Morality In Eliezer Wiesel's Night

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The Holocaust was a genocide during World War II, in which Adolf Hitler and German Nazis systematically assassinated over six million innocent Jews. Prior to the Holocaust, the Jewish population was calculated as 9,508,340, and at the end of the Holocaust the numbers had drastically faltered to around 300,000 survivors… only 9% of the once flourishing Jewish population. Among these survivors was Eliezer Wiesel, author of the award-winning book Night. In Night, tragic events transform the Jewish people and cause them to behave immorally and cruelly. Though Elie never fully escapes his fate, he comes close. Wiesel shows his struggle to maintain his morality whenever he cares more about his daily rations rather than the man who is hanged, he thinks…show more content…
After Eliezer Is separated from both his mother and his sisters at the concentration camp Auschwitz, he and his father are left with only one another. Before Elie and his father become prisoners, they do not spend much time around each other. Elie is focused on his religious studies and spends most of his time In the synagogue while his father attends community matters. However, once they become prisoners and enter the concentration camps, Elie and his father become inseparable. Their relationship improves, and the two essentially live for one another. This is until Wiesel witnesses a notorious act from Rabbi Eliahu’s son. During the evacuation from Buna, the prisoners are made to run to the next camp at Gleiwitz. The German soldiers are unsettled and have orders to shoot and kill any slow prisoner. Thus, most of the prisoners at the back of the pack face the risk of being shot. Family members kept close, but in the case of Rabbi Eliahu, his son went ahead of him deliberately after his father stumbled. The son thought his father was slowing him down and putting him at risk. As Wiesel had witnessed the acts of Rabbi Eliahu’s son unfold, it gave him a disturbing thought… “What if he had wanted to be rid of his father? He had felt his father growing weaker and, believing that the end was near, had thought by this separation to free himself of a burden that could…show more content…
After Wiesel and his father travel from the camp Auschwitz to Buna, they are told it is an overall good camp and that he has been placed in a good unit. The only real hazard is Idek, the Kapo, who sometimes flies into violent rages. On the first occasion, Wiesel is working in the warehouse, and he happens to draw the notice of a furious Idek who begins to beat him, uncertain of the reason why. “...I happened to cross his path. He threw himself on me like a wild beast, beating me in the chest, on my head, throwing me to the ground and picking me up again, crushing me with ever more violent blows, until I was covered in blood.” (53). When he is beaten, Wiesel provides no sign of pain and unintentionally angers the Kapo. Idek misinterprets his response, and thinks that Elie is being defiant only because he does not cry out. This forms a hatred between the two, and Idek seeks revenge by not going after Wiesel, but by directing his attention towards his father, Schlomo. Rather than using his fist, he uses an iron bar. “At first, my father simply doubled over under the blows, but then he seemed to break in two like an old tree struck by lightning.” (54). The average reader would view Idek as the initial problem, yet in this case, Wiesel blames no one else but his father. “Why couldn’t he have avoided Idek’s wrath? That was what life in a concentration camp had made of me…” (54). Wiesel knows he was not
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