1. Weisel's childhood home was in Sighet, Transylvania.
Sighet, Transylvania is a small, rural village in present-day Romania where Elie Wiesel was born and lived until he was taken away to concentration camps. Sighet is located in Transylvania, near the Transylvanian Alps in central Romania. It is such a small village that it did not even make the maps. Before the war, there were several Jewish temples and synagogues in and near Sighet. In the 1930's, the Jewish population in Romania totaled 500,000 up from 29,000 in 1803. However, during World War II, most of those Jews were evacuated and sent off to the Nazi labor or death camps.
3. When Elie was young, he studied the cabbala. He wanted to study it in order to discover the truths of “humanity”. He was ignorant of the fact that humans can be cruel and savage.
4.Moshe the beadle is a significant character because not only did he teach Elie and answer many of his questions, but was a witness and survivor of a tragedy. He tried to warn the others after his escape, but he was ignored and thought to be a madman. During his teachings he tells Elie,"man raises himself toward God by the questions he asks Him,""That is the true dialogue. Man questions God and God answers. But we don't understand them. Because they come from the depths of the soul, and they stay there until death. You will find true answers, Eliezer, only within yourself!"
5.The people of Sighet ignore Moshe after his escape because they don't beleive what he says. The stories are so incredible that people beleive he has gone mad. Nobody listens to him because they think his stories are lies so that people can pity him.
6.Madame Schachter is a woman,about fifty, who is traveling with her 10 year old son in the same transport as Elie and his dad. Her husband and the rest of her children had accidentally beentaken during the first transport. she was broken apart by that and seemed to grow hysterical. More than once she awoke those who accompanied her with horrible screams signaling a big fire. A few days after, when they arrived at camp they thought of her as they saw a huge crematory with piles of children in flames. They realized that she had ,in a way ,tried to warn them.
8. This passage talks about how concentration camp has changed who he is and his beliefs. The hardships he lived through made the strong believer he was vanish, and instead made him doubt whether god even existed.
9. Throughout night Elie’s understanding of god changes by him believing that God has abandoned the Jews. He is most angry with god when he says“What are you, my God, compared to this afflicted crowd, proclaiming to You their faith, their anger, their revolt? What does your greatness mean, Lord of the universe, in the face of all this weakness, this decomposition, and this decay? Why do you still trouble their sick minds, their crippled bodies?”(Weisel 63) But Even though he wants to be mad at god, it’s as if he was having battle inside of him. Part of him “hates” god for permitting what is happening to the Jews, and part of him doesn’t want to let go of god. “And, in spite of myself, a prayer rose in my heart, to that god in whom I no longer believed. My god, Lord of the Universe, give me strength never to do what Rabbi Eliahou’s son has done.” (weisel 87)
10. In Night, night is symbolic. Night always occurs when suffering is worst, and its presence reflects Eliezer’s belief that he lives in a world without God. The first time Eliezer mentions that “night fell” is when his father is interrupted while telling stories and informed about the deportation of Jews. It is also night when Eliezer first arrives at Birkenau and Auschwitz, and it is night specifically “pitch darkness” when the prisoners begin their horrible run from Buna.
11. In my opinion Wiesel wrote Night in a concise manner, in a slim book, because he didn’t want to have every detail in it. He wanted to get a point across to many people and used the most relevant and important details and facts. Perhaps another reason why he didn’t add details is because it would have been much more horrifying, and some things are better left untold; and maybe forgotten.
12. Night is a combination of both tragedy and triumph. It is triumphant because of the people who were able to survive, and some even write books to warn and prevent this, as Elie did. But it is also very tragic because many lost their lives. Families were disintegrated, people starved, some were whipped to death or even hanged, and there was just too much suffering during the holocaust.
“He told his story in that of his companions. The train full of deportees had crossed the Hungarian frontier and on polish territory had been taken in charge by the Gestapo. There it had stopped. The Jews had to get out and climb into Lorries. The Lorries drove toward a forest. The Jews were made to get out. They were made to dig huge graves. And when they finished their work, the Gestapo began theirs. Without passion, without haste, they slaughtered their prisoners. Each one had had to go up to a hole and present his neck Babies were thrown into the air and the machine gunners used them as targets”
I was shocked when I pictured this as I read that passage for the first time. It is incredibly horrible to think that babies could be treated this way. I mean it’s sad enough that they were treating Jews as slaves & then killing them for no apparent meaning, but nt0o think of the way the Innocent babies were being killed is just horrifying.
"We drank, we ate, we sang. The Bible bade us rejoice during the seven days of the feast, to be happy. But our hearts were not in it. Our hearts had been beating more rapidly for some days. We wished the feast were over, so that we should not have to play this comedy any longer."
They aren’t really enjoying themselves as one usually does at a party(celebration). Instead of enjoying they are wishing it would end. I believe it is because they feel afraid and in some sort of danger. They only act in a rejoicing manner, but do not truly feel that way.
“The following morning the following morning, we marched to the station where a convoy of cattle wagons was waiting. The Hungarian police made us get in – eighty people in each car. We wee lefta few loaves of bread and some buckets of water. The bars at the window were checked, to see that they were not loose. Then the cars were sealed. In each car one person was in charge. If anyone escaped, he would be shot.”
It must have been really crowded and irritating to be in a small wagon carrying about 80 people. It must have been very difficult. Very little food, drink, no where to go to the bathroom or sleep, noisy, frustrating, and I’m pretty sure it didn’t smell good.
“Lying down was out of question, and we were only able to sit by deciding to take turns. There was very little air. The lucky ones who happened to be near a window could see the blossoming countryside roll by. After two days of traveling, we began to be tortured by thirst. Then the heat became unbearable”
Wow! Such harsh conditions. I don’t think I would be able to resist living like they did.
“He seemed to be telling the truth. Not far from us, flames were leaping up from a ditch, gigantic flames. They were burning something. A lorry drew up at the pit and delivered its load –little children. Babies! Yes, I saw it –saw it with my own eyes… those children in the flames.”
I can’t believe this really happened. How in humane! What a terrible death, and at such a young age. Poor innocent babies, being cremated in big piles. What a horrible sight(and an even more horrible experience).
“Never shall I forget that night, the first night at camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky. Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever. Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desires to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God himself. Never.”
How could he say this?! Such harsh conditions were responsible for such a drastic change. A change of body and soul. Only such tragedies as the ones he saw and lived through could make a strong believer go against god, and lose all hopes. And losing that faith and hope makes it even harder to survive because you no longer care about anything, or anyone.
12/22/06-pgs 41 50"The bell gave us the signal to disperse. We went to get our evening meal of bread and margarine. I was dreadfully hungry and swallowed my ration on the spot. My father said, "You don't want to eat it all at once, tomorrow's another day..."
This passage is advice. It is not only useful to Elie but to everybody. One should not go ahead and spend all of something just because you have it. Whether it be food, money, or whatever, one should save some for when it is scarce.
"And he began to beat him with an iron bar. At first my father crouched under the blows, and then he broke in two, like a dry tree struck by lightning, and collapsed. I had watched the whole scene without moving. I kept quiet. In fact I was thinking of how to get farther away so that I would not be hit myself. What is more, any anger I felt at that moment was directed, not against the Kapo, but against my father. I was angry with him, for not knowing how to avoid Idek's outbreak. That is what concentration camp life had made of me."
He must have felt guilty. If not at the moment, maybe he does now.To look at your father get hit and you wanting to get as far as possible to protect yourself does not seem right. I’m not saying he should have jumped in and risked his life, but he should have been close so that when the man left he could help out his father. But I understand that as much as he would have liked to defend his father, he wouldn’t have done so. He has been “trained” to look out for no other than himself.
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..."
To Elie god is dead. He died along the way accompanying the others. Or, at least he would prefer think of god as dead rather than as cruel(for what they are having to go through).
“This day I had ceased to plead. I was no longer capable of lamentation. On the contrary, I felt very strong. I was the accuser, God the accused. My eyes were open and I was alone-terribly alone in a world without god and without man. Without love or mercy. I had ceased to be anything but ashes, yet I felt myself to be stronger than the Almighty, to whom my life had been tied to for so long. I stood amid that praying congregation, observing it like a stranger.”
The holocaust has made Elie’s faith disappear. All his life had been devoted to god, and now all these changes have made him blame god for it and he no longer believes in this god.. He feels stronger and he feels god is to be accused of such horrors. He no longer depends on or devotes himself to god. He is no longer capable of lamentation, love, or mercy. He has become empty.
"In three days I shall no longer be here.... Say the Kaddish for me. We promised him. In three days' time, when we saw the smoke rising from the chimney, we would think of him. Ten of us would gather together and hold a special service. All his friends would say the Kaddish. Then he went off toward the hospital, his step steadier, not looking back. An ambulance was waiting to take him to Birkenau. These were terrible days. We received more blows than food; we were crushed with work. And three days after he had gone we forgot to say the Kaddish."
It is sad to think that you are alone In the world. It is even sadder to think that you have friends, and that when you die you ask for them to grant your last wish but they don’t. You die thinking that your good friends will say a prayer for you; not too much to ask for, but once your dead you are forgotten. Your friends have been mistreated so as the days go by they for get about your prayer. This is a moving passage because it shows that you can’t depend on any body. You are there only for yourself.
“Under our feet were men crushed, trampled underfoot, dying. No one paid any attention.”
They have been put through so much that they have lost all sense of feelings toward one another.
“He had already passed through the door when I suddenly remembered seeing his son running by my side. I had forgotten that, and I didn’t tell Rabbi Eliahou! Then I remembered something else: his son had seen him losing ground, limping, staggering back to the rear of the column. He had seen him. And he had continued to run on in front, letting distance between them grow greater. A terrible thought loomed up in my mind: he had wanted to get rid of his father. He had felt that his father was growing weak, he had believed that the end was near and had sought this separation in order to get rid of the burden, to free himself from an encumbrance which could lessen his own chances of survival.”
This demonstrates the fact that not even family was important now to many.. You were there only for yourself, and if your father was left behind you couldn’t risk waiting or slowing down. This is not right but it is the way they were taught under such conditions at camp.
"Meir. Meir, my boy! Don't you recognize me? I’m your father... you're hurting me... you're killing your father! I've got some bread... for you too.... for you too... He collapsed. His fist was still clenched around a small piece. He tried to carry it to his mouth. But the other one threw himself upon him and snatched it. The old man again whispered something, let out a rattle, and died amid the general indifference. His son searched him, took the bread, and began to devour it. He was not able to get very far. Two men had seen the hurled themselves upon it. Others joined in. When they withdrew, next to me were two corpses, side by side, the father and the son."
This is a very upsetting passage. To think that people can be this savage and selfish. And what makes this upsetting is the fact that it really happened and it happens every day all over the world. Sons and daughters mistreat their parents because of their selfishness the poor man tried to share the food he fought for with his son, but his son didn’t care and killed him for that bread.
“I awoke on January 29 at dawn. In my father’s place lay another invalid. They must have taken him away before dawn and carried him to the crematory. He may have still been breathing.there were no prayers at his grave no candles were lit to his memory. His last word was my name. a summons, to which I did not respond. I did not weep, and it Pained me that I could not weep. But I had no more tears. And, in the depths of my being, in the recesses of my weakened conscience, could I have searched it, I might have found something like-free at last!
He can’t even pain his own father’s death. That must feel terrible and must have filled him with guilt. Concentration camp made them uncivilized and dehumanized them.
"One day I was able to get up, after gathering all my strength. I wanted to see myself in the mirror hanging on the opposite wall. I had not seen myself since the ghetto. From the depths of the mirror, a corpse gazed back at me. The look in his eyes, as they stared into mine, has never left me."
This is one the strongest passages in the book. You can feel the horror he felt as he saw a “corpse” gazing back at him. As if he was stuck in a body other than his. It gives me this creepy feeling, it must have been horrible to see himself like that.