There are thousands of stories about the inhumane horrors of concentration camps. Even now, it is impossible to understand what happened in minds of those who decided to ruin human lives in such a terrible way. Concentration camps gave rise to hunger, pain, sorrow and loss of hope for salvation. Elie Wiesel wrote his Night being one of those who passed through the suffering in concentration camps. Moreover, he raised one more important aspect of human nature. When people face challenges, they need something to rely on, something that would guide them through those challenges. It is about belief that sometimes loses its sense and leaves nothing except human awareness of their own power. The central idea is Eliezer’s struggle to keep his faith in God.
Night is a short novel about a fifteen-year-old boy. He was in several concentration camps, among which was Oswiecim. This story is as full of sadness as it is full of love. This story is full of unbearable pain because of moral and human losses. Eliezer is a Jewish boy who was raised by reading Talmud and believing in power of fair Lord in the Highest. At the first sight, everything seams to be clear. Eliezer knew that humanity passed through the flood; then, there was Sodom. Now, Eliezer had a strong persuasion that he needed to study Kabbalah and dedicate himself to God who had saved people from all previous disasters. «Man comes closer to God through the questions he asks Him, he liked to say. Therein lies true dialogue. Man asks and God replies.» (Wiesel 5).
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All Eliezer’s good intention were shattered when German soldiers came into the village he lived with his family in. His father was warned to run away. Unfortunately, nobody could understand the scale of future catastrophe of morality and how much every family could lose. Eliezer’s family and others chose to stay. The people were saying, “The Red Army is advancing with giant strides…Hitler will not be able to harm us, even if he wants to…” (Wiesel 8). However, Eliezer and his family appeared to be victims of Holocaust. He saw the cruel lynching and slow death of a young boy. He saw a son killing his father for a piece of bread. Eliezer asked himself if there was a reason to believe that God could help them, or if he even existed, and if so, why did he make such a decision. «What are You, my God? I thought angrily. How do You compare to this stricken mass gathered to affirm to You their faith, their anger, their defiance? Why do you go on troubling these poor people’s wounded minds, their ailing bodies?» ( Wiesel 66).
One of the most noticeable moments in this novel is the story about a boy who killed his father during the traveling to Oswiencim. Eliezer stopped praying, but at that moment he saw how boy lost his morality and sense of humanity. He was able to beat his own father within an inch of his life. This was when Eliezer restored his faith in God and asked not to let himself do such an awful thing. Another outstanding moment is when rabbi, who prayed despite everything, died at once after saying he lost his faith. At that moment Eliezer understood how belief can hold one’s courage and heart.
In conclusion, Elie Wiesel was one of those who went through the horrors of the concentration camps. Just like others who faced challenges, he needed something to rely on and to believe in. Wiesel’s Night shows how its main character struggles to keep his faith. In the end, he understands that faith makes people stronger than hunger and suffering, it gives people hope and it is often so much more than it seems.