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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