The theme of dehumanization is scattered throughout the traumatic and horrific events that the Jews endured while prisoners in Auschwitz. The novel, Night, was written by Elie Wiesel in the mid 1950’s. Night describes the concentration camps where the tyrant Nazis oppressed the Jewish citizens. Night was written in first person and recounted the horrid details and conditions as a prisoner in the concentrations camps. Wiesel began writing after a 10-year self-imposed vow of silence about the tragic Holocaust.
In addition, Elie uses the imagery of a child being hung with two older men to create sadness. They hang an innocent child and he is too light to be killed immediately so he is tortured in front of everyone for over 30 minutes, slowly dying from the rope around his neck. “For more than half an hour he stayed there, struggling between life and death, dying in slow agony under our eyes. And we had to look him full in the face. He was still alive when I passed in front of him.
In the book Night, by Elie Wiesel, he tells of his life and experiences throughout the Holocaust. As a young boy he was taken from his home, separated from his mom and sister, and thrown into a concentration camp with his father. Once he and his father arrived at the concentration camp, Auschwitz, many children and elderly were sent straight toward a crematory, and immediately executed. Their heads were shaved, and tattoos were inscribed on their arms. Forced to live in horrible conditions with hardly any food, Eliezer ceased to pray, and began to believe God had no sense of justice.
The Nazis killed millions of innocent children only because they were Jews. Additionally, The SS hanged a young boy, a pipel, because he and other men sabotaged a factory machine, “But the third rope was still moving: the child, too light, was still breathing… And so remained for more than half an hour, lingering between life and death, writhing before our eyes. And we were forced to look at him at close range. He was still alive when I passed him. His tongue was still red, his eyes not yet extinguished”( wiesel 65).
In the memoir Night, the narrator Elie Wiesel recounts a moment when the ss officers were transporting all the prisoners from buna to another camp and whenever somebody couldn’t keep running the ss officers shoot them. “They had orders to shoot anyone who couldn’t sustain the peace”(Wiesel 85). The ss officers cruelty to the prisoners led them to give up, they stopped trying. If someone stopped and the officers didn’t noticed, he would probably die under the feet of all the people behind them. As the author describes his experiences, many other examples of inhumanity are revealed.
Yes, I did see this, with my own eyes… children thrown into the flames.” (Wiesel 32). The Nazis were heartless and even threw babies into the pits to be burned to death. Mankind is to be civilized, equal, and just and this quote shows that these things are of no importance and that man cannot distinguish between moral and evil if they think that throwing babies into the flames to be burned is okay. Another example was when a young pipel was thought to be part of a sabotage against the camp officials and was sentenced to be hanged. On the day of the hangings, all the inmates had to attend and watch each and every inmate get hanged.
As time passed, one of the men passed away and was thrown overboard. After forty-seven days of suffering, Louie along with his raft mate, were captured by the Japanese. The two were sent to a Prisoner Of War camp. Louie says; “All I see, he thought, is a dead body breathing. Louie dissolved into hard, racking weeping.
When the Oberkapo was arrested on suspicion of sabotage and evicted from the camp, however, the Gestapo continued to question the boy and finally convicted him of the compliance in the efforts to hide weapons that had been found in a building under the Oberkapo’s supervision. There was no showcase of defiance before the boy died. There was no celebration among the prisoners as they had recognized the inhumanity and injustice of the execution of this child. However, there came the realization of the ultimate cruelty of his death. On page 65 of Night by Elie Wiesel it states “the third rope was still moving: the child, too light, was still breathing...And so he remained for more than half an hour, lingering between life and death, writing before our eyes.
Night by Ellie Wiesel describes his experiences as a Jew in the concentration camps during World War II. During this time, Wiesel witnessed many horrific acts. Two of these were executions. Though the process of the executions were similar, the condemned and the Jews’ reactions to the executions were very different. During the first execution, the condemned was a youth from Warsaw.