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After reading “Night” by Elie Wiesel I have gotten a far better understanding of the treatment and handling of Jews during the Holocaust, and I believe anyone will after reading this incredible book. “Night” is told through the eyes of Eliezer who is merely a teenage boy when the story begins. Just like any other kid who was a Jew, Eliezer would study the first five books of the Old Testament, but soon that would all come to an immediate change. Soon after the Nazis took control over Hungary in 1944, many of the Jews from the surrounding areas were herded together to head towards the concentration camps, including Eliezer and his entire family. Upon their arrival at the Auschwitz concentration camp, Eliezer’s mother and sisters were separated from him and his father, whom they would never see again. During Eliezer’s time at the concentration camps, he goes into detail about how many of the prisoners were treated and how he felt going through all of it. Later on, the Russians were proceeding towards Auschwitz and this caused the Nazis and many of the prisoners to evacuate to Gerwitz, another concentration camp 50 miles away. The prisoners were forced to walk, and many died due to the extreme cold weather and poor conditions. Unlike most of the prisoners, Eliezer had his father to support him throughout most of the trip. Wants they arrive at Gerwitz the survivors are then rounded up again to head towards Buchenwald concentration camp. This time on a train, about a hundred prisoners started off on the trip but only twelve survived at their arrival to Buchenwald. Sadly, at Buchenwald Eliezer’s dad meets his end while dealing with abusive beatings and dysentery. Not long after Eliezer’s father’s death, on April 11, 1945, the United States took control of the concentration camps ensuring the safety of all the prisoners including Eliezer.

“Night” is a non-fiction autobiography published twelve years after the events told in the book. This book takes place in various concentration camps like Auschwitz, Gerwitz, and Buchenwald. During this time, World War Two was coming to an end, but many Jews were still being killed by the day, and in this book, you are in the mind of one Jew. In the beginning of the book, Eliezer mentions how Germany just took over Hungary where they were living at the time.1 This was a very significant win for the Nazis and their advancement of Europe. In the book, Elie also mentions the historical concentration camp Auschwitz in Poland, which is said to be the largest during the Holocaust.2 This ties exactly in with what we are learning in my history class because we just recently started learning about the advancement of Germany and the causes of World War Two.3 You can also relate the United States to what connects within the book because we learned about how the United States got involved and how they helped with the defeat of Germany.

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The author of this spectacular book is Elie Wiesel. Born in Sighet Romania in 1928, Elie was only a teenager when he was captured and sent off to the concentration camps. Life before Elie Wiesel was abducted was nothing but normal, he would play with other kids, play sports, and study the Jewish religion. Later on, after Elie had gone through surviving the holocaust for over a year, he began writing books about his experience during that time. He soon became the lead spokesperson for Holocaust survivors through his books. I believe Elie was dedicated to writing these autobiographies and historical books to provide an insight that could not be achieved by someone who had not experienced it. He speaks for the millions of Jews whose lives were unjustifiably taken away. In somewhat of a way, it was Elie’s duty to spread the tales of the Holocaust so that the world would forever know. During the book, I could see a definite bias towards the Nazis, but I can totally accept coming from a survivor of the Holocaust. Throughout the entire book you could tell his hatred of the Nazis were building up reaching an all-time high at some points, but then comes back to reason when he is told he is a free man.4 Since this book is a non-fiction autobiography, Elie tends to tell the story in chronological order stating the dates whenever he can. The book takes place over a time period of almost two years. All of the events from his early teenage years to when he is freed Jew are told systematically through his eyes.

After reading this book, I learned more than I initially thought I would. Before I read this book I thought I would just be learning a more detailed account of a Holocaust survivor, but instead learned things like, be grateful for your loved ones and never give up your hope in God through hard times. This can really tie back into the foundation of the United States through how the Holocaust survivors were hoping for anyone to save them and the United States and other allied countries were there to answer them and were fighting for them the entire time.5 Even before I read the book I knew I was going to love it, but it passed my initial thoughts on how good I thought it was going to be. I loved how he did not hold back on telling the real sad truth of the events that happened during the Holocaust. I think he knew no one else could imagine some of the things that would go on during the Holocaust, so it was only right for him to say it how it was. Another great aspect of the book that I loved was how Elie managed to grasp my attention by providing all of the little details. Elie was great at making sure you were on the edge of your seat the entire time reading the book. One aspect I believe that could have made the book even better is to have included a chapter with him meeting his two older sisters who also survived the dangerous Holocaust. I believe this could have opened up the end of the book with an even more happy ending than what it was already. I could also have opened up the chance to have a second and even third book about the two sisters’ experience, and what they had to deal with. I also believe a little timeline and pictures at the end of the book could have benefited the reader for reading the book. Both the timeline and pictures could have satisfied the book with more characteristics that are always helpful.

Throughout the entire book, there were many punch lines that stuck with me. Elie’s use of his words and his control of the tone helped fulfill the words in the moment. For example, when Elie says “Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed….Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never.”6 This is just one of the many examples of how Elie manages to use his world play in quotes like these. One of the first connections that comes to my mind when not just reading Elie’s but basically any Holocaust book, are the slaves of early colonization in the new world. Even though the two historical events are different they are also very similar. When Elie mentions how he was put to work despite his physical conditions, all I could think about was how slaves were treated the same way in that regard.7 One other similarity I can point out in American history relating to the Holocaust, is when the United States rounded up all the Native Americans and put them inside reservations. Obviously, the treatment of the Native Americans was far better than the treatment of Jews during the Holocaust, but just the sectioning off of a particular group of people and not wanting to deal with them are pretty similar. The United States and the Holocaust are very connected to one another. During the beginning of the Holocaust, many Jews were hearing rumors of how the Germans were treating Jews, so this directly caused a large population of Jews to come over to the United States where there is still a large population today. The United States was also very important in establishing Israel for the Jews after World War two. I believe any autobiography about the holocaust makes the book an instant classic because of how rare it is, but for this book, I really believe the way Elie states his experiences makes it even more of a classic. There is a reason why he is classified as the main spokesperson for the holocaust because he is just so good at detailing his events. Overall, I would suggest this book to anyone wanting to learn more about the Holocaust and World War two. It was a great read and I loved it.

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