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Transcript of Elie Weisel
After the hard nights in the cattle cars, crammed against each other, they finally reached the concentration camps. They were small, and they were separated into different blocks; one for the girls, one for the boys. The stronger ones were sent to the work camps, and the weaker ones were sent to the crematorium. The workplaces were liveable conditions; thick soup daily, and small crusts of bread. Elie lost his faith, that night. He was angry at God that he had let him suffer like that. Anger.
Elie was very devout to his faith in his adolescence, going to temple very often, with the approval of his mother. He studied the torah and wanted to study kabbalah so very badly, but his father did not think he was old enough and he was not mature enough. So, he went and found a master- Moishe the Beadle. He was a kabbalah master, and taught Elie much. He was very into his faith, and studied it for months.
Around 18 months later, after Moishe had come back, the ghettos in Sighet were established. This was once the tight hold on jews became a strong grasp on every aspect of their life. There were boards on the windows, they couldnt go out into the restaurants, and they had to wear a jewish star, screaming their religion, all the time. There were chain link lining their cities. Yet the news stayed positive; they wont come this far. They cant; its only smart. They wont make it this far; the red army will catch up with the Nazi's.
Elie was born September 30th, 1928. He was born and raised in a small town named Sighet, now known as Sighetu Marmației in Romania. The majority of the time his family spoke Yiddish, which is a form of a german language spoken by Ashkenazi jews, but also grew up speaking many other languages such as German, Hungarian, and Romanian. He had three other siblings-- older sisters Hilda and Beatrice, and younger sister Tzipora.
Moishe the Beadle
The Kabbalah master was a very wise man. He taught Elie in his studies of Kabbalah for a while, and Elie looked up to him. But when all the foreigners were deported, Moishe left the town and was deported, him being a foreigner himself. When he came back he told the truths of his trip, when they made him work in a workplace with little food, where terrifying things happened like Nazi soldiers shooting babies for target practice. When he told these stories, nobody in town believed him. They thought he was making it all up; a crazy man. We do not know what happened to Moishe.
Every Jew in Sighet was evacuated immediately one day. All the families were transported out of Sighet. Since Elie's father was high up in the community that was established in the ghetto, the Wiesels family were among the last to leave the liquidated ghetto. It was early in the morning; they could only bring one backpack with the things that were the most important to them. The place they were going? secret. Nobody had any idea where they were being marched to. It was to take place quickly, to be crammed into cattle cars.
Naked. Cold. Alone. And forced to march
through the barracks. The slow prisoners were shot without a second thought about it. They were thrown clothes and Elie was forced to have his gold crown ripped from his mouth. He and his father stuck together the whole time; through Auschwitz, Buna and Buchenwald. They clung to each other, and when his father couldnt go on, Elie clung to him closer than ever. During the death march, Elie had a bad foot and was still forced to march on for his and his fathers life and made it. He survived, and helped his father survive the terrors of the death camps. His father wasnt at durable as Elie, though. Elie stayed with him through death. He clung to his father as his father clung to life.
When I used to pray, I used to find a quiet place. Now, there is silence all around me. There is the sound of death that lingers, surrounding me with a terror that I have come to terms with. I have learned to accept the terror of this life that I lead; I no longer wish to pray, though. I want to talk to my father, but I know he will not respond. He is too tired; too weary. I fear for his life, hoping but not praying that he makes it. What is the point of prayer? I prayed for years and years to a God that I lost trust in a matter or just a few days. I don't even believe in a God anymore, look where my praying got us. What I am doing right now is I'm sure illegal; writing this down. I found a scrap of a book that didn't get burned; I stole the pencil. I used to think of a future for me; how naive. Live each moment like your last; It just could be.