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THEMATIC NOVEL STUDY - Night by Elie Wiesel
Transcript of THEMATIC NOVEL STUDY - Night by Elie Wiesel
By Elie Wiesel
This book is a memoir about Elie Wiesel's life in concentration camps during the Holocaust.
It's 1944 and Elie, a very religious teenage Jewish boy with a caring family consisting of his 3 sisters and his mother and father, is taken from his home in Sighet, Romania and forced to go to Auschwitz, a concentration camp.
Elie and his father are separated from his mother and 3 sisters. They are then transferred from concentration camp to concentration camp.
During the course of their dangerous journey, Elie narrates about his experiences in the concentration camps, his dehumanization process and his suffering to a point in which life and death did not matter anymore.
Night takes place during WWII.
World War II started in 1939 and ended in 1945.
The war was fought in Europe, East Asia and on some islands in the Pacific Ocean. Areas such as Poland, China, Russia and Germany were directly involved in the war and suffered greatly. While countries such as the US and Canada took part in the war, just not in their countries.
1.9 billion people served
72 million people died
6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust
61 countries were involved
Night did not focus on the war itself, but on the Holocaust.
The Holocaust was the mass murder/genocide of approximately 6 million Jews during WWII. It was led by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.
Hitler believed that the Jewish people were the cause of all of Germany's problems. He blamed them for everything. He believed that the Jews were inferior to the Germans and therefore he decided to exterminate all of them.
Ghettos and concentration and labour camps were then made to separate and kill the Jews.
This is Elie's hometown.
Elie as a teenager
In 1944, the Nazis set up ghettos for the Jews of Sighet.
These are the cattle cars the Nazis used to transport Jews to the the concentration and labour camps.
The conditions on the cattle cars were horrid; the 80 people could barely move and had to survive on little to no food and water.
Birkenau is a death camp and it is also the entrance to other concentration and labour camps.
A death camp is a camp made to kill millions of people by execution; mainly by gassing.
This is where Elie lost all hope that he would live thorough this terrible experience.
Auschwitz is a concentration camp.
A concentration camp is a camp that the Jewish people were forced to go to, to be tortured or forced to do work.
Elie lost faith in God here and was also dehumanized in the process.
Buna is a labour camp.
A labour camp is a camp where prisoners are forced to do physical labour under poor conditions.
In Buna, Elie was so inhumanely treated he thought of himself as just another body or a starving stomach.
Gleiwitz is also a concentration camp.
Elie had to endure 3 days without food and water here and he managed to do so by keeping his hopes up.
The prisoners are forced to begin a death march; they are to run more than 80 km to the Gleiwitz concentration camp from Buna during a blizzard.
During this horrible journey, Elie felt as if he were alive again, since the chilling wind woke him up.
Buchenwald is another concentration camp.
Unfortunately not many Jews made it here due to the death march or the horrific journey on the cattle cars.
On April 11th 1945, Elie and all the other prisoners of Buchenwald are liberated.
This journey has changed Elie's life and it has made him into the man he is now.
Night is written by Elie Wiesel. He is a Romanian-born Jewish-American professor and political activist. He is also the author of 57 books. Wiesel is currently 85 years old and has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal and the Legion of Honour.
Since Night is an autobiography, Wiesel does not take any "creative license". Night is a work of pure non-fiction. Although what Wiesel describes is so insane you think it's made up, but sadly, it's not.
Thank you for listening!!!