Elie Wiesel Essay

Submitted By sarajane1127
Words: 1269
Pages: 6

Sarah James
Ms. Kornegay
World History
May 8, 2013
Elie Wiesel

Elie Wiesel was born was September 30, 1928. He was born into a Jewish family and grew up with three sisters. During his childhood he lived in Sighet, Transylvania and attended the school Yeshiva where he perused religious studies. In 1944 at the age of fifteen Wiesel and his entire family were taken to Auschwitz, a Nazi death camp. While there he experienced horrible conditions. He daily saw people dying around him including most of his family members. The Jews were starved and worked to death or simply killed in mass executions. He was liberated on April 16, 1945, but his experiences stayed with him and greatly impacted what he did with his life. Wiesel was raised in an orthodox Jewish family. His father was a shop keeper and highly involved in the Jewish community. The Jewish community was confined to a part of Sighet called the shtetl. Wiesel as a child and a teenager was acclaimed in Jewish studies. He studied the Torah which is the first five books of the Old Testament, the Talmud (codified oral law), and even—unusual for someone so young—the mystical texts of the Cabbala. (Night) Wiesel’s part of Transylvania was made into Hungary in 1940, which was mostly unaffected by World War Two until 1944. By March Germany had occupied Hungary entirely and the country was completely under Nazi control. When the war was over the Nazis had murdered over 560,000 Jewish people in Hungary. In Wiesel’s home town of Sighet, the genocide was far worse than in most places. His town was home to 15,000 Jews, at the end of the Holocaust less than 50 families had survived and there were few without loss. In May of 1944 Wiesel’s family was taken to the Nazi death camp Auschwitz in Poland. Before the camp was liberated in 1945 Wiesel’s Mother Father and youngest sister were killed. Elie Wiesel survived and immigrated to France. (Spark notes) While in France he studied at the Sorbonne from 1948 until 1951. He took up journalism as a career writing for French and Israeli newspapers and magazines. Wiesel waited ten years to start writing about his Holocaust experience because he signed he signed a ten year vow of silence. His first published work published work was an 800 page novel of his life during the Holocaust. It was first published under the title “And the World Remained Silent.” Later it was published as “Night” in English and French in 1960. (Bio)
“Night” is a novel but also a memoir. The book features a Jewish teenager named Eliezer. It is clear that Eliezer represents Elie Wiesel himself. Wiesel changes minor details to make the story less personal and easier to write about, for example while Eliezer injured his foot Elie actually injured his knee.(Night) “Night” begins with Eliezer learning religion in school but his lessons end when his teacher is deported. Months pass and the teacher returns telling of how the German police had taken control of the train he had been on. He said that they had taken everyone onto the woods and without mercy murdered them all. No one in the town believes him and they label him as insane. Although by the spring of 1944 the teacher was no longer considered a crazy man. The Germans had taken over Hungary and continued to force Jews into smaller ghettos. Soon they were herded like cattle into trucks and sent to concentration camps. Eliezer and his family were taken to Birkenau, the gateway to Auschwitz. While at Birkenau Eliezer and his father were separated from his mother and sisters. They were put through inspection to see if they are able to work if they were not able they would be executed, both Eliezer and his father pass. While being marched to Auschwitz they see open furnace pits, where hundreds babies are being burned. While at Auschwitz Eliezer was treated terribly and cruelly. He was eventually marched to a work camp called Buna where his torment became even worse.(Night)
During his time at Buna he is put to