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Night Essay

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"War does not determine who is right-only who is left" -Bertrand Russell. On September 1, 1939, World War II broke out causing separation between the world's countries. One of the countries that created a big separation was Germany. An example of how Germany was separate from the rest of the world was by Germany's ability to execute the Holocaust with out anyone knowing but the people involved. During the time of 1933-1945, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime created the biggest genocide in history killing six million Jewish people. This catastrophic event is known as the Holocaust. In Ellie Wiesel's account,"Night", Wiesel exemplifies the deterioration of human populations through dehumanization and desensitization of the Jews and Nazi's. Due to its intensity, the Holocaust became a period that has not been forgotten. 

 

"As the Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel warned years ago, to forget a holocaust is to kill twice" -Iris Chang. The Holocaust effected the lives of millions of people but the place that caused the greatest impact was at a camp called Auschwitz, in Poland, where Ellie Wiesel was sent to endure the unspeakable. Auschwitz was a death factory, "The death factory became industrialized and industry was good," said Ellie Wiesel in an interview with Oprah Winfrey. In Auschwitz alone, 1.6 million people were exterminated. The Jewish people could not even try to imagine what would happen to their people in a short time.


Dehumanization is the deterioration of, in this case, a population's human qualities. In Auschwitz the Jewish people were treated as animals and sometimes even lower. The Jewish people were not thought of as people. To stay alive the Jews would do anything which shows what the dehumanization of the Jewish population came to. In this concentration camp the Jews were gassed, cremated, starved, experimented on, treated brutally, killed, and many more gruesome things. For example, in the book "Night" Mrs. Schächter was screaming that she saw fire but no one saw it so they would beat her up so she would be quiet until they finally saw the fire that was from the crematorium that some of them would be fed into in just a few minutes. "In front of us, those flames. In the air the smell of burning flesh" (Wiesel, 28). Mrs.Schächter was right but no one believed her; this is where the readers start to see repulsive dehumanization methods performed on the Jewish people. Unfortunately, the level of dehumanization continued to rise because the Nazi's took every chance they could to exterminate the Jews.
 "Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions" - Primo Levi. The Jews were belittled to an extreme extent and the people causing this dehumanization did not even see what they were doing as wrong. The Nazi Party was lead by Adolf Hitler who issued The Final Solution which was a document signed to exterminate all Jewish people. Because the Nazi's were commanded to do so, not questioning it, they started to see this kind of existence as normal. The Nazi's were desensitized by seeing and performing these mass murders that they started to see dehumanizing the Jews as normal because they did not see the Jews as people. Two examples of this would be in "Night" when Ellie Wiesel witnesses a German lady, for entertainment, throwing coins at Jewish children to see them wrestle for them. The women's reply to this situation was that she said that she was giving to charity. Another example would be the cattle cars, overflowing with Jews, entered German places and the German people thought as the cars as just another bunch coming through. These effects stayed with these people for years to come.

 

The Holocaust was such an impactful time for both the Jews and Nazis. What these people experienced and saw will always stay with them by leaving most of these people with mixed feelings. The Jews varied with what they felt after the Holocaust and being dehumanized to such an extreme level. Ellie Wiesel said in his interview with Oprah Winfrey, "Anger is in me, I hate not, I do not like hatred". Ellie said that he feels angry about the Holocaust when he feels helpless because he does not understand how the Nazis could do such a thing. Some Nazis, on the other hand, realized that what they did was wrong therefore they realized that they were desensitized because only now do see what they did was wrong. In a documentary, a former Nazi felt uncomfortable talking about what he had done during the Holocaust, which he stated to the audience, and the audience could see the way he felt trough his nervous actions. The stories of these people continue to be remembered, never to be forgotten.


The horrific events that occurred during the time of the Holocaust are a lesson for humans to never do something like that again because it will just end in ruins. Pain, suffering, and sadness are what came out of this horrible event. Keeping these stories alive should be motivation to push forward and excel. The dehumanization of the Jews and the desensitization of the Nazis should never be forgotten because so many populations were effected and impacted by the Holocaust. Ellie Wiesel's story, "Night", needs to stay alive too, not only for generations now but for generations to come. "To those who lost their lives-we remember. To those who survived-we hear you. To the next generation- we must never forget" -Interview between Ellie Wiesel and Oprah Winfrey.




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