“Night” by Elie Wiesel
Back From The Death Camps
The novel “Night” was written by Elie Wiesel and is a narrative of his life during World War II. The book starts with his life living in Hungary with his family. It then tells of how they were taken away to concentration camps throughout the war. During Elie’s stays at the various camps you see the sacrifices he makes and how the experience changes him.
“Night” is a great example of what so many people went through in concentration camps throughout Europe in World War II. In the beginning, there is rising fear in Hungary because of the bombings and rumors of Jews being taken away to mysterious death camps. The early stages of discrimination start when Elie’s family is moved out of their hometown of Siguet, Hungary and into a ghetto. After some time in the ghetto the family is moved and taken in cattle cars to a concentration camp. Then, after many months and different concentration camps Elie and his father are together through all of it, and they are nearing the days of the Liberation. This is the start of the climax and goes through Elie being hospitalized and almost killed because he was bedridden. Then, his father starts to fall ill causing Elie to make tough decisions about survival and family. After his father died Elie stayed at the concentration camp Buchenwald until a resistance group in the camp took control and drove out SS officers who were guarding the camp. All the prisoners then were freed after the liberation of the camp.
The main character is Elie who is a Jewish boy and always try to help others before themselves even when it is a fight for survival. When the novel starts he is only 13 years old. Elie is a very hardworking, determined student of faith and an honest boy who tries to do the right things even though it is not the easy thing to do. Elie interacts with the other characters as someone who must take care of everyone else and sometimes ignore to take care of himself when he is helping others. On page 19, Chapter 1 of “Night” by Elie Wiesel, it said “My father was crying. It was the first time I saw him cry. I had never thought it possible. As for my mother, she was walking, her face a mask, without a word, deep in thought. I looked at my little sister, Tzipora, her blond hair neatly combed, her red coat over her arm: a little girl of seven. On her back a bag too heavy for her. She was clenching her teeth; she already knew it was useless to complain. Here and there, the police were lashing out with their clubs. "Faster!" I had no strength left. The journey had just begun and I already felt so weak”. As he sets off on his new life, on a journey with an unknown journey’s end, Eliezer is consumed with thoughts about his family—he is concerned about his family’s suffering.
I recommend this book for readers who is interested in learning how even the most tortured souls can still be human. So many books have been written about personal narratives of war hardships suffered by the Jews but so few capture the true problems faced by prisoners. The impossible decision between survival and family was a difficult one faced by many during this time. The survivors of concentration camps have the purest and strongest spirits. Even in the most difficult times some people have not lost enough of themselves to lose the value of right and wrong.