Book Review: Night by Ellie Wiesel Essay (Book Review)

Introduction

During the Second World War, a number of scholars and writers came up with various writings to express their opinions, views, and standpoints. The Night, by Ellie Wiesel, is one such book that expresses the views of the writer.

Life was unbearable during the Second World War, particularly in Germany whereby concentration camps existed. Wiesel describes the state of affairs in the Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald.

Many people lost their lives, including property. Families broke up because family members had to be taken to different places. Others were unable to escape and found themselves in death camps whereby they could provide cheap labor without payment.

This piece of writing revisits the works of Wiesel in the book titled Night. The paper summarizes the reasoning of the writer and goes a notch higher to analyze some of the themes in order to establish the relevance of the book to the modern political environment. In other words, the paper looks at the strengths and weaknesses of the book.

Synopsis

The writer explains that life in the concentration camps was unbearable. He wonders where God was when such injustices were mated out to the Jews.

He concluded that God might have died because he could have intervened could he be alive. To the writer, life had taken a new twist meaning that the relationship between family members had changed.

The writer complained that his father had burdened him since he had to take care of him in everything. This was a great challenge to the writer given that he was only sixteen years.

In the concentration camps, family relations had no meaning. This is captured in a statement where the writer complained that if he could only eliminate his father since the old man was a form of a burden to him.

However, he regretted using such string words on his father. In the book, the writer shows that life had taken a new twist meaning that moral values were no more. In the concentration camps, there were no fathers, no brothers, and no friends.

In 1945, the writer reveals that the US liberated Buchenwald, even though it was late for his father who had already perished in the hands of Nazi.

In the introduction, the writer gives a brief description of his life (Wiesel 35) He reports that he was born in a place referred to as Sighet, which is a town situated in a hill in Hungary.

Before invasion, laws had been passed aimed at suppressing the Jews. Things got worse when Adolf and his men invaded Hungary.

Wiesel was separated from his family as his mother was taken to the gas chamber in Auschwitz and his father and he were taken to Buchenwald. The mother could not survive the conditions of Auschwitz and passed on immediately while his father died some few days before liberation.

Review/Analysis

Moshe the Beadle

The narrator tells us the importance of religion in society in this section. He claims that he cried uncontrollably when he noticed that the Temple had been vandalized. Moshe the Beadle was a man in charge of marinating the Synagogue.

In other words, he was a caretaker who ensured that everything went well during prayers. The caretaker is presented as a humble man who never quarreled with any one in society. In 1942, the man of God was whisked to Poland but he managed to come back in order to pass the information to villagers.

However, the villagers never minded listening to him. The story of Moshe the Beadle shows that a political enemy always targets the soft sport, which is normally the religious leader.

The villagers could not listen to Moshe simply because he was not influential. In the section, the government of Hungary proved that it was part of the Nazi project since it ordered all non-citizen Jews to leave.

This is one of the strengths of the book since the Holocaust could not have materialized without the help of other Eastern European governments.

The Sighet Ghettos

Jews were restricted from participating in important societal activities and enjoying their lives to the fullest. In this regard, Jews were not supposed to own property or to practice their religion.

Wherever they moved, Jews were required to wear the Yellow Star, as a form of identification. The Hungarian administration came up with a decision to transfer Jews to one of the Ghettos for easier supervision.

The Jews were only restricted to two Ghettos and the rest of their residences were closed. This shows how the Nazi regime was ambitious to control the influence of Jews in other neighboring countries.

The Jews could not influence political leaders to come up with fairer laws since their movements were easily monitored in the Ghettos. The writer reports that the Ghettos were self-contained meaning that all social services were provided.

No Jew could move out in search of a social amenity. In fact, they were allowed to appoint their councils, referred to as the Jewish Council, which could arbitrate on any issue in the ghettos This was meant to facilitate compliance since the Nazi government could easily approach the council leaders and inform them about the new developments.

After sometime, the Ghettos were closed and the Jews were transferred to the concentration camps in Poland and Germany. The writer reports that the Hungarian police had no mercy since each person was mistreated irrespective of his or her societal standing.

Auschwitz

The writer reports that he was moved to one of the concentration camps referred to as Auschwitz, together with other eighty members of his community, including Madame Schachter.

Schachter prophesized that the bodies of people were burning but the rest of the Jews could not believe her, just the way Moshe the Beadle had been ignored. People were put in different sections based on gender, age, and health.

Unfortunately, the narrator’s mother was send straight to the gas chamber owing to her old age and deteriorating health. The Auschwitz shows that political opponents will never have mercy because they will ensure that only relevant individuals are allowed to live.

The weak are eliminated immediately to avoid any costs. Children were eliminated right away since the writer reports that the lorry delivered children into a burning fire while he was watching with the father.

The political class and the politicians will never care about morality as long as their interests are well catered for by the existing policy. In the book, the main aim of the political class in Eastern Europe was to acquire wealth.

The political class never cared about the value of human life. They would allow the soldiers to strangle innocent children only to frustrate parents.

Buchenwald and Liberation

In the last section of the book, which talks about the Buchenwald camp and subsequent liberation, the writer does not explain the factors behind liberation. He simply goes ahead to describe how liberation came about but does explain the immediate and long term factors that were responsible for liberation.

In Germany, there had been some sort of resistance since some leaders wanted the government to close the concentration camps. In Europe, other world powers such as Britain and Russia had gained momentum and wanted to liberate their citizens who had been kidnapped by the Nazi regime as prisoners of war.

The writer does not explain all these factors. Furthermore, he does not give a brief explanation of how the US joined the war. There had been some developments in the international system, which could not allow Germany to continue oppressing the Jews.

In the beginning of the story, the writer explained that the old and those perceived to be unhealthy were eliminated immediately. However, he explains towards the end of the story that his father was ailing from dysentery.

The question is how comes the father was allowed to live yet it was against the policy of the Nazi government. This leaves us with some questions to answer.

Conclusion

The chapters of the book by Wiesel are arranged in a manner that would help the reader to comprehend the real meaning of Holocaust and how the Nazi unleashed terror on the Jews.

The book has some strengths including explaining how the Eastern European states contributed in implementing the Nazi policies. The Hungarian government declared that all immigrants would be deported in case they could not provide sufficient documents.

This proves that the government of Hungary knew what was just about to happen to the Jews. One weakness of the book is that it does not give authentic information.

At one moment, we are told that the old and the sick were never allowed to see the day while at other times the writer tells us that the sick could be left to suffer.

Works Cited

Wiesel, Elie. Night. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2012. Print.

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