Night Discussion Questions: Chapters 8 & 9
4. Wiesel reports that after Buchenwald was liberated, the prisoners had no thoughts of revenge. Is this surprising?
The prisoners’ lack of will for revenge is in no way surprising. The Jews held in the concentration camps had little will to survive after liberation, let alone seek retaliation. The entire point of the concentration camps themselves was to exterminate the Jews, both physically and mentally, and they were terribly effective. The atrocities these humans underwent had an immense toll psychologically, and succeeded in breaking their spirit. The fact that the prisoners had no thoughts of revenge is simply a testament to how horrendously successful the Nazi death camps were in destroying the hearts, minds, and bodies of their victims.
5. Wiesel believes that remembering the Holocaust will help to ensure that this type of atrocity does not occur in the future. Do you think learning about historical events can guide people to behave differently? Explain.
Educating people of historical events is incredibly important for our success globally, and prevention of further catastrophic events as the Holocaust. History gives us a scope, a point of reference by which we can examine our current society. It allows us to become knowledgeable of our past mistakes, and hopefully prevents us from repeating them. Although as humans we have sadly innate streak of cruelty, as shown in Night, education is our best weapon against such utterly disgusting events as the Holocaust. Through his writings, Wiesel is doing his very best to ensure that the atrocities he underwent during the Holocaust are never forced upon another person.