Ghettos Description in Night by Elie Wiesel Essay

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The term ghetto, originally derived from Venetian dialect in Italy during the sixteenth century, has multiple variations of meaning. The primary perception of the word is “synonymous with segregation” (Bassi). The first defining moment of the ghetto as a Jewish neighborhood was in sixteenth century Italy; however, the term directly correlates with the beginning of the horror that the Jewish population faced during Adolph Hitler’s reign. “No ancient ghetto knew the terror and suffering of the ghettos under Hitler” (Weisel, After the Darkness 20). Under Hitler’s terror, there were multiple ghettos throughout several cities in numerous countries ranging in size and population. Ghettos also differed in purpose; some were temporary housing…show more content…
Men were required to shave their beards. Acts of marriage and sexual intercourse plus the possession of gold and other valuables was also unauthorized. Dependent upon the ghetto, the type of Jewish branding required differed. The traditional requirement of an armband soon changed into “these badges, in alignment with regulations for the Jews in the Altreich, had to be displayed both on the back and on the left side of the chest” (qtd. in Fischthal). To make matters worse, Jews were required to buy them. Germans or members of the Jüdischer Ordnungsdienst, Jewish police, consistently guarded the streets of the ghetto. The Jewish police were usually individuals that served a community role prior to entrance into the ghetto and were assigned duties mainly to prevent any resistance uprising. In the event a conflict did occur, the losses endured would be Jewish and not German. Members of the Judenrät, the Jewish council assigned to assist in self-government, were required to consolidate the lists of individuals to be deported. Many individuals of the council and police stayed grounded in their faith and were honest to their own people; however, many also turned in favor of their own lives. In Memoirs, Elie Weisel talks about how there was minimal corruption within the Judenrät within in Sighet. “I don’t know of a single case in which anyone is alleged to have been beaten or humiliated by the Jewish police or Judenrät” (qtd. in

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