In the Spring of 1944, it was hard to imagine the horrendous acts of terror that would be bestowed on innocent people and the depth of Nazi evil. To Jews in a devout community with Orthodox beliefs and spiritual lifestyles, faith in God and faith in humanity would be shaken to the core as horrific, inhumane acts of torture and suffering were experienced by those in the concentration camps. Since the creation of the world, Jews have often associated darkness (or night) with the absence of God. Consequentially, Elie Wiesel struggled with this as the unimaginable atrocities took place in his life. Although a survivor, he has been haunted with guilt, questioned his faith and developed a lack of trust in humanity as a result of the Holocaust.
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Never shall I forget the little faces of the children whose bodies I saw turned into wreathes of smoke beneath a silent blue sky. Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever. Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God himself. Never (Wiesel 32).
Wiesel repeated the idea “Never shall I forget,” to alert the reader of his inescapable and life-changing memories, and to remind himself that remembering is the first step to the Holocaust never happening again. Most particularly, he had begun questioning his faith in God. His faith was at an all-time low after witnessing a hanging of an innocent teenager in Bura. In Wiesel’s mind, God must have died along with that child to allow such a tragedy to occur. The absence of God’s presence during the Holocaust was the reason for Wiesel’s loss of faith. The death camps stood as a symbol of darkness and despair for all humanity that was involved or knew about its evilness.
The horror within the confines of the death camps were unimaginable and changed people deep within their souls. Wiesel noticed how quickly people’s behavior transformed as they went into