Dehumanization In The Memoir Night Essay

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Dehumanization in the Memoir Night The human race is classified as an animal, although under normal circumstances, humans do not operate in the way that an animal does. The people in Elie Wiesel’s memoir Night are an exception. During the Holocaust the Nazis associated the Jewish race as inferior to wild beasts and treated them as such in widely spread concentration camps throughout Eastern Europe in which German soldiers gassed, burned, beat, and shot thousands of Jews every day. Wiesel explains his experience with restraint that one would not expect as he recounts what he has seen and how unspeakably evil the Germans treat his kind. Sadistic Nazi treatment of the prisoners reflected on in Night, tears the mentality of the Jews apart, leaving …show more content…
Wiesel writes, “The Hungarian police made us get in-eighty people in each car” (20). Such close quarters naturally cause tension and when Madame Schächter begins to scream “Fire!” repeatedly and the others in the car silence her with gags or with blows and violence. Each Jew is afraid for his or her own life and Madame Schächter only amplifies the apprehension and the others can only respond with what they know will quiet her. Further on into the memoir, Wiesel notes of another train ride. The captives on this train are put through 6 days with virtually no food and ruthless conditions. Wiesel tells of the numbers of dead, "Twenty bodies were thrown out of our wagon. Then the train resumed its journey, leaving behind it a few hundred naked dead, deprived of burial, in the deep snow of a field in Poland" (94). The Germans inflict such immense cruelty that dozens of prisoners die each day. When the Jews receive food it provokes fights. Wiesel recounts, "One day when we had stopped, a workman took a piece of bread and threw it into the wagon. There was a stampede.[...]The German workmen took a lively interest in this spectacle" (95). The prisoners have been deprived of all dignity and all sanity that when food is seen, that is their sole focus and they kill each other over it. An old man grabs a piece of bread and his own son springs on him and the German workmen stare and find it interesting, so insensitively, as if it’s some kind of sporting event. When the train stops the dead in the cars must be disposed of. Wiesel remembers a specific man, “’two ‘gravediggers’ grabbed him by the head and feet and threw him from the wagon, like a sack of flour.’” (99) At that point that’s all each dead person exists as, a sack of flour that has to be tossed out and forgotten about. No identities exist any

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