Desensitization In Night Essay

1126 words - 5 pages

All humans are supposed to have emotion, but when people don’t have anything to hold on to positive emotions can become dormant. The memoir Night, by Elie Wiesel, is Wiesel’s story from surviving the Holocaust with the help of his father and fighting to stay alive day by day. Wiesel suffered from brutal conditions in labor camps and managed to survive through the agony while watching others perished every day. The unnatural behavior by the S.S. led to dehumanization that shattered the faith of Elie Wiesel and many other prisoners.
Although first impressions of the German soldiers were reassuring to Wiesel and many Jews at first, shortly after they had arrived the Jew’s freedoms were taken without any warning. German soldiers took the Jew’s rights one at a time. First, Jews were not allowed to leave there house for three days. Then, they were no longer allowed to keep their gold, jewels, or valuable items. Wiesel explains, “Everything had to be handed over to the authorities, under penalty of death. My father went down to the cellar and buried out savings” (8). Next, they were forced to wear the yellow star. Eventually, Jews were not allowed to go into restaurants or cafes, to travel the railway, attend synagogue, or go into the street after six o’clock. The last step was that two ghettos were formed in the town of Sighet. It was like they were dogs in a fenced crate, not allowed to go anywhere or do anything. When the Jews started to question Wiesel’s father during the development of these rules, he reassured every one, and acted like it was no big deal. Wiesel’s father settled and acknowledged the situation claiming, “The yellow star? Oh well, what of it? You don’t die of it…” (Wiesel 9). None of the Jews including Wiesel’s family knew what was going to happen and that made it more bearable for the people. Little did all of the people in Sighet know that ahead of them was deportation, death, and torture.
When Jews were deported they were scared and searching for answers. They quickly learned once they got to camp that it was not a delightful life and adjustments had to be made. With eighty people packed in one train car, Wiesel describes, “The doors were nailed up; the way back was finally cut off. The world was a cattle wagon hermetically sealed” (22). Deportation was long, especially with the horrific screams of Madame Schachter. Her cries shook people up, and startled them enough that the people on the train began to beat her. The decision to beat her was no longer humane as they were overcome with panic and shock. Jews in the train car were unaware of their future and many of their reactions began to change, particularly when they arrived at Birkenau and they the air smelt full of burning flesh, Madame Schachter had been right. The arrival at Birkenau changed their lives. As they walked in camp Dr. Mengele separated families and loved ones apart with eight simple words, announcing, “Men to the left! Women to the right!” (Wiesel 27). That...

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