Book Review of Night and Dawn Essay

2568 Words 11 Pages
Book Review of Night and Dawn

"Never shall I forget that night, the first night in the 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 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 desire 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." (9)
These are the words of the acclaimed writer Elie Wiesel. From this simple
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Night opens in 1941 when Eliezer is 12 years old. At the time he is living in the Hungarian town of Sighet. He is the only son in an Orthodox Jewish household, highly observant of Jewish tradition. Eliezer keen interest in Judaism brings him to avidly study the Cabbala, a book based on Jewish mysticism. His instruction is cut short, however, when his teacher, Moche the Beadle, is deported. Moche returns after a few months with a horrifying tale. The Gestapo, or German secret police, took charge of his train, led everybody into the woods, and systematically butchered them. Nobody believes Moche and the small town quickly takes him for a lunatic. Yet, the reality of Moche's experience becomes evident when a series of increasingly repressive measures are passed by the Nazi's who occupy Hungary in the spring of 1944. The Jews of Eliezer's town are herded onto cattle cars, commencing a nightmarish journey: after days and nights crammed into the car, exhausted and near starvation, the passengers arrive at Birkenau, the gateway to the concentration camp, Auschwitz.
At Aushwitz, he and his father are separated from his mother and sisters, whom they never see again. They are then stripped, shaved, and disinfected while their captors treat them with almost unimaginable cruelty. Eventually, they are marched to a work camp, Buna, where Eliezer is put to work in an electrical-fittings factory. Under slave-labof conditions, severely malnourished and decimated by the frequent
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