Dehumanization In The Night By Eli Wiesel

Decent Essays
Night assessment
Prompt 1: During his year at the concentration camp, the main character of the novel, named Eliezer faced two internal conflicts. Eliezer’s first internal conflict was about keeping his religion. Wiesel recalls that, “Behind me, I hear the same man asking: ‘For God’s sake, where is God?’ And from within me, I heard a voice answer: ‘Where He is? This is where- hanging here from this gallows…’” (Wiesel 65). Eliezer witnessed many horrific things in the camp which was referred to multiple times as a hell. For example, he witnessed the hanging of children and beating of helpless people. Witnessing these events causes Eliezer to believe that God has abandoned him and his people, yet he contemplates those feelings of abandonment
…show more content…
Prisoners of the holocaust were denied of many basic human needs such as adequate amounts of food and water, a proper shelter, enough space to breathe, sanitary surroundings, etc. Dehumanization caused them to be treated as animals, or treated less than human. Wiesel describes that, “As I swallowed my ration of soup, I turned that act into a symbol of rebellion, of protest against Him. And I nibbled on my crust of bread. Deep inside me, I felt a great void opening.” (Wiesel 69). Judaism is a way of life for the Jews; it is their beliefs and culture. Because he was totally degraded in the concentration camp, Eliezer gave up his culture and became apathetic towards what went on in his life. The SS officers were affected by dehumanization as well. Prisoners of the camp were fed very little amounts of food, so they were immensely malnourished. With the malnourishment, the SS officers expected them to run twenty kilometers to the next camp. Wiesel clarifies that, “The road was endless… When the SS were tired, they were replaced. But no one replaced us.” (Wiesel 87). Running affected the SS officers because it showed how they were in the wrong. The officers should have made the prisoners run over twenty kilometers because they couldn’t even run that distance …show more content…
One of these choices was either to survive or not by attacking or stealing from one another. Surviving was the choice all the prisoners had to make. The prisoners did not receive enough food to solely survive on their own. Therefore, they steal each other rations. While traveling from place to place bystanders would watch the prisoners starve, and they would throw bread at them just to watch them fight over it. Fighting over food is a choiceless choice because it helps them survive. Wiesel recalls that, “A shadow had lain down beside him. And this shadow threw himself over him... the old man was crying...’ Don’t you recognize me…You’re killing your father’….The old man mumbled something, groaned, and died.” (Wiesel 101). The will to survive is a choiceless choice that blinded prisoners into killing their own flesh and blood. Another choiceless choice is made when Eliezer and his family get to Birkenau. They had choice of going to work or being killed. When the Jews get off the unpleasant train ride to Birkenau they are lined up and evaluated for work. In Wiesel’s interview with Oprah he winces: “the death factory became industrialized.” (Auschwitz Death Camp) The Jews who were not deemed fit to work were sent off to gas chambers to be killed. Those who were deemed strong enough for the hard work of the concentration camps were sent to different blocks, and they worked until they

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    As his father is dying, the head of the block advises, “don’t give your ration of bread and soup to your old father…you’re killing yourself” (105). He is being directed to not help his father because of how valuable food is. Being starved resulted in the prisoners behaving in a greedy and selfish way even towards their own family. Although it was enormously effective, starvation is not the only way the SS strip prisoners of their…

    • 1090 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    They were beaten if they weren’t following directions and they were killed if they didn’t perform to how the Germans wanted them to. Second, if they were able to survive all the harsh obstacles that they had to face, the Jews also suffered from mental abuse. Their mental state worsened the longer they survived the concentration camps, some lost the will to fight and some started to question the things they believed in and their religion. Lastly, the Jewish were subjected to being treated like animals. On the way to the next concentration camp, bread was thrown into the cattle car because the townspeople wanted to see the Jewish kill each other over bread.…

    • 1640 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    ( Auschwitz-Birkenau) During the evacuation of Auschwitz camp the SS soldiers left the wounded and sick inmates to wilt and die. In the mind of the German Officials, its certain they thought they’d die since they were incapable of doing anything. Before they left the Camp they were given a ration of bread to live on. This affected the prisoners hugely, which ever path the individual took lead them into a horrible situation that would eventually end the Jewish or non-jewish inmate 's…

    • 1448 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Imagine a world where one was forced to wake up to degradation, inhumanity, and conditions that no human being should experience. This was a reality for millions of Jews that experienced life in concentration camps. During World War II, life in concentration camps was grim and left little hope for the Jews’ survival. They were forced to live in horrific conditions, forced to perform hard labor which oftentimes meant working in a state of starvation until death overtook them, and constantly faced execution. Living conditions in concentration camps can be described as horrific.…

    • 1513 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Oliver hated workhouses because it had made people believe that it was the only way of surviving if one had nothing in life. In Oliver Twist, Mrs. Mann mistreats the children at the workhouse. She does this by giving them little food. They receive only enough to barely survive. And even sometimes that food that they are given still leads to many deaths that result at a cause of starvation.…

    • 1039 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Hitler Death Camp Essay

    • 1050 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Auschwitz had the gas chambers underground, and a crematory where the bodies would burn after being gassed (Holocaust Education). Over one million Jews were gassed in this camp (¨Auschwitz¨). In 1944, Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler escaped from Auschwitz (Shuter, Prelude, 2003a). Hitler told the SS to keep these camps a secret, but Vrba and Wetzler had ruined that plan by escaping. They reported what happened to the Jews in the camps, and their report was publicized all over the world (Shuter, Prelude, ).…

    • 1050 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    “In the concentration camps, we discovered this whole universe where everyone had his place. The killer came to kill, and the victims came to die” (Elie Wiesel). This alternate universe is nothing but one of destruction: the death of the soul. When one is constantly being beaten down, one no longer desires to live. In Elie Wiesel’s Night, the Jewish people lose their desire to live as a consequence of enduring extreme dehumanization at the hands of the Nazis.…

    • 1375 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    By barley feeding the Jews the Natzi Army succeeded in making their prisoners physically weak. The Jews had poor protection from all of the things in the world. They didn’t have the best roof so they started leaking they had rough non sturdy walls. There is nothing they can do about it because, nobody will listen. “Those who kept silent yesterday will remain silent tomorrow.” This is saying these Jews are to afraid to stand up for…

    • 754 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    ¨The Nazi concentration camps is a world turned upside down, a world in which nothing makes sense and nothing is as it should be ¨ (Sanderson). The amount of abhorrent things that were done to the Jews at camp were not okay in any type of way. At this time Jews were desperate for survival they would do anything to live or in some cases anything to die. Concentration camps got so horrid at times that Jews would rather be dead than living in one. ¨ Food and survival supersede everything else for prisoners; previously moral.…

    • 795 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    If a man made one mistake, his life depended on it. Lastly, the prisoners received very little rations of food everyday. They did not have enough food, for they were dying. In conclusion, concentration camps were very inhumane, for the camps killed about six million jews’…

    • 750 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays