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Elie Weisel\' \'Night\'
The book Night opens in the town of Signet where Elie Wiesel, the author ,was born . He lived his child hood in the Signet, Transylvania . He had three sisters Hilda, Bea, and Tzipora. His father was an honored member of the Jewish community. He was a cultured man concerned about his community yet, he was not an emotional man. His parents were owners of a shop and his two oldest sisters worked for his parents. Elie was a school boy and interested in studying the Zohar “the cabbalistic books, the secrets of Jewish mysticism”(Wiesel 3). His teacher was a foreigner, Moshe the Beadle, a “poor barefoot of Signet”(Wiesel 3). He was Elie’s teacher until he was forced to leave Signet by the Hungarians because he was a foreign Jew.
After several months Elie saw Moshe the Beadle once again. Moshe the Beadle told his story about his journey that the Jews were forced to get out and dig grave which would become final resting places for prisoners who were killed. Luckily, Moshe the Beadle was able to escape. He pretended that he was dead in order to escape being killed. Not only did Moshe tell his story to Elie, he wanted to warn the Jews of Signet of what could happen to them. However, they only thought it was a vivid imagination speaking from his lips. No one wanted to believe his story and people lived life as usual.
It was not until German troops would enter Hungarian territory that life would change for the Jews of Signet. At first the German soldiers did not seem like a threat. During the week of Passover things seemed to be going well. People were celebrating yet, it was not a complete celebration. On the seventh day of the Passover Jewish leaders of the community were arrested. After that rules were set by the Germans. Jews were confined to their homes for three days and they could no longer keep valuables such as gold, jewelry and other objects. The Germans took it all. Elie’s father managed to bury the family’s savings in the cellar. After the three days Jews had to wear a yellow star. After this more rules were set. Jews could not go to restaurants, travel on railways, go to synagogues, or go out after six o’clock.
As if the rules and restrictions were not enough. Soon Jews would be placed in Ghettos. There were two gettos set up in Signet. These ghettos were fenced in with barbed wire and the windows of the houses facing the street were boarded up. The Jewish people of Signet tried to look at it positively and saw it as “A little Jewish Republic”(Wiesel 9). People tried to live as normal and felt they would remain in the ghetto until the end of the war. However this would not be the case. Elie’s father brought news to his family that they would be deported and the ghetto was to be destroyed. They did not know where they were going , only that they would be leaving in the morning and could only take a few personal belongings.
Fortunately for the Wiesel family their journey was postponed for a couple of days. When they heard the words “All Jews outside!”( Wiesel 16) they knew it was time to leave everything behind. The beginning of their journey was short. they stopped in another ghetto where they stayed for two days until their journey would begin once again. After another stop they were then put on cattle wagons filled with eighty people to a car. It was uncomfortable, there was barely any air, there was nothing to drink or eat, it was hot, and people had to take turns sitting down. When they arrived in the town of Kaschau they heard the words “From this moment you come under the authority of the German army”(Wiesel 21). At this point they knew they were never going home. They traveled some more and soon they would arrive at Birkenau the reception center of Auschwitz. When they arrived they could see flames and “smell burning flesh” (Wiesel 26).
People were being separated “ Men to the left! Women to the right!”(Wiesel 27). This was when Elie and
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The Holocaust, Holocaust literature, Literature, Antisemitism, Night, Elie Wiesel, Auschwitz concentration camp, Kapo, Monowitz concentration camp, A Lucky Child
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