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Night

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by

William Griffiths

on 13 April 2018

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Transcript of Night

Chapter 8
Buchenwald

Counted at camp's entrance
"I tightened my grip on my father's hand. The old, familiar fear: not to lose him."
Very close: the tall chimney of the crematorium. It barely drew our attention.
A hot shower, then a different block.
Father doesn't say a word. Elie is indifferent.
Chaos leading to the showers.

Elie's dad sits down in snow. "I can't anymore...It's over...I shall die right here.
Elie is angry. To come so far, w/a hot shower and a place to lie down!
He had become childlike: weak, frightened, vulnerable.
"I pointed to the corpses around him; they too had wanted to rest here. 'I see, my son. I do see them. Let them sleep. They haven't closed an eye for so long...They're exhausted...exhausted' His voice was tender."
"I howled in the wind: 'They're dead!'"
I was no longer arguing w/him, but with Death itself
Air raid.
Lights go out.
Herded into the block
out of the icy wind.
The cauldrons at the enrance
found no takers.
Sleep was all that mattered.

When Elie wakes up he looks for his father
He had not taken care of him during the raid, but run with the crowd and forgotten.
Thought: "If only I didn't find him!"
Shame. Looks for hours. Block serving coffee.
"Eliezer, my son...bring me...a little coffee..."
Burning with fever.
Coffee. The gratitude of a wounded animal.
"With these few mouthfuls of hot water, I had probably given him more satisfaction than during my entire childhood..."
Father: ashen, shivering, lips dry & pale
Leaves father with sick & goes out while block is cleaned.
Elie rushes back in after soup in yard
Father not fed b/c dying.
Waste of food.
Elie gives rest of his, grudgingly.
Like Rabbi Eliahu's son: failed the test

Every day father grows weaker.
Eyes watery. Face the color of dead leaves.
3rd day, after showers, father passes Elie like a shadow, without a glance.
"He looked at me for a moment and his gaze was distant, other-worldly." Face of stranger.
Father has dysentery. Tells where gold is.
Saliva mixed with blood trickling from lips.
Elie trades crust for cot next to dad.
Elie carries father to doctor who ignores him.
Another doctor comes round and yells at the dying.
Elie considers strangling him but has neither courage nor strength to do so.
Elie's hands ache from clenching them.
Returning from bread distribution: "My son, they are beating me!"
WHY?????
His father was no longer able to drag himself outside to relieve himself.
Next day: They fall on Elie's dad & steal his bread.
Elie's dad pleads for water.
A week goes by...
Blockalteste: "In this place, it is every man for himself, and you cannot think of others. Not even your father... Each of us lives and dies alone... Stop giving up your ration of bread and soup to your old father. You cannot help him anymore. And you are hurting yourself. In fact, you should be getting
his
rations..."
Elie stays in the block w/the sick to be w/his father
Elie's father calling for water.
SS officer deals father a violent blow to the head.
Elie doesn't move.
His father, gasping for breath, calls for him, "Eliezer..."
Elie still does not move.
After roll call, Elie sits with father & etches his bloody, broken face into his mind.
The date was January 28, 1945.
When Elie wakes at dawn, January 29th.

On his father's cot there lay another sick person.

They must have taken him away before daybreak to the crematorium.

Perhaps he was still breathing.
No prayers were said over his tomb.
No candle lit in his memory.
His last words had been my name.
He called out to me and I had not answered.
I did not weep,
and it pained me that I could not weep.
And deep inside me,
if I could have searched the recesses
of my feeble conscience,
I might have found something like:
Free at last!
Elie remains in Buchenwald until April 11, 1945.
Does not describe his life.
Didn't matter any longer.
Front moved closer.
Spent entire days idle w/one desire: to eat.
No longer thought of family.
The occasional dream...of soup.
April 5th ordered to the yard. Others say go back and don't move!
Evacuate. But 20k left. Air raid.
Next day the resistance movement decided to act.
Battle in the Appelplatz.
SS flee.
Resistance takes charge.
1st act as free men: EAT.
Next day a few go to Weimar for food, clothes, and girls.
3 days after liberation, Elie is sick!
2 weeks between life & death
Elie looks in a mirror, 1st time since ghetto.
"From the depths of the mirror, a corpse was contemplating me: The look in his eyes as he gazed at me has never left me."
Friday
April 13, 2018
Class: Review: Prezi: Night Final Chapters 8 & 9
Complete Worksheet / Submit electronically
HW:
Read 1984 Chapter 1
Quiz Monday
Full transcript