Night: survival of Elie Wiesel Night is a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical work by Elie Wiesel based on his experiences, as a young orthodox Jew, of being transmit with his family to the German death camp at Auschwitz, and later to the concentration camp at Buchenwald.
Primarily, his father helped him survive. Upon arrival to the camp, Elie and his father are immediately aparted from Elie’s mother and sisters. This is the last time the two sides of the family will ever see each other. Families are apart, food, water, and the Jews are treated worse than unwanted, stray animals.
Over there, that’s where they will take you; over there will be your grave. You still don’t understand? You son of bitches. Don’t you understand anything? You will burned! Burned to a cinder! Turned into ashes. ”(Page 31).
The older people begged their children not to do anything imprudent. They still believed that they should not lose aspiration and must adhere to the teaching of their faith. Elie’s only will to survive lies solely in the love for his father and aspiration, a aspiration that some day he will see an end to the nightmare of concentration camp life forever.He also feels an obligation to keep his father alive may have cost him many moments of pain and grief, but it is also, I think, one of the main reasons that Wiesel is able to survive the ordeals of the concentration camps. “The only thing that keeps me alive is to know that Reizel and the little ones are still alive.
Were it not for them, I would give up. ” (Page 45) said his father. There were some twenty thousand prisoner in the camp and few hundred children, were liberated from Buckenwald. Their first thoughts are of food, clothes, and sex, not revenge.
Wiesel develops food poisoning several days later and is hospitalized. After several days, he looks into a mirror: “From the depths of the mirror, a corpse gazed back at me. The look in his eyes, as they stared into mine, has never left me. ” (Page 109) Wiesel took risk to save his father.
Wiesel’s father gave up life on January 28, 1945 at Buckenwald, their last stop. He was ill, and could hold out no longer. Not only is young Wiesel fighting for his own survival, but also he feels an obligation to keep his father alive.Unlike many of the other Jews who criticize Elie, he does not abandon his father to fend for himself. Instead he is constantly by his father’s side looking out for him and doing what he can to keep his father out of trouble. For Wiesel, the nightmare of the concentration camps was over, or was it just beginning? Until I read Night, I had barely heard or thought about the horrors of the Holocaust.
I keep asking myself how something like this could have happened in the twentieth century. I understand that about six million Jews died or were put to death.Where were the Americans, the British? Why didn’t someone try to stop Hitler and his deadly plans? How could the German people really believe that they were so superior to the Jewish people that the loss of a few Jews might clean up the world? Or was it that no one paid enough attention, or cared enough to find out what was happening because then they might have to try to do something about it. I have no answers, only questions.
I can only aspire that I will pay attention to what is happening around me so that something like this is never forgotten or allowed to happen again.