About this sample
About this sample
3 pages /
3 pages /
Running through the freezing pitch black night, pain enveloping you. Thousands of bodies pushing you from behind. How will you survive? The holocaust was a very hard and rigorous time for a lot of people. They had to find things or methods that would help them survive. They desperately needed these factors to survive. These things could be as small as a piece of silverware or as big as a family. In Elie Wiesel’s Night, Elie and his father are put through the horrific experience of being prisoners in the holocaust. Somehow, Elie found himself to be free in the end because of his factors of survival. Elie Wiesel survived because of his love for his family, his and other people's humanity, and his health and appearance.
Elie Wiesel had so much love for his father and kept on telling himself he had to survive because his father could not live without him. He knew his father was weak and he could not live without the help and love of his son. “‘Come, Father. It’s better there. You’ll be able to lie down there. We’ll take turns. I’ll watch over you and you’ll watch over me. We won’t let each other fall asleep. We’ll look after each other’”. Elie and his father were running for endless miles through the dark and freezing night. If someone fell asleep there was a good chance they would never wake up again. Elie was protecting his dad when he said they should look after each other. He couldn’t let his father die so he made himself stay alive to help his father. Furthermore, Elie comforts his dad while he is crying. “‘The world? The world is not interested in us. Today, everything is possible, even the crematoria…’ His voice broke. ‘Father,’ I said. ‘If that is true, then I don't want to wait. I'll run into the electrified barbed wire. That would be easier than a slow death in the flames.’ He didn't answer. He was weeping. His body was shaking.” This is when the Jews had left the ghettos and had been transported to Auschwitz. When his father is torn up about his wife and daughters, Elie tries his best to comfort his father because he knows he can’t lose all his family. He is telling his father that he will fight for what’s right or he shall die because he knows he cannot live without him.
Another factor of survival Elie had was humanity. He knew he needed to do things to stay humane. “He reached the first cauldron. Hearts were pounding harder: he had succeeded. Jealousy devoured us, consumed us. We never thought to admire him. Poor hero committing suicide for a ration or two or more of soup… In our minds, he was already dead.” The prisoners were rarely fed and Elie knew he needed food. He knew that he had to go past his limitations to survive which he did. He had to put himself in danger to stay humane. A lot of times, Elie and the rest of the prisoners would have to stare death in the face just to barely stay alive. Elie's survival doesn’t have to do with only him being humane but with other people in his life too. For example, the very nice French girl Elie encountered. “She looked straight into my eyes. I knew she wanted to talk to me but that she was paralyzed with fear. She remained like that for some time, and then her face lit up and she said, in almost perfect German: ‘Bite your lips, little brother…Don't cry. Keep your anger, your hate, for another day, for later. The day will come but not now…Wait. Clench your teeth and wait.’” The French girl found Elie after he was beaten up by Idek. Elie was in very bad condition and the French girl took care of him and even gave him food. For Elie to survive, he was not the only one who had to have humanity. Other people who had humanity and helped Elie also contributed to his survival. As you can tell, the French girl greatly contributed to Elie’s survival. There was another man who helped Elie and his father at the first camp. “‘Hey, kid, how old are you?’ The man interrogating me was an inmate. I could not see his face, but his voice was weary and warm. ‘Fifteen.’ ‘No. You're eighteen.’ ‘But I'm not,’ I said. ‘I'm fifteen.’ ‘Fool. Listen to what I say.’ Then he asked my father, who answered: ‘I'm fifty.’ ‘No.’ The man now sounded angry. ‘Not fifty. You're forty. Do you hear? Eighteen and forty.’” This is when Elie and his father arrive at the first camp. The man who was telling them this knew that if they lied, they would not be sent to the crematoria, but instead put into hard labor. This man helped Elie and his Father tremendously.
One more factor that contributed to Elie’s survival was his health and appearance. Elie was a young and healthy boy, which if you were a prisoner in the holocaust means you avoid immediate death. In no time, I stood before him. ”Your age?” he asked, perhaps trying to sound paternal. ”I'm eighteen.” My voice was trembling. “‘In good health?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Your profession?’ Tell him that I was a student? ‘Farmer,’ I heard myself saying. This conversation lasted no more than a few seconds. It seemed like an eternity. The baton pointed to the left. I took half a step forward. I first wanted to see where they would send my father. Were he to have gone to the right, I would have run after him. The baton, once more, moved to the left. A weight lifted from my heart.” The SS officer had seen that Elie was in good health and at a young age. This saved Elie from being sent to the crematoria right off the bat. Another time Elie’s health saved him again. “I was putting one foot in front of the other, like a machine. I was dragging this emaciated body that was still such a weight. If only I could have shed it! Though I tried to put it out of my mind, I couldn't help thinking that there were two of us: my body and I. And I hated that body. I kept repeating to myself: ‘Don't think, don't stop, run!’ Near me, men were collapsing into the dirty snow.” While the prisoners were evacuating their camp, they had to run many, many miles in the freezing cold. Many of the prisoners dropped dead in the middle of the evacuation. Since Elie was a healthy young man, he survived the run. If he wasn’t healthy, he wouldn’t have survived the run.
Although it was almost impossible to survive the holocaust, love for his family, humanity, and his health and appearance helped Elie Wiesel survive the holocaust. All of these things contributed greatly to Elie’s survival. His experience as a holocaust prisoner is beyond anything we can imagine. Elie did come out of the experience without any living family members and even got food poisoning three weeks after he was liberated. Elie came out a stronger person as well and even wrote this book about his holocaust experience.
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