Indifference In Night By Elie Wiesel

899 WordsSep 15, 20174 Pages
In his autobiography Night and in his article “How Can We Understand Their Hatred?,” Elie Wiesel claims that indifference is the primary catalyst of fanaticism and therefore terrorism. Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor, has been the voice of millions of Jews who had also experienced the Holocaust first hand. Wiesel wrote Night to educate others of the problems caused by indifference and fanaticism during his childhood. In Night, Wiesel recalls Jews as lesser beings to the German Nazis because they looked at the Jews with utter contempt. In the article “How Can We Understand Their Hatred?,” Wiesel compares the terrorists responsible for 9/11 to the Nazis, as they were both unconcerned of the victims’ well-being, a direct result of indifference. Through his works, Wiesel hopes that readers never forget the harsh times of fanatic influences as it unites humanity to see one common belief: fanaticism must be abolished. Indifference always emboldens the tormentor and never the victims, so to overcome fanaticism, we must not succumb to indifference by educating ourselves. Indifference is the main factor that allows fanatics to do what they strive to accomplish. Wiesel argues that indifference, rather than hate, is the opposite of love. The oppressor, instead of seeing the victim as an actual person, sees them as someone of unimportance. In Night, the SS officers would say “Faster! Faster! Move, you lazy good-for-nothings!” (Night 19) to force the Jews to move even though they were exhausted and deprived of energy. Although this might have seemed cruel, the Nazis did not regard this as an “abusive act” because they were unconcerned for the Jews and only cared about their own well-being. What sets fanatics apart from victims and bystanders is that they have no feelings of compassion, and therefore cannot place themselves in the shoes of the victims. Furthermore, in the article Wiesel analyzes the mind of a fanatic and why they decide to perform extreme actions. Wiesel claims that fanatics are “immune to doubt and to hesitation” (Wiesel par. 9), proving that the mind of a fanatic feels no emotion, no sense of morality, and has twisted ethics. Fanatics are driven on indifference and for that reason, most of their actions are
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