Elie Wiesel's Night Essay

1281 words - 5 pages

When looking at the holocaust, it is widely known the devastation and pain that was caused by the Nazis; however when inspecting the holocaust on a deeper level, it is evident that the Jews were exposed to unimaginable treatment and experimentation often overlooked in history discussions. When looking at “Night”, Elie Wiesel was helped by the doctors in the camp when his foot was severely infected; although this is not the experience he had, many Jews were mistreated and even killed by the doctors. Many Nazi doctors that were assigned to Jewish patients were later found to have exposed the patients to horrific medical experiments and unnecessary treatments that commonly led to their death.

There definitely were cases in which the doctors in the concentration camps did treat the Jewish patients like real people. In Elie’s story, they were compassionate and friendly towards him. They also did everything they possibly could to take care of his infected foot. An excerpt from Night describes a conversation between the doctor and Elie:

“Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Everything will be all right.” My doctor was there. That reassured me. I felt that in his presence, nothing serious could happen to me. Every one of his words was healing and every glance of his carried a message of hope. “It will hurt a little,” he said, “but it will pass. Be brave.” (79)

It is evident from Elie’s story that he put all his trust in his doctor and had no fear. There were many doctors in the concentration camps that had no idea their fellow workers were actually intentionally harming the Jews. Hans Munch has been hailed as a “mini-Schindler” at Auschwitz for helping to save Jewish lives (Winik 1). Munch grew up near the French border. As a young medical student, he joined the Nazi party only because it was needed to succeed. He found a way around the system and was able to help many Jews. Instead of injecting toxic serum, Munch and his nurses inject a benign substance that cause a rash, but that did not cause any harm (Winik 9). The nurses then made fake reports. Munch says that if the original serum was injected it would have caused serious harm (Winik 9). At the 50th anniversary celebration of the Auschwitz Liberation, Munch was acquitted of accused war crimes to the Jewish people. The horror and brutality of the concentration camps did have doctors that were committed to preserving life, regardless of race or religion.

Thinking about the Jews that were mistreated by doctors in the concentration camps, a question comes to mind. Many claim that doctors were only advancing science, and others claim the horrid acts that were committed were done because of the hatred towards the Jewish people. Regardless of which fact is inevitably true, both situations caused cruel and inhuman treatment to the Jews, and ultimately led to their deaths at the camps. A civilian doctor named Carl Clauberg was famous for his sterilization...

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