Elie Wiesel Essay

1816 words - 7 pages

“He’s the man who’s lived through hell without every hating. Who’s been exposed to the most depraved aspects of human nature but still manages to find love, to believe in God, to experience joy.” This was a quote said by Oprah Winfrey during her interview with Elie Wiesel, a holocaust survivor. No person who has not experienced the Holocaust and all its horrors could ever relate to Elie Wiesel. He endured massive amounts of torture, physically, mentally, and emotionally just because he was a Jew. One simple aspect of Wiesel’s life he neither chose or could changed shaped his life. It is important to take a look at Wiesel’s life to see the pain that he went through and try to understand the experiences that happened in his life. Elie Wiesel is a well respected, influential figure with an astonishing life story. Although Elie Wiesel had undergone some of the harshest experiences possible, he was still a man able to enjoy life after the Holocaust.
Elie Wiesel was born in Sighet, Romania (United States Holocaust). Wiesel had three sisters and they were an Orthodox Jewish family; with his parents being shop keepers. Wiesel’s father was highly respected in the community and many people looked up to him (Wiesel). Wiesel started studying the Kabbalah, a discipline and school of thought concerned with the mystical aspect of Judaism. It is a set of esoteric teachings meant to explain the relationship between an eternal/mysterious Creator and the mortal/finite universe (Google). This was odd for a boy of Wiesel’s age. Wiesel’s family was socially active within the community and well trusted. When World War II began, the town of Sighet was forced to live within two ghettos. However, Wiesel and his family were able to live within the larger ghetto, they were one of the luckier families. When living within these ghettos, the people had to abide by the rules that were set by the Hungarian officials, or pay the price. The Jewish community had no control within their own town; they had lost all control when Sighet was invaded. At age 15, the year 1944, Wiesel, his family, as well as the other 15, 000 that lived in the Sighet community were all loaded into cramped cattle cars and deported from their homes (Dove). Thus, the journey of Wiesel’s story truly begins.
Jew hater, Adolf Hitler, came to power over Germany and the world went into war in 1939; 6 years later six million Jews were dead (Winfrey) . This is such an astonishing number to try to fathom. However, this number is correct; and such massive genocide was able to be accomplished through the concentration camps. “Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky. Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith...

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