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"night" - a Reflective Essay - Elie Wiesel

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"NIGHT" Reflective Essay, Elie Wiesel

By: Corey Sease

Night is a tragic story of the life of Elie Wiesel during the Holocaust. He writes about his first hand experiences of what happened during this time. He wrote about being separated from his family and not knowing what life would be for him in the future. They had no food, very little clothing, were mistreated by the Germans and had to learn how to react to different situations or how not to. Most people today wouldn't be able to endure the hardships that he encountered. This story reveals Elie Wiesel's will to live during these times.

Peaceful is the one word that describes Sighet, Transylvania in 1943. This is a time when the Nazi's came and took the non-Hungarians which should have sent a message to the Jews that they would be taken next. Moshe the Beadle, a non-Hungarian escaped from the Nazi's and tried to tell the Jews they were next to be taken. The Jews should have left the town as soon as possible, but they didn't believe him. All they had to do was just leave, just in case he was telling the truth. When they did come to get them, it was just horrible. They were made to leave all their belongings and loaded in a train car. These train cars were loaded with 80 people for hours. They were sitting on each other, laying on each other, thirsty and hungry. I can't imagine what everyone was thinking. They didn't know where they were going or how long they had to be in these train cars. I would have been very worried. They were probably all dehydrated and hungry by the time they arrived in Birkenau.

Once reaching Birkenau it would have been frightening to see the flames gushing out of a chimney and smell human flesh being burnt at the place they were being taken. I would have thought we all are going to be burnt. Seeing the dead bodies would mess with me so much that I would go crazy. How they stood it, I don't know. During their stay there, Elie was split from his mother and sister. At least he still had his father and during the story you can tell, he was worried about being separated from him. After all of this, then there is the "selection". This is a process where the Germans come in and select certain ones to go to the crematory. I would have been scared to have been chosen. After surviving three days of this, there's another "selection" . I would be so strung out until I would want to die. They were so mistreated, given small amounts of bread to eat, having to undress in front of the SS Officers. It would have been so humiliating. After all of this, they were put on more train cars and sent to other camps. Finally they come to a camp that is less harsh and demanding on them, Auschwitz. They are given food. Elie is in such shock that he can't even eat. There they go through the routine of meals, roll call and bed for a few weeks. They are told they will be leaving for another camp. I would have been heart broken to transfer after being in such a good camp. They were being treated fairly well. They were eating, sleeping and now, where are they going next. They reach a camp called Buna. There,



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