Dehumanization is to deprive of human qualities such as individuality, compassion, or civility. In Elie Wiesel’s Night, Wiesel’s experiences of dehumanization are reflected through starvation, physical abuse, and mental abuse. Wiesel was put through dehumanization many times in the book Night. The other Jews were put through dehumanization also. Let’s get into more detail about how they were dehumanized.
Dehumanization the process of stripping people of their human qualities. In the novel night by Elie Wiesel the author uses many dehumanization scenarios to show what the jews experienced during the holocaust. They were stripped of their clothing and number like cattle for that fear was more important than food. The ss went though all of this for the exterminating the jews race.
The concentration camps from World War II are part of a painful and tragic incident that we have learned about in school for many years. And while we are taught the facts, we may not fully understand the emotional impact it had upon the humans involved. Upon reading Night by Elie Wiesel, readers are given vivid descriptions of the gruesome and tragic behaviors that the Jews were forced to endure inside he treacherous concentration camps. Among all of the cruelties that the Jews were exposed to, a very significant form of the callous behaviors was the demoralization of the prisoners. Each inmate was given a tattoo of a number, and that tattoo became their new identity within the camp. Every prisoner was presented with tattered uniforms that became
Dehumanization is the torture that the Jews receive and the pity they do not. It is found everywhere in the novel Night, by Elie Wiesel, but also in the whole thinking process and execution of the Holocaust. The population of Jews is abruptly being reduced because of some unnecessary hatred towards them. Elie is surrounded by death, hunger, and suffering, and all he comes to know is pain. To demean a whole race and create another period of slavery leaves an aftertaste of abhorrence and loathing that Jewish people still feel today, but it also leaves a trail of shame for all to endure. Dehumanization leads many people too their downfall, loss of faith, and realizing theirs and others true human nature.
At this point, the Jews are very comfortable and go so far as to recognize
There are many times one can see the Nazi’s brutalizing the Jews throughout the novel. From the moment the Nazi’s took the Jews as prisoners they were being mistreated. They were loaded into cattle cars, a vehicle made to transport animals, to the point where they were so full people could hardly breathe. They were sent to concentration camps where they were tortured and treated as slaves. As they entered the camps they were humiliated, SS officers yelled at them to “‘Strip! Hurry up! Raus! Hold on only to your belt and your shoes”(Wiesel 35). They were sent to cold showers and bathed in a sulfur-scented soap to be identifiable by their scent. They received only one small ration of food a day, these people were starved. Not only were they cared for like a group of worthless animals but some were never even given a chance.
Another way the Germans dehumanized the Jews was by taking away all of their belongings. Some of these items they could live without, but they definitely did not realize how much they took them for granted. Lastly, the Jews were given numbers instead of their names. As the novel claimed, “The three “veteran” prisoners, needles in hand, tattooed numbers on our left arms. I became A-7713. From then on, I had no other name” (Wiesel 42). This act of taking away the Jews names and replacing them with numbers is an inhumane act which is dehumanizing towards them. People do not realize that something as simple as a name can have so much meaning until it is taken away. Therefore, the Germans stripped the Jews of everything that resembled a past life, which was dehumanizing.
Not only were the prisoners told this but put through torture that is cannot be explained or understood. Before they arrived to camps, they were even treated unwell. When being transported to the ghettos, and going through an unnatural famine caused by the Germans. They mentally had to accept these ways as normal. “Llittle by little life returned to ‘normal.’ The barbed wire that encircled us like a wall did not fill us with real fear.” (11) The Hungarian police where rude to elders, children, and crippled, “used their rifle butts, their cliubs to indiscriminately strike old men and women, children and cripples.” (16) The officers did not care how they felt, even when they felt like, “the heat was oppressive. Sweat streamed from people’s faces and bodies. Children were crying for water.” (16) They called them such horrible names and yelled, “Faster! Faster! Move, you lazy good-for-nothings!” (19) It made the Jewish feel like this was the only world that they knew of was torture and sadness. They knew nothing of true happiness or kindness. When being shipped into the cattle cars on the way to concentration camps, Elie says, “The world had become a hermetically sealed cattle car.” (24) They felt like they were being treated like cattle, “’We must do something. We can’t let them kill us like that, like cattle in the slaughterhouse. We must revolt.’” (31) The inmates felt like they lost their self-respect, they feared others, and only knew pain. They were so scared that they started to think they were dreaming, “I pinched myself: Was I still alive? Was I awake? How was it possible that men, women, and children were being burned and that the world kept silent?”
In the book night Ellie Wiesel the protagonist gets taken from concentration camp to concentration camp which takes a huge toll on his body leading to him becoming weaker and lowering his self worth. This itself would have been enough for the Germans to just put the Jews to work but instead they completely took the life out of the Jews and made them into an object or an animal instead of humans. In order for the Jews to survive and withstand the horrible conditions and pain they were in and faced they had to find things like the smoke of the crematoria and hangings normal. For example Ellie says, “I heard the pounding of my heart. The thousands of people who died daily in Auschwitz and Birkenau, in the crematoria, no longer troubled me.” (Pg. 62) This quote proves that Ellie has become ”prone” to the killing of the Jews and the Jews no longer acted as a group but instead individuals striving for survival. Ellie’s quote shows that the emotions had been taken out of the Jews, as they no longer felt the pain of the death of their fellow inmates. In the beginning of the story the Jews started by saying Kadish for each Jew who perished but at the end of the war the unity had been lost and they did not say Kadish anymore as it was strictly
The Jews were treated as objects. Often times in the book, they would be referred to as dogs. For example, a guard says, “...if anyone of you goes missing, you will be shot, like dogs.” This is labeling the Jews as inferior and not important to the world. Everything is taken from the Jews to where they are basically no more important than a dog. Another example that shows how badly they were dehumanized and mistreated is something Elie said, “ ...all that mattered to me was my daily bowl of soup, my crust of stale bread.” This shows that he was to the point that he didn’t care about anything else but survival. This is sort of like the mindset of an animal, they only care about the necessities.
Greater than any war, plague, or catastrophe and it’s potential damage to human life is beyond calculation, the feeling of dehumanization is a feeling beyond description. Elie Wiesel a Jew Holocaust survivor from Sighet, Transylvania writes a memoir Night. In his memoir he writes about his own experiences in 1944 during the holocaust. Throughout this story Elie goes through lots of challenges that ultimately challenge his faith as a human. In resemblance, Jakob Blankitny a Jew from Maków Mazowiecki, Poland writes his take on his experiences in 1944 throughout the holocaust and how he and his family are treated by the Nazis and degraded as humans. In dire circumstances, these texts argue that dissolving one into a primitive with savage, animal characteristics are necessary for survival under inhumane conditions.
The Nazis’s dehumanized the jews by depriving them of basic human needs like family. When families first get to the camp the men and women, brothers and sisters, fathers and sons get separated from each other. The separation of families is shown on page 29 when an SS officer commanded, “Men to the left!
Dehumanization is the denial of human rights. Night by Elie Wiesel depicts the events that dehumanized the Jews during the holocaust. Hitler dehumanized the Jews by stripping them of their identities, treating them like animals and making them turn on one another.
(109) The Jews by lose their faith in their god when the Germans hung a little boy, and he was dangling there struggling to die, and a Jew next to Elie said “where is god when this boy is suffering?” Elie said back to the man “God is here, he is hanging from the ropes” ( 90) As a result Elie loses faith in hs god. Inhumanity and cruelty were shown when the Jews were stripped of their identity, hair, jewelry, and shoes. The Germans stripped the Jews of everything because they did not want to have individuality among the Jews in the camps. The Germans gave the Jews numbers that were tattooed on the arms so they could be kept up with. It is almost like in prison how they have numbers so they do not get mixed up or lost track of. Once they had numbers the Jews were told to go to the barracks and they were given striped blue and white uniforms. This was also savage because it was the middle of winter. The Jews wore very little clothing causing some Jews to die from the cold and
Almost immediately upon arrival to the concentration camp the orders “Men to the left. Women to the right.” echoed over all of the sacred ears and trembling bodies of the Jews. This is an example of dehumanization because the Nazis did not treat or think Jews to be humans, but rather animals. On page forty-two it says “I became A-7713. From then on, I had no other identity.” The tattooing of numbers on the Jews shows