The Importance Of Dehumanization In Elie Wiesel's Night

“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. The Jews’ desire to live deteriorates through their loss of identity, inhumane treatment, and their loss of dignity. As strong as the Jews are, no one can tolerate the utterly painful dehumanization that was bestowed upon them by the Nazis.

Individual identity is paramount to a person’s
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One way in which the Jews were dehumanized by being treated inhumanly is when the Nazis burned fully conscience people. At Auschwitz, there are crematories with “flames [and] in the air [the] smell of burning flesh” (26). The only things that are supposed to be thrown into crematories are dead people or animals which is out of respect for them. Not as cruelty, but as a last wish. However, it is an unjust crime of the Nazis to throw living people into burning fire; to feel unimaginable pain until their inevitable death. To murder a person while forcing them to suffer in complete agony is the pure definition of inhumane treatment. This complete disregard for human life makes the Jews aware that they are nothing but a disposable nuisance to the Nazis. The idea of being disposable is what makes Eliezer and the other Jews wonder, “Here or elsewhere – what difference did it make? To die today or tomorrow, or later?” (93). Another way in which the Jews are brutally dehumanized by the Nazis is when they are hung. On pages 61 and 62 of the novel, there is a gruesome two page description of the hanging of a child pipel for a crime that the Dutch Oberkapo allegedly committed. This crime deeply disturbs Eliezer and haunts him for the rest of his life. In response to a “man asking: ‘Where is God now?’” (62), Eliezer “heard a voice within [him] answer [the man]: ‘Where is He? Here He is-He is hanging here on the gallows’” (62). The hanging of the pipel is a representation of Eliezer’s loss of faith which is one of the main things that gives him the strength to keep on going. Without god, Eliezer does not have much more to live for. Finally, the Jews were treated inhumanely by being treated like a herd of animals. The Jews were dehumanized until they were thought of as things that could be “crammed into cattle cars by the Hungarian police” (3). By putting the

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