pigs introduce punishment and a death sentence for committing crimes against Animal Farm, many animals are ‘slain on the spot’, moreover, this is the first time since Jones’ displacement when there is blood spilt on the farm. Napoleon creates his own personal guards, who also punish the lower animals who betray Animal Farm. These ‘dogs wearing brass studded collars’ are a force none of the working-class animals wish to cross, for when they do, harsh repercussions follow. The animals that had confessed to their heinous crimes were executed by the dogs who ‘tore their throats out’.
In Night, the setting that Ellie Wiesel describes portrayed the Nazis cruel treatment to the Jews. The Nazis think that the Jews are animals. (11) “The barbed wire that encircled us like a wall.” They encircled the town with barbed wire, like they would do with animals. The Nazis named the street Serpent Street, because they thought that the Jews were the devil. (11) “The street we lived on Serpent Street was in the first ghetto.” They went in split the Jews up into groups, and renamed their street Serpent Street.
Elie Wiesel has been through hell and back, suffering from malnutrition, horrible weather conditions, and self torture. The Nazis dehumanized the Jews in Auschwitz by taking their humanity, making them fight for survival, and slaughtering and treating them like animals. During the beginning of the Holocaust Jews had been forced out of their homes, and had their clothes stripped off. Women and children were either raped or killed “dentist” that would call in Jews and pull out their gold teeth. Elie tried to avoid that by telling the Nazis he had been sick but eventually he was forced to have his teeth pulled out.
The incident I chose to represent was at the beginning of Night when Moishe the Beadle tells the story the first group of prisoners being taken to the woods by the Nazis to dig their own graves and how babies were thrown into the air and used for target practice. This incident brings tears to my eyes knowing how horrible this must have been for the victims. This incident just leads into how horrible the Nazis treat their prisoners throughout the novel. The Nazis were horrible people and this incident really showed how bad they truly were. The Nazis had no true care for anyone, but themselves, which is most likely why they didn’t care what they did to others.
Spielberg’s portrayal of the Holocaust accurately represents the original events. The scenes throughout the movie successfully illustrate the horrific lives of the Jews and the hardships they had to overcome. The scene of the Jews entering the ghetto on March 20, 1941 accurately describes the difficulties they had to endure nearly 50 years ago. The disorganization for admission, verbal abuse from the Polish and harsh treatment of the people depicts the real circumstances faced by the Jews of the time. During the scene of the Kraków ghetto evacuation, Schindler views the appalling methods used by the Nazis to send them to the Plaszów labor camp.
The Nazis established ghettos in poland, Polish and Western European Jews were all taken to Ghettos. Their methods used to kill the Jews were mostly shooting or gas vans. Even this took a psychological burden on the nazis to the point where they couldn’t kill. The Holocaust lasted for 12 years and near the end the allies were advancing on Germans and begin to take over the camps. The oder and and sight of the living conditions of these peoples were an abomination.The book night talks about these topics and Wiesel writes and thinks about the death and disappearance of God and his own increasing disgusted with humanity, reflected in the overturn of the parent-child relationship, as his father drops to a helpless state Wiesel becomes his annoyed teenage caregiver.