Night by Elie Wiesel Essay

1016 Words Apr 4th, 2013 5 Pages
NIGHT

Introduction

The Holocaust was the attempt by the Nazi regime to systematically exterminate the European Jewish race during World War II. The Holocaust was a reference to the murder of around six million Jews and other minority groups such as homosexuals, gypsies and the disabled (Wiesel, 2008).

In the 1930’s the Jewish population in Romania was around half a million. However, during World War II most of those Jews sent to the labour barracks or death camps (Wiesel, 2008).

Set the scene of the reader, what is it about?

Night by Elie Wiesel is about his experiences in the Nazi concentration camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald in 1944 to 1945, at the height of the Holocaust and toward the end of the Second World War. It is
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Elie and his family were packed into cattle cars and taken to Auschwitz. As the train arrived, they saw smoke rising from chimneys and were assailed by the horrific smell of burning flesh (Wiesel, 2008).

Describe what Elie calls the ‘death race’?

The Death Race was the race by the Germans to kill as many Jews as they could. They wanted to wipe out the entire Jewish race to develop a German ‘master race’ (Wiesel, 2008).

The Germans were pushing the Jewish community towards death to see who survived. The Passover ended, “the curtain rose” (Wiesel, 2008) and the Germans “arrested the leaders of the Jewish community” (Wiesel, 2008). Elie states, “from that moment, everything happened very quickly. The race toward death had begun” (Wiesel, 2008).

It was at first a slow progression from limiting the rights of the Jewish people, to wearing the Star of David and then to the attempted extermination. The Germans then began a race to kill the Jews as quickly as they could (Wiesel, 2008).

Why do you think the prisoner told Elie and his father to lie about their ages?

As they arrived at Auschwitz, a prisoner told Elie and his father to lie about their age in order to avoid the crematorium (Wiesel, 2008). Those deemed fit to work were sent to the labour barracks, whereas children and the elderly were sent to the gas chambers

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