Relationships In Elie Wiesel's Relationship With His Father

1296 WordsNov 13, 20176 Pages
When relationships are challenged, they can either be made stronger or destroyed. Elie Wiesel’s relationship with his father is tested on numerous occasions throughout the time of the Holocaust. Wiesel writes about his horrific experiences, most of which are in the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz, in his memoir Night. Throughout his time in the concentration camps, Wiesel manages to stick by his father’s side, which is hard to do. In doing so, Wiesel’s relationship with his father prospers, rather than declines. Wiesel’s relationship with his father, although difficult to maintain at times, led to his survival during the Holocaust. As Wiesel writes in the beginning of his memoir, the relationship between him and his father is impassive and simple. Their relationship never really has much of an impact on Wiesel during his childhood. Wiesel mentions, “My father was a cultured, rather unsentimental man” (2). Because Wiesel’s father never shows any affection towards Wiesel, it is hard for him to form any sort of relationship with him whatsoever. Wiesel also writes, “There was never any display of emotion, even at home. He was more concerned with others than his own family” (2). Wiesel’s father was highly involved in the Jewish Community of Sighet, and he would even consult in public matters. Due to Wiesel’s father’s busy schedule, the bond between him and his son is neglected. As the enforcements of the Holocaust start appearing in Wiesel’s hometown, his father’s behavior begins to slowly change, making it easier for Wiesel to connect with him. While watching other families being deported, Wiesel, his father, and the rest of his family witness the Hungarian Police strike old men and women, without reason, with truncheons, for the first time. The next day, as they are being deported from the ghettos, Wiesel writes, “My father wept. It was the first time I had ever seen him weep. I had never imagined that he could” (16). Wiesel’s prior belief that his father was emotionless is proven to be wrong before they even arrive at the concentration camps. Wiesel is able to relate to his father in this moment, for he too is terrified of what lies ahead. As Wiesel and his family arrive at Birkenau, the Nazis
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