During the Holocaust era, a third of all Jewish people alive at the time were murdered by the Germans. In the book Night by Elie Wiesel, the systematic killing of the Jewish people was happening all around him. Although Wiesel does not use the word “genocide,” his account of his experience shows that it was definitely genocide that he witnessed.
Classification and symbolization are stages of genocide that happened in the book Night. Classification is shown when the Germans were taking the Jewish people and “all foreign Jews were expelled from Sighet.” classifying Jews between foreign and local (Wiesel 6). Classification is not necessarily a ‘bad’ thing to do because mankind classifies things throughout history but it is shown that in Night the Germans/Nazis classified people of Jewish descent by whether they were born in the country or if they were born elsewhere. Another example of classification shown in the book is when they are transferring the Jewish people out of the ghettos and Wiesel says “You must ready yourself for the journey. Tomorrow you will be expelled, you and your family, you and all the other Jews.” showing that even Wiesel is classifying all the people being taken out of Sighet to be Jewish, which is might be true but is still a sign of classification. Symbolization is another stage of genocide after classification. Symbolization and classification are similar, symbolization is putting a physical symbol on a person that is being classified, an example of this in the text is when the Germans made the Jews wear a yellow star “A yellow star? So what? It’s not lethal” (Wiesel 11). Both classification and symbolization are not lethal or evil on their own but when placed for reason of hate and to discriminate...
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... Jews. Denial and extermination were the final stages of genocide that were portrayed in the book Night.
Even though Elie Wiesel did not say the word “genocide” in his book, genocide was occurring around him. Classification and symbolization were two stages of genocide that Wiesel portrayed in his book. Dehumanization and polarization are two similar stages of genocide that was shown to happen to Wiesel in the book. Organization and preparation were other stages that occurred during the book. Lastly, Extermination and denial were two stages that occurred throughout the entire book. Wiesel will forever live with the Holocaust in his thoughts, dreams and life, but there are still those who do not believe the Holocaust happened or at the magnitude that it did but there are evidence that proves that it did. The only way to stop history from repeating is to learn from it.
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