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The Face Behind the Mask of the Holocaust Story

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            Elie Wiesel’s Night is an autobiographical novel based on his experience as young Orthodox Jew witnessing the death of his father, his growing disgust with mankind and his loss of faith in God. The book narrates about being alone in the world, no fathers, no brothers and no friends were everyone lives and dies for himself alone. It opens the readers mind on what really happened during the holocaust. With Eliezer as the narrator and the eye witness of the Story of the book itself. Eliezer is an Orthodox Jewish teenager who is a friend of Moshe the Beadle. Moshe Beadle in the book was the caretaker of the synagogue and the town’s humblest resident. The stories main climax opened the curtain with Moshe running, telling and releasing warning’s with everybody of the horrible happenings he saw when he was taken by the German’s and other Jews to Poland in a cattle train, which somehow he manages to escape. Miraculously saved by God he believes and then in order that he in turn might save the Jews of Sighet and told them the story of his own death. But the Jews in Sighet never believed in him and even pitied him for he has gone mad.

In Sighet, a restriction of Jews has gradually increased, they were not allowed to visit restaurants, attend synagogue and even leave home after six in the evening. And the Jews felt that their existence is clasped by the claws of the enemies when they were deported and allowed themselves to be taken. But why did they allowed there selves to be taken? , when they could have fled and hid in the mountains or villages. Because the ghetto was not very well guarded, and a mass escape would be a chance of success. However, the problem is they did not know, maybe it is just there destiny to die, to let other human beings of the world to learn from the disaster event that took place on the year 1944. The residents were deported going to a destination that they are not told. Eleizer began to hate what is taking place as he watches as his friends and neighbors rounded up by the Hungarian police wielding truncheons and rifle butts and seeing the Rabbi with his face shaved. The Rabbi together with the deportees has added a touch of unreality to the scene, and then they marched through the streets dragging their lives, deserting their homes and cringing like beaten dogs.

Eliezer and his family arrived at the death camp in Poland in Auschwitz. Men and women are separated on arrival; Eleizer and his father to the left as meant survival and his mother and 3 sisters to the right and sent straight to the gas chambers. Because of what had happened he struggled desperately not to be parted from his father. In addition, their relationship changes for his resentment and guilt, because he fears that his father’s existence threatens his own which made him so guilty of himself. During there first night at Auschwitz, Eliezer considered that night as the longest night in his life for they saw an inhumanely devastating scene. They saw loads of little faces of children being thrown into the fire whose bodies were turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky. Never will he forget that night. In January 1945, with the Soviet army approaching, the Germans decide to flee the camp, taking around 60,000 inmates, mostly Jews, to camps in Germany, on what becomes known as the death marches, shooting anyone too weak to continue.

Eliezer and his father Chlomo march to Gleiwitz to be put on a freight train to Buchenwald. At Buchenwald his father had already chosen death, for he was beaten with an SS officer on the head with a truncheon for making too much noise while begging for water. Eleizer didn’t dared to move to protect his father for he was also afraid of receiving a blow. And his father’s last word was Eliezer, a summon which Eliezer did not respond. He did not weep, it pained him but he couldn’t weep for he had no more tears and found something inside him like free at last from the burden of his father. Eliezer’s father missed his freedom by only a few weeks. The Soviets had liberated Auschwitz 11 days before he died, and the Americans were making their way towards Buchenwald. After Chlomo’s death, Eliezer is transferred to the children’s block where he stays with 600 others, dreaming of soup. On April 5, 1945, the inmates are called together to be told the camp is to be liquidated, and they are all to be moved — another death march — then the camp is to be blown up as part of the Germans’ effort to hide what had happened there. On April 11, with 20,000 inmates still in the camp, a Jewish resistance movement of inmates attacks the remaining SS officers and takes control. At six o’clock that evening, the first American tank arrives, and behind it the Sixth Armored Division of the U.S. Third Army. Eliezer is free.

          Elie’s Night opened the reader’s mind on the real face of Holocaust behind the masks of the enemies, it was authentically narrated that it was almost unbearably painful. It showed a new aspect of writing novels, a novel bound in letters yet so realistic.

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