Dehumanization In The Night By Eli Wiesel

1006 Words 5 Pages
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
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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

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