Elie Wiesel Reflection

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Not only were more than eleven million women, men and children horrifyingly executed during the Holocaust, but of those eleven-million, approximately six million were of the Jewish faith. Before they were cremated, gassed or hanged, the prisoners of the concentration camps were treated like animals. They worked all day and were fed little to no food. The Nazis never hesitated to take a life or anything else that belonged to the prisoners. In the memoir Night by Elie Wiesel, a once young, Jewish boy, recounts his life during the Holocaust. Throughout his time in the camps, Wiesel experiences many things that make him feel less than human resulting in his eventually nonexistent faith in the god he once used to worship habitually.
For such a young age, Elie Wiesel has a fairly deep-seated faith for a twelve year old. His faith means everything to him, he equates the importance of prayer and religion to that of living and breathing. He spends his days studying Jewish Mysticism and the cabbala with his teacher, Moshe the Beadle. At this time in his life, Wiesel has no doubt in the power of his god. When asked why he prays, Wiesel’s immediate thought is “Why did I pray? Why did I live? Why did I breathe?” (Wiesel 2) Elie Wiesel is growing up believing in the power of God and living through His words. He has no doubt that his god, if need be, will save him from the evils of the world.
Although Wiesel’s faith is undoubtedly stronger than most boys of his age, the arrival of the German soldiers in the little town of Sighet, would only be the beginning of the downward spiral of Wiesel’s faith in God. When the troops arrive, the people of Sighet tell themselves that “Hitler won’t be able to do us any harm even if he wanted to” (Wiesel 6). The Jews of Sighet do not believe that it is possible for Hitler to wipe out an entire race, especially without anyone stopping him. Throughout the Holocaust, the Jewish people invest so much of their faith into God, they miss warning signs because of their ignorance. They believe their all powerful god won’t let that happen to His people, and then Moshe and all the foreign Jews are deported. Moshe escapes the forced labor camp and returns to Sighet to warn the Jews of the impending

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