Factors Of Survival in Night
Nov. 15 2016
How did the Jewish people survive in concentration camps during the Holocaust? During the Holocaust Jewish families were forced to be in concentration camps like Auschwitz and Buchenwald. They were tortured, even killed and they were treated like animals. They were separated from their families and some even turned on each other. People were desperate and they did horrible things. In Elie Wiesel’s Night, Elie and his father experienced horrifying things at the concentration camp they were forced to be in. With the companionship of each other they increased their chance of survival. They lived for each other, shared resources, had hope and faith that things would get better, that one day they would be free.
Elie often thinks that if it wasn’t for his father he would not be alive. The Jews are forced to run to a different location that is very far without stopping. Along the way Eliezer and his father see a man named Zalman fall to the ground and get trampled by other men leading to his death: “My father’s presence was the only thing that stopped me. He was running next to me, out of breath, out of strength, desperate. I had no right to let myself die. What would he do without me? I was his sole support”(86). Eliezer’s father was the only reason he is able to stay alive. He thinks about his father and how he would feel if he wasn’t there. After running for about 42 miles, they finally come to stop. Eliezer and his father are very tired: “ ‘Don’t let yourself be overcome by sleep, Eliezer. It’s dangerous to fall asleep in snow. One falls asleep forever. Come, my son, come…Get up’”. (88) Elie’s father is very cautious about resting in the snow. They take turns and make sure they are not in danger, so that he and his father can stay alive as long as possible.
When Elie is in the concentration camps he shares his resources with his father and this increases their chance of survival. When Elie’s father is ill and in the hospital he doesn’t receive any food because he’s ill and they don’t want to waste the food on him if they know he’s going to die soon: “I gave him what was left of my food”(102). Elie is sharing his resources of food to keep his father alive, due to the harsh environments, this was very important to help him survive. One day Elie’s father is almost killed because he does not know how to march. Elie then decides to give his father lessons: “I decided to give my Father lessons myself, to teach him to change his step, and to keep rhythm”(95). Elie is helping his Father out by using his resource of knowledge about what he know of marching to help his father out to decrease the chances of him getting killed.
While Elie experiences horrible things in the concentration camps he start losing hope and faith. He wonders how god could let such horrible things happen to the Jewish people. When one of Elie’s uncles’ who is also at the same concentration camp as Elie and his Father asks about his family, Elie tells him this:“‘Yes, My mother’s had news from your family. Reizel is very well. The children too….’”(41). Elie is actually lying to give his uncle hope. The only reason his uncle is living is because he now knows that his family is alive and okay but Elie has no idea whether they are or not: “‘The only thing that keep me alive,”, he used to say, “is that Reizel and the children are still alive. If it wasn’t for them, I couldn’t keep going’”(42).
Even though the Jewish people experienced the most horrible things while they were in the concentration camps during the Holocaust. With hope, help and the resources of each other they were able to increase their chance of survival. Wiesel wrote Night to share his experiences and emotions during the Holocaust with others. He wanted to let people know what happened during the Holocaust and how many families and lives were lost in the hopes of educating people and preventing such a shameful part of the world’s history from occurring ever again