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Night is a book written by Elie Wiesel. In this book he shares his experiences as a Jew who was transferred to a Jewish ghetto and moved to numerous concentration camps. This book serves as a reminder of the killings and inhuman actions of Nazi party when Adolph Hitler was in power. Wiesel is honest and candid regarding his relationship with God and it is his faith in God that eventually gives him peace. Before Wiesel was imprisoned, he was a dedicated Jew who studied the Talmud. He was very animate with faith. However, after he watched and experienced the inhuman and brutal acts at the hands of the Nazi’s, his belief in God faded away. Faith is something that is supposed to be defined by the individual person. Whereas, Wiesel lost his faith in God, Several other Holocaust victims found their faith when they were undergoing through trials and tribulations. A man’s journey to or from faith should not be based on any other person’s experience (Riley 45-46).
Wiesel’s book absolutely teaches people that one man’s concept of morality can be distorted when there are fundamental ideals and desires. Because of racism, Hitler together with his party wanted to do away with the Jews and as a result get Jews’ resources. In order to accomplish this, a big group of people took part in tormenting and killing millions of Jews as well as other people who were regarded as socially unacceptable due to racism. The Nazi party decided to follow the notion that the Jews, Jehovah witnesses, Gypsies and also all disabled people were worthless and hence their presence would continue contaminating the Aryan race. As a result, devastating tortures and massacre were carried out against these people who were considered less human just because they never belonged to Aryan race (Wiesel 32-34).
Racism is disparaging and destructive and can result to the most brutal and cruelest actions. The individual within Germany and Europe closed their eyes at the time to the inhuman occurrences that were taking place around them. Most of these people saw and were aware of what was happening but they felt powerless and helpless or feared for their safety and hence they did not take any action to help the Jews. Mass governments all over the world also turned their face against the helpless Jews. When writing the book “night”, Wiesel was hoping that this book would assist in preventing individuals from ever allowing racism events of both cruelty and genocide to take place again. Therefore, in this book, Wiesel made a commitment worldwide using his literally contributions. Whereas many people cringe at the stories told in the book, it is a wake-up call that people greatly need. Racism should be fought. Even within this century, genocide has continued to be element of the cruelty of humankind and this is aggravated by racism.
When reading this book, I was so much touched and found myself not able to put it down. The word incredible kept coming in my mind when reading away. How such a young individual could have that much resolution and courage is difficult for me to even figure out. Even if prejudice and racism are somehow still in existence, I am very grateful for the life I have and what I learnt from this book about the negative and deadly impact of racism (Riley 35).
After reading this book, I tried putting my in similar situation and imagined what it would be like if I was undergoing through such racism action. In case a Christian was in a similar situation as Wiesel, I am sure the effects would have been the same; actually any person in his shoes would question their beliefs at some point. In case a Christian belonged to Nazi camp it is rational that they too would question why God was allowing racism to take root and as a result lead such devastating suffering (Wiesel 15-18).
In this book, Wiesel illustrates the terrors he went through during holocaust when Nazis took over Hungary. Wiesel was still a teenager that time and that experience has been terrifying throughout his life. He wrote the book in mid fifties when Soviet Union was still vibrant and well, and if Germany never began the war it would have occurred with USSR. The ideas and actions of both Lenin and Stalin were not much dissimilar from Hitler’s in its heart. There was a great deal of racism going on there too, and the mass would not be that difficult to rise against others. The time of World War II appear to be in reality far away, and now USSR and Germany are friends again, in spite of their past deeds. This shows that racism can be erased within our society completely as long as people have the will (Riley 26-30).
Understanding the past allows people to build a better future. Learning about negative impacts of racism which results into such horrors can assist in preventing such incidences in future. The book “night” is an effort to awaken others about the horrors that people can do to their fellow human beings. In case people perceive Nazis as creatures who are not human beings, then people will be fooled that such things cannot take place again. People should always keep in mind that the Nazis were not extraordinary creatures of evil, but were actually human beings, just akin to our neighbors and just like us. Every person has an evil inside him/herself, and in case people forget this then they will make the same mistakes Germans made after Hitler. One should first acknowledge evil as if one is going to overcome the evil. The Germans declined to see evil as evil, and they were led to step by step into believing that racism was acceptable and that the Jews and others were not human beings and that they were superior (Germans) than them. Basically, evil is not very far away: it is merely outside the door, simply around the corner ((Riley 42-44).
It is a disgrace how much dignity was stripped of the people who were being prejudiced because of racism. There were times that these people never acted on their beliefs, when they met on the Appelplatz were one of them. In my opinion, they acted in this manner to feel at home, even for a while and to in the end feel human since they were so much dehumanized as a result of racism (Wiesel 20-22).
What would captivate a person in treating a fellow human being like this and with such enormous racism is a question without answer. Whereas this book is definitely depressing, it is sincere, intuitive, and above al, moving blood, that they are just like us, but still their ancestors were so easy to gather together under the shadow of hatred and racism. Hatred to everybody is the world besides themselves. This means that it does not matter what kind of individuals, you is trying to rise against others, they could be Russians, Germans, Americans or anyone else; it is not that difficult. According from what I have learnt from this book, many individuals, in particular in more affluent parts of this country, understand how it sometimes could be difficult to be different from the majority. It is very simple to make people or a certain race hate each other, but it is so much difficult to teach to stop hating and practicing racism and to treat them respect (Wiesel 25-28).
One of the most insightful aspects from Wiesel’s book “night” is the exploration of human brutality as well as racism. This book is a resounding account regarding how people treat each other. In my opinion, people who seem to belittle the memory of Holocaust are supposed to read this book. Even surpassing its historical period, the matters raised within this book assist in guiding moral actions in addition to developing one’s own ethical sense of consciousness. With this, people will be in a position to shun hatred and as a result eliminate racism completely (Wiesel 12-14).
In conclusion, I think that as atrocities are there at present, reading the book “night” by Wiesel can assist many people in understanding that pain that comes with racism, political cruelty, the resulting agony when countries allow their citizens to suffer, and how everybody has a moral obligation and responsibility to listen and understand the cries of the their fellow human beings.