Responses to the Holocaust: Existence of Evil | My Paper Hub
There have been questions about whether
There have been questions about whether
the Holocaust was real or just a fabricated and exaggerated story considering
what has been recorded in the books of history. The people who oppose the
events do not believe in the existence of that kind of evil that has always
been portrayed about the genocide. It would be easy to refute the undeniable evidence
when one has not read Elie Wiesel’s Night or visited the Holocaust museum. Elie
Wiesel is one of the few victims who were able to survive till the end of the
period with their lives. Their personality was, however, change by the horrors
they endured. Wiesel documents most of what his life was like before where he
was a student studying both Torah and Kabalah and after when he had to survive
beatings at the camp. In this paper, I agree with the argument on the existence
of evil supporting with evidence from the Night
by Elie Wiesel.
Most people do not believe in the
existence of the kind of evil told about the Holocaust because what the
individuals went through was beyond comprehending. Evil from this perspective
can be understood as depravity, wickedness and dishonorable actions towards a
person or a supernatural being. At the beginning of his story, Elie tells of
the one single person he found who would explain to him about the secret of
Jewish mysticism, and the Zohar. Elie referred to the man as Moshe the Beadle,
and they would spend time together as he listened to him and as time passed.
The man taught Elie more about religion, but there came a time when he was
taken away as he was a foreigner. The act can be explained as denial of the
right to stay in a place the man had come to feel at ease and probably call
home. The analogy can be attributed to the fact that the man came back to warn
the people of what he had seen and what is to come.
When Moshe the Beadle return, he told
the people in Wiesel’s town about what had happened to his companion. Unlike
the story, everyone knew of their successful deportation to their home country
he gave them an entirely different story of the horrors they had undergone.
Moshe narrated to them of how after crossing the Hungarian territory and in the
Polish one they were told to board lorries which would continue with the
journey. Instead, they were taken to the forest where they were forced out of
the lorries and were made to dig huge trenches which would later be their
burial site. After they had completed digging the trenches, the Gestapo killed
them one by one and Moshe only survived because he had been badly hurt and was
left alone as they thought he was dead. Moshe also narrated of the ordeal of
having to watch the Gestapo though babies into the air and aim at them with
their machine guns then shoot them. People who were responsible and involved in
all these activities represent the evidence to prove the existence of evil. It
is bad enough to see people die for being foreigners but it is worse to watch
innocent children killed by the heartless men who committed these hideous acts.
Elie continues to narrate about the
invasion of the German soldiers in their homes. The people in town first take
the situation in fear, but as they saw no harm occurred in coexisting with the
soldiers, they became at ease with the situation. The narrator, however, goes
further and explains of how tables turn and the situation changes to coexisting
to being moved to smaller ghettos as their movement is restricted. The leaders
of the town were arrested. The people in the town could not move as freely as
they used to prior the world war, but then after German’s defeat, they were
forced to live in fear for their lives. Normally, the only reason why freedom
of movement is limited for someone is that they have done something wrong like
in a prison or house arrest. The only crime the people in the Holocaust
committed was being Jews in a country where its leader hated them. It is
saddening to see how much hatred can crop and the fruits it bears when it is
fully grown. It is worse to see how much pain one person can cause a nation.
The fact that the soldiers changed from being friendly individuals who
coexisted with the townsmen to the men who forced these people to relocate only
proves existence of inherent evil among humanity.
The story continues to the point where
they are forced out of their homes to go to campus. The process itself was
inhumane as they were forced into groups to move out and if it was your turn as
a group, no one was allowed even to get water to drink, they would stay starved
the entire time as they waited to be transported. The situation forced the
people to eat little food on their journey to conserve it as long as they could
because they did not know when the next time would be to get any other food. As
the voyage began, it was depressive causing those who could not handle the
situation to go crazy. Wiesel talks of Madame Schachter, who due to wrongful
separation from his husband and sons loses it on their way to the camp. The
lady becomes hysterical disrupting everyone’s peace in the carriage. Driving
someone to depression just shows the ruthlessness during the time and the
psychological torcher that came with it. The lady in her hysterical condition
would talk about a fire which just shows how much tormented she was. It is
clear that even if the woman survived the period, her life would never go back
to normal as the situation had changed her life in the worst way possible. It is
a situation that can only be blamed on the existence of evil.
Elie, his family and the other people
from their town arrive at a camp called Auschwitz where they are immediately
separated according to gender. It can be seen from his tone in writing that he
was afraid of what was going to happen next. Elie was separated from his mother
and sisters and had to stay with his father for survival. The separation was
the last time Elie saw his mom and sisters since they did not make it out of
the camp. It is cruel to separate a united family as children need both parents
for a proper psychological growth and development. However, during the time,
nobody cared about family only survival. Elie narrates of the moments that
followed after separation where he thought that they were on the verge of being
thrown to the crematory and getting burnt alive. What awaited them was far
worse than burning in a crematory. The situation caused him to question the
existence of God one that he spent most of his evenings back at home praying.
The same God he wanted to know about when he searched for someone who would
teach him. The same God he learned about from Moshe the Beadle and who resulted
to their friendship. Elie had lost faith in the presence of a God. It is only
the worst of inhumane people or acts that can cause someone to deviate so far
away from their faith.
Life in the camp was not easy because at
first, they had to lie about their age. He was advised to say that he was
eighteen and his father was to say that he was forty rather than fifty
otherwise there would be consequences. It is a life where one had to watch
their back all the time not to get in cross roads with authority. It is also a
place where they were reduced to nothing since they were not to own anything of
value. Before they even left their home, they had to surrender all their
valuables like the jewelry and coins. In the camp where they were kept as
prisoners, and one who had a gold crown on their teeth had to surrender to the
dentist for the crown to be removed. Elie escapes to surrender at first, but he
is forced to give it up later unwillingly even though he would have traded it
for something that would be of help like his like. It is situations like
selling a crown for life that shows how inhumane the environment was for the
few who survived.
Up until their liberation by the
American troops, Elie and the other survivors had to go through a lot of
problems like being beaten. He recounts of a beating he received from one of
the leaders in the camp for walking in on him with a girl. Elie also tells of
how people use to be executed even for little children. One kid was hanged with
two other adults, but he took long to die because he weighed less hence
suffered a lot.
Evil exists, and it can be easily
understood from Wiesel’s perspective. He suffered so much search that his
hatred turned into indifference. After his father had died, Elie did not
believe that there was anything that would make him feel any pain because he
had felt it all during the Holocaust.
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