Dehumanization found in Ellie Wiesel's Night
Ellie Wiezel, along with millions of other Jews, were subjected to the relentless torture of the Nazis throughout WWII. During their time in the concentration camps the Nazis took pleasure in stripping the Jews of their sense of self. Everything and anything that characterized them as humans was taken away. Thus, dehumanizing them to the fullest extent. Dehumanization plays a role in every genocide, as the oppressors take advantage of the mental weakness of the oppressed, their sense of self is diminished. What is left is but a corpse, meaningless and worthless. In Ellie Wiesel's memoir, Night, he describes three major events in which he experienced dehumanization; when they were forced to fight for food, the choice that needed to be made between family and survival, and the stripping of their names. The Nazis took away the dignity of the Jews for control and leisure, regardless, they left the Jews with an everlasting scar. Each concentration camp prisoner was fed one ration of bread and soup daily. It may have been enough to keep the prisoners alive, but it provided no nutrients, nor did it end their hunger, not even for a few minutes. This hunger was worsened while traveling. They were put into cattle cars for days or even weeks with no food or water. “Bread, soup - these were my whole life. I was a body. Perhaps less than that even: a starved stomach" (Wiesel 71.) The Jews fought each other for each last crumb of stale bread. The weak never ate because they could not fight off those who stronger than they. This horrible experience also ties in with the conflict of families. Like Elie and his father, Schlomo, there were many fathers and sons Who fought and struggled to remain together. But as their time in the camps elongated, and their pain progressed, these relationships were challenged by instinct. It was survival of the fittest,and often times the boys were being held back by their sick and aging...
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