Why Are Some People Able to Survive While Others Cannot? What Are the Most Important Characteristics/Qualities to Have for Someone to Survive?

Topics: Elie Wiesel, Auschwitz concentration camp, Nazi Germany Pages: 2 (476 words) Published: December 13, 2012
Sometimes people are challenged by an event or a situation where it is necessary for them to fight for their survival. The Holocaust was a tragic event that caused millions of people, both Jews and non-Jews in different situations all around Europe, to be forced to try to fight for their lives. Some did make it, but many did not. There are physical, emotional and circumstantial reasons that can improve or hurt someone’s chances of survival. In order to survive a difficult situation, it is necessary to have the ability to physically overcome obstacles. This refers to a person’s characteristics like age, gender, health and strength. Depending upon the situation, one or more of these factors might help or hurt someone’s chances of surviving. In Elie Wiesel’s novel Night the importance of physical features are demonstrated by how the Nazis organized selections at Birkenau, and other like concentration camps. The physical key to persevering through the Holocaust related to a wide range of features, including age, health, and appearance. The Nazis were looking specifically for people who were in the age range of approximately eighteen to forty years to keep alive, since the Nazis believed that these people could most likely perform the strenuous labor for the Nazis. If someone was not visibly healthy, they were likely to be given a death sentence. People who came to the camps who did not fall into these favored categories, most likely did not survive. The emotional piece to surviving involves one’s will to survive. If one does not have the will to live, it is much more difficult to survive because mentally, they have checked out and given up. By having a desire to live, one is more likely to take chances, fight for their life and act courageously, improving chances of survival. An example of this is in the case of someone who is very sick, like a cancer patient, who can either to continue to fight the disease or decide there is no hope left, and...
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