Night by Elie Wiesel

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NIGHT

Introduction

The Holocaust was the attempt by the Nazi regime to systematically exterminate the European Jewish race during World War II. The Holocaust was a reference to the murder of around six million Jews and other minority groups such as homosexuals, gypsies and the disabled (Wiesel, 2008).

In the 1930’s the Jewish population in Romania was around half a million. However, during World War II most of those Jews sent to the labour barracks or death camps (Wiesel, 2008).

Set the scene of the reader, what is it about?

Night by Elie Wiesel is about his experiences in the Nazi concentration camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald in 1944 to 1945, at the height of the Holocaust and toward the end of the Second World War. It is a terrifying account of the Nazi death camp horror that turns a naive young boy into an agonized witness of the death of his family, his innocence and the death and loss of faith in his God (Wiesel, 2008).

The Jews of Sighet, Romania, remained in denial that anything awful would happen to them. Elie, a 15-year-old boy was forced into the Sighet ghetto and then onto the transport which arrived at Auschwitz, where the Jews were powerless to do anything to save themselves (Wiesel, 2008).

"I wanted to show the end, the finality of the event. Everything came to an end—man, history, literature, religion, God. There was nothing left. And yet we begin again with night" (Wiesel, 2008).

In the first page (p.20) Elie describes the Germans as pleasant. How does he come to this conclusion? To what purpose would the Germans pretend to be likeable to the Jewish community?

When the Germans first arrived in Sighet, they were friendly and pleasant, “their attitutude toward their hosts was distant, but polite. They never demanded the impossible, made no unpleasant comments, and even smiled occasionally at the mistress of the house”(Wiesel, 2008). It appeared that the Germans wanted to gain the trust of the Jewish community to maintain...
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