Survival (on the Book Night)

Topics: Elie Wiesel, World War II, The Holocaust Pages: 3 (1234 words) Published: October 8, 1999
The book Night is about the holocaust as experienced by Elie Weisel from inside the concentration camps. During World War II millions of innocent Jews were taken from their homes to concentration camps, resulting in the deaths of 6 million people. There were many methods of survival for the prisoners of the holocaust during World War II. In the book Night, there were three main modes of survival, faith, family, and food. From the examples in the book Night, faith proved to be the most successful in helping people survive the holocaust.

While obtaining food seemed to be the entire purpose of life for the people imprisoned in the camps, it often killed more people than it saved. Though focusing on food seemed like a logical thing to do when you are being starved, it was not always very effective in helping people survive. There are many situations in the book illustrating how living for the sole purpose of acquiring food—under any condition—could turn out to be lethal. Elie wrote of one time, during an air raid, when two half-full cauldrons of soup were left unguarded in a path. Despite their hunger, the prisoners were too frightened for their lives to even touch the cauldrons. One brave man dragged himself to the cauldrons intending to drink some of the forbidden soup. Before he could so much as take a small taste of the soup, he was shot, and he fell to the ground, dead. In Night, Elie recalled him as a “Poor hero, committing suicide for a ration of soup” (Weisel, 56). Later in the story, there is yet another example of how food could kill. While the prisoners were in cattle cars, being moved to a different camp, a worker in one of the towns they passed through threw a piece of bread into one of the cars, and watched as they literally killed for just a mouthful. Through that experience, Elie witnessed a man kill his own father for a few meager crumbs of bread, only then to see that man be killed moments later for...
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