The Effects Of Genocide In Night By Elie Wiesel

1138 Words 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 …show more content…
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 Jewish population. His number, symbolically, becomes inscribed in his body. After Wiesel trades his name for an assigned number, he realizes that he has already started to lose his identity by no longer recognizing his own name. Wiesel receives a taste of what is to come when Moishe the Beadle warns his fellow Jews of the violence he has seen, “Without passion or haste, they shot their prisoners, who were forced to approach the trench one by one and offer their necks. Infants were tossed into the air and used as targets for the machine
…show more content…
Survivors can tell stories. Authors like Wiesel can write powerful works about their experiences. Yet, the irreparable damage inflicted by events like the Holocaust is only fully appreciated and recognized by someone there to witness and experience it. Selflessness is a foreign concept when one flirts with ideas as terrifying as mortality and death. Survival and competition go hand in hand in times where there is more unknown than there is known. Holocaust survivors like Wiesel share a common bond. They know the feelings of intense hunger, faithlessness, and pain. Though Holocaust survivors were lucky enough to make it out alive, their suffering is immortal. Wiesel lost more than just his beloved family and friends; he lost his identity. He escaped eventually, but not before witnessing the burning of young, innocent children, the deportation, and the separation of families like his own, not before losing what made him who he was prior to becoming prey to the German

Related Documents