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
Fortunately for the Wiesel family their journey was postponed for a couple
of days. When they heard the words...