Elie Wiesel's Night: The Dehumanization Of The Holocaust

1044 Words 5 Pages
Night Essay
To dehumanize is to deprive someone of compassion, civility, or individuality. During the Holocaust, the Nazis used dehumanization to belittle Jews to mere “things”; objects with no purpose other than to be a nuisance. The Nazis were brutal in their endeavor to wipe out the “insignificant and worthless” Jewish race, mainly forcing their despicable horrors upon the Jewish people in German concentration camps. Although the majority of the dehumanization of the Jews was in German concentration camps, there was also a great deal of injustice towards them long before ending up in those camps. In the first six years alone of Hitler’s dictatorship (between 1933 and 1939), the German Jews were burdened with the hardships of over 400 decrees
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One of the very first inhumanities of the Nazis was separating families. In Elie Wiesel’s book Night, he describes his experience, “An SS noncommissioned officer…gave the order: ‘Men to the left! Women to the right!’ Eight words spoken quietly, indifferently, without emotion. Eight short, simple words…I did not know that in that place, at that moment, I was parting from my mother and [sister] forever” (Wiesel 19). When all had seemed to be taken from the Jews between their life as normal and their deportation to first the ghettos and then to the camps, the Nazis still managed to take what little they had left; their families. This shows clear dehumanization because the Jews’ basic rights are being taken away from them; their right to have possessions, a home, their families. The unimaginable cruelty of tearing these families apart is explained by Helen Lebowits, she says, “You see these mothers coming down with little kids, and they’re…and they’re trying to pull these kids out of their mother’s hands. And you know, when you try to separate a family, it’s very difficult. It’s very difficult. People put up fights. It…it, there was so much screams.” The traumatizing evil of children being taken away from their mothers is a terror …show more content…
They no longer had any identity except for a number, a clear example of dehumanization. Wiesel says, “I became A-7713. After that I had no other name” (Wiesel 28). All they had worked for in their lives, who they worked so hard to become, was taken from them. Their hair was shaved the exact same way, their clothes were exchanged for uniforms, and their names were changed to numbers. It didn’t matter if one of them worked their entire life to become a doctor and make something of himself; it was all taken away and they were all left equal. They were

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