Elie Wiesel Essay

Elie Wiesel Essay

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No one experiences such a terrible event as the Holocaust without changing. In Night, a memoir by the Jew Elie Wiesel, the author describes his torture at the hands of the Nazis. Captured with his family in 1944 (one year before the end of the war), they were sent to Auschwitz to come before the stern Dr. Mengele in the infamous selection. There, Elie parted from his mother and sister leaving him with his father who was too busy to spend any time with his son before the camp. Under the Nazis' control, Elie and his father moved to several camps including Buna. The Nazi regime “deprived [Elie]...of the desire to lived..., which murdered [his] God and soul and turned my dreams to dust”(32).
Prior to the war, Elie lived a highly spiritual and innocent life. Elie possessed a very strong interest in Jewish beliefs. At the young age of 12, “during the day [he] studied the Talmud, and at night [he] ran to the synagogue to weep over the destruction of the Temple”(3). Elie attacked the faith with such a vigor that he, “asked [his] father to find [Elie] a master to guide [his] studies of the cabbala”, but his father responded, “you are too young for that... only at thirty that one had the right into the perilous world of mysticism”(1-2). At such a young age, Elie followed the Jewish faith with a vigor uncommon for his age; his father kept him grounded in a world of reason. Even when the Nazis were taking the Jews to the concentration camp (though they did not know where they were going), Elie, “got up at dawn. [he] wanted to pray before [the Jews] were expelled”(16) Even as Elie's freedoms vanished, he still maintained a sense of faith as a crutch. This also shows how Elie still was a child at the time, not aware that the G...


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...had but one desire_to eat. [He] no longer thought of his father or mother”(107). The war left him crushed for life without any attachments to reality or sympathy for his family; he had cried his last tears. Following the camp, Elie only existed as a body wanting basic necessities without a soul or passion.
The Holocaust changed Elie from a religious child to a mindless body who lost all innocence at age when he “was fifteen years old”(96). He wanted to study the cabbala and grow up quickly. The flames of the furnaces and the noose on the necks of fellow prisoners stole that desire from him and all the prisoners leaving empty bodies to work for the Nazi regime. Such horrors forced any man to abandon his passions if he wished to survive to the next day. The effect the war had on the Jews makes the claims of Holocaust deniers incredibly ignorant and cruel.

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