Travis C. Lantz Ms. Kennell Honors English 10 19 April 2013 Springtime with Hitler The Holocaust is a shameful period in history that the world longs to dismiss from mind; none the less, Night forces a society to look into a mirror and Judge itself and learn from its mistakes to make certain that a malevolent act will never plague this earth again. Elie Wiesel unquestionably achieves this by intertwining both themes and factual events that, when put together, both intrigue and inform the reader.
Some of the many recurring themes are inhumanity of others, silence can kill, and above all, the importance of remembering. The way people behave during the Holocaust showed the best and worst humanity has to offer; however, with the help of Elie Wiesel’s lessons, another act of genocide of such a magnitude will never happen again. Inhumanity is powerful word that echoes through out history only when the most heinous acts of brutality and savagery are committed. Hundreds of events throughout history can be described as inhuman; however, the event that takes the cake is none other than the Holocaust.
On a daily basis, inhumanity is shown by SS as they march hundreds of thousands Jews to one of the six crematoriums, the tarvation and thirst of countless men and women, and the forced labor of the exhausted and malnourished Jews. Not only Jewish men and women suffered, but also children and babies. “To hang a young boy in front of thousands of spectators was no light matter. The head of the camp read the verdict. All eyes were on the child. He was lividly pale, almost calm, biting his lips. The gallows threw its shadow over him”(61). What Justifies the hanging of a child?
Well, to the Schutzstaffel, one could simply be hanged for being suspected of conspiring against the Nazi Party. In a ypical society, minors would be investigated and, if enough evidence is found, sent to a fair trial of his peers. Also, if found guilty, the death penalty would never even be considered and the most that would happen to him. If my basic human rights were being taken away, I know I would have done something to alert everyone I can of the existence of Auschwitz, in order to prevent this from happening to anymore of my people.
The Nazi Party used the silence of the Jews as a weapon to invade Europe and create a mass Genocide; however, it was not Just the Nazi that killed the Jews, it as also their silence that killed. Silence in society is wanted, in fact encourage. My mother once told me when a beggar asks for money to remain silent and do not make eye contact. My money could have made all the difference in that man’s life, but society told me to stay silent and do not stick my nose where it does not belong.
In the book Night, many otherwise good humans were aware of the existence of concentration camps but chose to remain silent. Eliezer notes throughout the book that it was the passivity and inactiveness of the Jews that allowed the Holocaust to continue. Once Eliezer’s faith in he Jews as simply that, a massacre. If the Jews were to put up a fght, to struggle against their Nazi oppressors, then Eliezer would be able to see the Nazis as an evil force working against God, and that God was still on their side, though not intervening directly. Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live” (32). This quote shows how silence can hollow out a person’s soul and deprives them of the desire to live. Despite the scarring nature of silence, it is still important to remember it in order to prevent it from happening gain. One of Wiesel’s main objectives in writing Night is to remind the world of the Holocaust, in hopes history will not repeat itself. He did this by summoning up all the pain and suffering experienced at the concentration camp, and converting them into words.
In the book Night, Moshe returns to Sighet and recounts the horror stories of the Gestapo’s extermination of the Jews. He tries to recall from memory, the stories of the victims’ deaths: “He went from one Jewish house to another, telling the story of Malka, the young girl who had taken three days to die, and of Tobias, the tailor, who ad begged to be killed before his sons… “(4). Despite how scarring it is for Moshe to recall the extermination his people, he saw the importance of remembering.
The importance is to warn the other Jews of their impending doom. However, it is not only important to remember the bad time, it is also important to remember the rare flowers in sea of death and misery. Elie cannot forget the smile his father shows him even in the midst of his suffering. “”I shall always remember that smile. From which world did it come? “Elie asks” (86). These seemingly minor, death-defying gestures are particularly memorable. In Conclusion, out of the wreckage that is the Holocaust, a few lessons emerge.
First, never underestimate how inhumane humanity really is. Second, silence can be a weapon more powerful than guns, and without silence, the world might have a few hundred thousand more Jews. Finally, Night taught us how important remembering is and that our loved ones are only truly dead when we forget they were alive. I hope, if another human being tries to create mass genocide, people will look back to this book and learn to never lose one’s moral compass in the face of danger, always fight and never remain silent, and above all, never forget.