Undoubtedly, Elie Wiesel, the author of the book Night, was lucky to have survived the Holocaust. Part of Wiesel’s survival depended on how lucky he was to be sent to a good Kommando, a German term meaning “unit,” and also how lucky he was to be held under the authority of a kind Blockalteste, a block leader of a concentration camp.
Upon their arrival at Auschwitz, the Jews had to take compulsory showers. After they trembled in the dark while waiting for new clothes, they were forced to run in the middle of the night. Following these events, they were assigned to a new block: block 17. It was within the first moment they met the inmate in charge that Eliezer heard the first kind words in comparison to all the inhumane things they had been called by the SS. This man was a smiling, young Pole. When he started to talk to them the Jews paid close attention, although they were exhausted. He spoke words of encouragement, ensuring the Jews that there is light at the end of the tunnel. He reminded them to be hopeful for they would all see the day in which their freedom was handed to them. He told them that they already avoided the selection, which was the worst part. He also suggested that the Jews were friendly to one another because they were all related and going through the same troubles. He believed that the Jews must stick together in order to get through it wholly. He reassured them that “Hell does not last forever”.
For one to survive the Holocaust, one would have to be self-reliant in the most efficient way possible. Although it had, in a way, been a selfish survival technique of the Holocaust, it definitely helped Wiesel survive. If people wanted to survive the Holocaust, they would have to be concerned much more about themselves than others. Wiesel would eventually hear this advice from the Blockalteste, telling Wiesel, “Stop giving 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”. Subsequently he agreed with the Blockalteste, although he was hesitant to admit it at first. Additionally, he thought more about food than his father after his father had passed away. This indicates that Wiesel had been concerned just about himself and his survival.
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