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Elie Wiesel A Source Of Strength

1659 words - 7 pages

I have chosen Elie Wiesel for this assignment because I find him to be an extraordinary man with a past that shows an extraordinary source of strength, both in survival and character. Born in Sighet, Transylvania on September 30, 1928, he came from an extremely religious Jewish family consisting of his parents and two sisters. As a child, he was well-educated in both Judaism and secular subjects. He grew up speaking Yiddish, Hungarian, Romanian, German, and Hebrew. Elie Wiesel had a loving family and lived his daily life doing what young boys typically do in this close-knit Jewish community. When World War II began, the town of Sighet was relatively safer than other Jewish areas affected by the Nazis. Then one day in 1944, he and his entire family, as well as all the Jewish families in their neighborhood, were rounded-up and forced to leave their home and the only life that they knew. He and his father were separated from his mother and younger sister and sent to Auschwitz, where his mother and sister were murdered at once and his father would die within a year's time. He was subjected to forced labor, forced marches, exposure, starvation, disease, injury, beatings, torture, and humiliation. He was only fifteen years old.In Wiesel's book Night, he wrote about his experiences at Auschwitz, Buna, Gleiwitz, and Buchenwald so that the entire world would know about the horrors of these concentration camps. His story provides an inspiration that reveals the will of the human spirit and the capacity of the human soul to carry on. How someone would be able to witness and survive this experience and then later be able to speak about it still amazes me.The torture began at the very moment of deportation. He, his family, and the rest of the community were forced into cattle cars on a train. There were so many people in these cattle cars making it almost impossible to even move, let alone sit down. There are no bathrooms, no food, and no water. Everyone has had their belongings taken from them, and nobody knew where exactly they were being taken on the long, excruciating journey. Once they arrived at the Birkenau concentration camp, Elie and his father were immediately separated from his mother and sister. He and his father were forced to march past Dr. Mengele, who determined who lived and who would die in the crematory. They were told that their line was going to the crematory. Imagine the fear and terror that the people in this line felt. They could actually see the smoke, fire, and soot coming from the top of the crematory. Their line was redirected and they were forced to strip, run, shower, and redress. All the while they were humiliated and beaten by fellow prisoners and SS officers. Elie and his father were marched onto Auschwitz. His mother and sister died in that crematory.One account of torture that was extremely affecting was when he witnessed two men and a young boy were punished by hanging. Wiesel and the other prisoners had to watch the entire...

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