Holocaust in Night by Elie Wiesel

Topics: Night

Experiencing the Holocaust

Elie Wiesel saw his father die in front of him. He was separated from his mother and sister at the age of 15. Dealing with these levels of can be hard, and most people deal with it in the pattern called Dr. Kubler Ross’s Five Stages of Grief. Elie Wiesel, author of the memoir Night, made his experience in the holocaust seem realistic by showing how he went through these stages of grief. All of Dr. Kubler Ross’s Five Stages of Grief were experienced by Wiesel throughout his memoir, but the most prominent ones were the ones that the Nazis could force him into: denial, anger, and acceptance.

Wiesel’s denial of Nazi terror was the strongest before the Nazis arrived and slowly waned until he was taken to a concentration camp. This because he didn’t want to accept the fact that his entire life was going to change so quickly. The people of the village of Sighet had never experienced a group interfering and oppressing the people that were already there.

Wiesel remembers people in his town denying what would happen in the future: “Annihilate an entire people? Wipeout a population…? By what means?” (Wiesel 8). The people of Sighet were doubting whether Hitler would have the willpower to eliminate an entire race of people. This way of thinking continued even when the Nazis had arrived in their town. Wiesel remembers the Nazis being accepted and welcomed into the town of Sighet: “What did we tell you? You wouldn’t believe us.

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There they are, your Germans. Where is their famous cruelty?” (10). The Nazis were able to force the Jews into denial for a long period of time by treating them kindly before they started the massacre.

Wiesel’s anger and frustration at God reached its peak during his time at various concentration camps. Wiesel felt frustrated by the fact that his people were suffering terribly and his God wasn’t doing anything. Wiesel recalls rebelling against praising God while other inmates were: “Blessed be God’s name? Why, but why would I bless Him? Every fiber in me rebelled. Because He caused thousands of children to burn in His mass graves?” (67). The Nazis caused Wiesel and the Jews to doubt God because of the immense suffering they caused.

Wiesel started to accept what was happening to him when he started to become less angry. When he had a decision to make, he stopped clinging to false hopes and tried to make the most logical decision. An example of these decisions was when Wiesel had to choose whether or not to leave the camp Buna: “Surely, the camp will be mined… Right after the evacuation, it will all blow up.’… ‘Well, Father what do we do?… Let’s be evacuated with the others.” (81-82) Wiesel decided to go with the rest of the inmates instead of clinging to the hope that the Russians would liberate the camp soon. This is what happened, but from Wiesel’s point of view it was just another rumor passing through the camp. Because of the Nazis’ comfortlessness, Wiesel was forced to accept facts as they were and this helped him in making decisions. The Nazis forced Wiesel into grief, and unintentionally magnified his feelings of denial, anger, and acceptance. This caused several important things to happen to Wiesel. First of all, his family wasn’t able to prepare for the Nazis taking control of their lives. Secondly, Wiesel started to doubt his Jewish belief system, and caused him a great deal of anger and stress. Finally, they ironically and inadvertently helped him by forcing him to make the right decisions about his future.

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Holocaust in Night by Elie Wiesel. (2021, Dec 23). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/holocaust-in-night-by-elie-wiesel/

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