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What Did Elie’s Father’s Neighbors Do to Him?

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Elie Wiesel is sent to the concentration camp with his father. The dad later dies of dysentery and physical abuse. In the book Night, Elie describes how his father’s neighbors, caring only for their own survival, beat him and take his food when he is too weak to protect himself.

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Elie was sent to the concentration camp with his father, Shlomo Wiesel. He caught dysentery in the camp. Thus, his physical condition gradually worsened, making his son serve as his caregiver. He died on January 28, 1945, of dysentery and physical abuse. Three months later, the camp was liberated by the United States Army.

Prior to his death, Shlomo, sick to the state of helplessness, was kept in a separate block with five other sick inmates. It was clear that he was dying and would not last long. One day, when Elie came from the bread distribution, he saw his father crying because his neighbors had beaten him. They told Elie that they could not stand his father anymore because he was no longer able to go outside to relieve himself. The next day, he complained that they had taken his ration of bread. Elie was angry, but he could do nothing to stop them from torturing his father. He died the next day after being beaten by the guard.

From Elie’s description of the events, it becomes evident that he is torn between love and compassion for his father and his own need to survive. He loses his faith in humanity as he witnesses the violent behavior of his father’s neighbors. It provides a vivid illustration of the cruelties that people are capable of when kept in horrific conditions under the ever-present fear of death when their own survival becomes their only priority.

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"What Did Elie’s Father’s Neighbors Do to Him?" IvyPanda, 29 Sept. 2021, ivypanda.com/q/what-did-elies-fathers-neighbors-do-to-him/.

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IvyPanda. "What Did Elie’s Father’s Neighbors Do to Him?" September 29, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/q/what-did-elies-fathers-neighbors-do-to-him/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "What Did Elie’s Father’s Neighbors Do to Him?" September 29, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/q/what-did-elies-fathers-neighbors-do-to-him/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'What Did Elie’s Father’s Neighbors Do to Him'. 29 September.

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