Essay about Elie Wiesel 's The Holocaust

1138 Words Jan 28th, 2016 5 Pages
Genocide, the mass slaughter of a group of people based on who they are, can inflict unimaginable harm on the victimized people in many ways. One can not possibly quantify the grotesque, inhumane treatment witnessed in many genocides. Simultaneously, however, many victims are vulnerable to their identities being destroyed and only their will to survive being left intact. One whose identity is altered, even those fortunate enough to survive, still suffer immortally. Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor himself, recounts his experiences being at the hands of a brutal, systematic killing regime in his award-winning memoir, Night. Wiesel’s account of the Holocaust reveals the horrifically severe effects that the experiences had on him, but none more defined and shocking than the change the horrific events and atrocities inflicted on his own identity. One who is a victim of immoral treatment becomes vulnerable to permanently losing their identity.
Wiesel is exposed to the immorality of the German officers as he observes and even experiences first handedly their inhumane, gruesome treatment. When the selection processes begin, Wiesel is designated a number: “We were told to roll up our left sleeves and file past the table. The three "veteran" prisoners, needles in hand, tattooed numbers on our left arms. I became A-7713. From then on, I had no other name” (42). In order to justify their forthcoming, brutal treatment of the victims, the German forces attempt to first dehumanize the…

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