Night Theme Assignment Holocaust survivors provide an opportunity for studying the lasting effects of massive suffering and extremely stressful experiences. Before the Second World War, the Germans made laws, which said that Jewish people are no longer welcomed in Germany. German people began to persecute them. When the Second World War started most of the Jews were brought to concentration camps all over Europe including Eliezer and his father. Everyone who was in one of these concentration camps will never forget their experience during the war.
In the novel, Night, Elle Wiesel states the theme, that the victims of the Jewish holocaust are profoundly affected by their hellish experiences. Many quotations from different major characters extracted from the novel support the theme. “One day I was able to get up, I decided to look at myself in the mirror on the opposite wall. I had not yet seen myself since the ghetto…” (p. 115) this quotation is a final statement about the effect the Holocaust has had on Eliezer. He implies that even though he has survived the war physically, he is essentially dead; his soul was killed by the suffering he witnessed and experienced.
In this quote he indicates a fundamental separation between his sense of self and his identity as a Holocaust victim. His body-image reminds him of how much he suffered throughout the holocaust and how much of himself-his faith in God, his innocence, his faith in mankind, and his family. Eliezer survives and develops a sense of identity that will endure beyond the Holocaust. In assessing the impact of the Holocaust on survivors, it needs to be said that no person could have survived Hitler’s concentration camps and emerged totally unchanged. Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed “(p. 34, 11-12) this is one of the first quotation which shows that Eliezer’s life change from the beginning of the camp. The quotation is taken after Eliezer is brought to the camps. In his head there are always these memories from the journey they had to make. He thinks about Mrs. Schachter who went crazy in the train because she had no water. He thinks about the smoke from the crematoria which scared him a lot.
And he thinks about all his lost hope. Elizer doesn’t believe in god anymore beginning from this point. He thinks if someone like god would exist, he wouldn’t have to suffer in a concentration camp and he wouldn’t have to see all these pain. “That night, the soup tasted of corpses” (p. 65) this passage occurred after the pipel suffered, struggled between life and death, under Eliezer’s eyes, as he was obligated to watch a criminal act. Eliezer’s had seen worse, like the old man and the Polish boy who had done wrongs to deserve the punishments they received.
The Polish boy stole during the bombing session and the old man ate soup from the cauldron. The pipel on the other hand did not really do anything wrong, but refused to talk and sacrificed his life. The death of the innocent child represents the death of Eliezer’s own innocence. Elizer was starting to lose faith in god in a world where an innocent child could be hung on the gallows and his entire emotional worldview transformed. The fact that the young boy remained alive and experienced death slowly made them cringe the most, which is why the soup tasted like corpses.
Many psychological effects caused by the Holocaust forever changed the way the Jewish people view the world and themselves. “Many years later in Paris, I sat in the Metro, reading my newspaper. Across the aisle, a beautiful woman with dark hair, and dreamy eyes. I had seen those eyes before. ” (p. 53, 21-23) this quotation occurs when Eliezer is working in a factory. One day, unprovoked, Idek, a German officer, savagely beats Eliezer, after which a French girl who works next to Eliezer in the warehouse offers some small kindness and comfort.
She tells him to keep his anger for another day and advise him not to begin consider rebellion but to rely on faith. Eliezer sees after many years this one French girl again in Paris. He still remembers her look, especially her eyes. They talk about what happened in their past and in this one moment they shared. This quotation proves that pain goes by, but the horrible memories are still alive and can be affective in a person’s life. “Men to the left, women to the right” (p. 29) eight words spoken, indifferently, without emotion with painful life changing meanings. These ords separated Eliezer and his mother and sister forever, as well as countless other husbands and wives, mothers and sons, fathers and daughters on their arrival. The weak, old, and young people were basically worthless and had to be immediately executed by the SS officers. It emphasizes the cruel Nazi guards and the tragedies that were daily upon Jews in Auschwitz concentration camp. Millions of Jewish lives were profoundly affected by the Holocaust as a result. Being separated from your loved ones at such a young age is something that sticks with you your whole life and can make you cold as a person. Years later I witnessed a similar spectacle in Aden. Our ship’s passengers amused themselves by throwing coins to the “natives,” who dove to retrieve them” (p. 100, 18-20) in this quotation Elizer is after the Holocaust on a ship for holidays. When this ship passes natives the passengers starting to throw coins to them. Elizer sees how to young children are fighting in the water to grab these coins. Immediately his old memories are coming up when he is sitting in the train and people try to help by throwing bread into the wagons. But the people in there are starting to kill each other for bread.
Deeply in Eliezer’s memories is one moment when a son kills his own father just to eat his bread. Elizer who felt this pain already once doesn’t want to happen it again, so he tells the passengers on the ship to stop it. All this proves that his experience and all the things that happened in concentration camps will never be forgotten by the prisoners “Jews, listen to me! That’s all I ask of you. No money. No pity. Just listen to me! ” (p. 7) this passage occurs after Moshe returns and describes how the deportation trains were handed over to the German secret police at the Polish border.
He escaped the concentration camp in order to warn Eliezer about the situation, but no one wanted to believe his story and people thought he was a lunatic. Moshe was a different person when he returned to his hometown; the joy inside of him was gone. His horror stories about deprivation, killing, and taking away everything you owned sounded so awful and unbelievable that his truth was dismissed. Moshe tried his best to warn the people from Sighet, but they ignored him and as a result everything that he was telling the citizens actually occurred again in 1944.
This time he was clever enough to slip away before getting caught again. This quotation proves that Moshe’s previous hellish experience affected his chance of surviving. “I became A-7713. From then on, I had no other name. ” (p. 42, 23) The Nazis started in the camp to mark people. They did it so they wouldn’t have to learn the names of the prisoners and the Nazis could handle with numbers and letters to identify them. Every prisoner became his own number. This number is a symbol for how he was seen in Auschwitz, as a slave and not as a person.
This tattoo will always stay on Eliezer’s body, and it constantly reminds him of the many bad memories and feelings at the camp. So the most terrible thing which will always remind Elizer of his ominous time at Auschwitz is his tattoo. Night mostly occurs when suffering is worst, and its presence reflects Eliezer’s belief that he lives in a world without God. In Night, Eliezer exploits this allusion and develops the theme that the victims of the Jewish holocaust are deeply affected by their hellish experiences.
Wiesel’s experiences in the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald are very well detailed in the story; his accounts of starvation and cruelty are shocking—an intense testimony to the penalties of evil. The Holocaust was perhaps the most evil single event ever performed by human beings. Today, he is a writer, professor, political activist, and a holocaust survivor. “No human race is superior, no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them” Eliezer Wiesel.