Night Journals 1 6

Topics: Nazi Germany, Nazism, World War II Pages: 8 (1368 words) Published: January 31, 2015
Braden Townsend
January 23, 2015
Night Journal #1
Page 18- “Besides, people were interested in everything—in strategy, in diplomacy, in politics, in Zionism—but not in their own fate.” I believe that what he means by this is, that people think that just because they’re so small, or that they’re race is spread out over many countries, that people will think that they will not be noticed and left alone. However this mindset got them killed. The Nazi’s didn’t care about how hard it would be to exterminate the people, they just found a way.

Braden Townsend
January 25, 2015
Night Journal 2
Page 42- “My forehead was bathed in cold sweat. But I told him that I did not believe that they could burn in our age that humanity would never tolerate it….” What I believe he means by this is that he believes the humanity in the Germans would prevent them from actually burning someone alive. However the Germans believed that they’re actually the master race and that everyone else was worthless. Hitler and his Nazi party had taken complete control over the minds of most of the German population, corrupting them horribly and very close to completely.

Braden Townsend
January 25, 2015
Night Journal 3
Page 72- ““Where is God now?” And I heard a voice within me answer him: “Where is he? Here He is---He is hanging here on this gallows…”
This passage occurs at the end of the fourth section, as Eliezer witnesses the agonizingly slow death of the Dutch Oberkapo’s pipel, a young boy hanged for collaborating against the Nazis. This horrible moment signifies the low point of Eliezer’s faith in God. The death of the child also symbolizes the death of Eliezer’s own childhood and innocence. The suffering Eliezer sees and experiences during the Holocaust transforms his entire worldview. Before the war, he cannot imagine questioning his God. When asked by Moshe the Beadle why he prays, Eliezer replies, “Why did I pray? What a strange question. Why did I live? Why did I breathe?” Observance and belief were unquestioned parts of his core sense of identity, so once his faith is irreparably shaken, he becomes a completely different person. Among other things, Night is a perverse coming-of-age story, in which Eliezer’s innocence is cruelly stripped from him.

Braden Townsend
January 25, 2015
Night Journal 4
Page 76- “To fast would mean a surer, swifter death. We fasted here the whole year round. The whole year was Yon Kippur. But others said we should fast simply because it was dangerous to do so. We should show God that even here, in this enclosed hell, we were capable of singing his praises.

In Jewish tradition, the High Holidays are the time of divine judgment. According to the prayer book, Jews pass before God on Rosh Hashanah like sheep before the shepherd, and God determines who will live and who will die in the coming year. In the concentration camps, Eliezer hints, a horrible reversal has taken place. Soon after Rosh Hashanah, the SS (Nazi police) performs a selection on the prisoners at Buna. All the prisoners pass before Dr. Mengele, the notoriously cruel Nazi doctor, and he determines who is condemned to death and who can go on living. The parallel is clear and so is the message: the Nazis have placed themselves in God’s role. Eliezer has decided that the Nazis’ actions mean that God is not present in the concentration camps, and thus praying to him is foolish.

Braden Townsend
January 25, 2015
Night Journal 5
Page 93- “We were masters of nature, masters of the world. We had forgotten everything—death, fatigue, our natural needs. Stronger than cold or hunger, stronger than the shots and the desire to die, condemned and wandering, mere numbers, we were the only men on earth. At last, the morning star appeared in the gray sky. A trail of indeterminate light showed on the horizon. We were exhausted. We were without strength, without illusions.”

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