The Night by Elie Wiesel a Dialectical Journal

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"When it was still time, I decided to come back to Sighet to explain my death to you. Life? Life? I don't care about living anymore. I'm home. I'm all alone. I wanted to return to warn you, however. There's just nobody noticing me..."
(r) The night, considering this title, is not unexpectedly an unbelievably dark book depicting desperation and misery as an account of Elijah's Holocaust experiences. The complete loss of his religion as well as the deepest depths of his soul are also taken into account, as shown in this quotation. Can hope be found in the depths of despair? I can imagine the unspeakable things they faced at Auschwitz leaving them with no will to live.

“There was joy, yes, joy. People must have thought there could be no greater torment in God's hell than that of being stranded here, on the sidewalk, among the bundles, in the middle of the street under a blazing sun. Anything seemed preferable to that…In everyone's eyes, tears

and distress”


(E) I am surprised that the people in Elie’s town found reasons to have hope despite their conditions in the concentration camps and the distress they underwent. I think one of the underpinning reasons for hope among the Jews was religion. The Jewish faith in moments of extreme darkness was not lost despite for instance Eliezer being unable to reconcile the atrocities that he daily witnessed with the notion of God. I have seen people suffer from chronic diseases and tragedies but still maintain hope. I think hope is the fabric that holds our fragile life and keeps our sanity during the darkest moments.

“Not far from us, flames, huge flames, were rising from a ditch. Something was being burned there. A truck drew close and unloaded its hold: small children. Babies! Yes, I did see this with my own eyes… children thrown into the flames.”

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(Q1) This is just one of the many passages in the Night that I read in shock and disbelief. It is one of the darkest moments in the night, an epitome of cruelty and brutality. It is the most tragic thing to witness. This is an atrocity you would only expect in fiction works but it happened in actual history. Babies, young children and the handicapped were being burned alive in the most horrifying and disgusting way and the world was silent about it. Why were other nations not helping?

“Where is God's mercy? Where's God? How can I believe, how can anyone believe in this God of Mercy?"


(E) I really think this is one of the passages which keep on repeating themselves throughout the book, when Eliezer describes the unforgettable nocturnal silence that always deprived him of any willingness to live. I think it is the idea of God’s silence which Eliezer found the most troublesome. How would an all-knowing and all-powerful God allow such cruelty and horror to occur to his own devout worshippers? The existence of such horror, as well as the lack of any divine response from God shook the people and the old Akiba Drumer who said this words to Eliezer

“Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy… wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views that place must—at that moment—become the center of the universe”


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(C) (CL of Q1) Perhaps one the most confounding questions to date is why the world was silent during the holocaust, when more than 6 million people were killed in the most brutal way by the Germans. The opposite of love as Eliezer indicates is not hate, but indifference. This is one of the greatest quotes in the book, calling for people to outcry and act against oppressions. As the Albert Einstein stated “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

July 24, 2021

Life History Literature


Emotions Nazi Germany

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