Night

by Elie Wiesel
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In the novel Night Elie Wiesel recounts his life as a young Jew during World War II. The novel starts in Sighet, a Jewish community, where he lives with his father, his mother, and sister. Shlomo, Elie’s father, is a prominent leader in the community and Elie is thus, very religious. He asks a local man, Moishe the Beadle, to teach him the mysteries of the Kabbalah. Soon, Moishe is taken away by the Nazis because he is a foreign Jew. He manages to escape death and returns to Sighet to warn the city. This is the first of many warnings that the Jews of Sighet receive and ignore. Before long, Nazis take over Sighete and the Jews are later taken to concentration camps. Elie is one of the few lucky ones to be able to stay with his father, although he is separated from the rest of his family. Elie describes the horrors of being in German concentration camps. He was starved, beaten, threatened, and so much more. By the end of the novel Elie has changed from a young, innocent boy to a mature, young man.

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:::::Meet the Stars:::::
· Elie Wiesel: At the start of the novel is 15 years old and very, very religious. Through the course of the novel, his faith and physical and emotion appearance change greatly and Elie becomes a completely different person. As he and his father stay together during most of their times in camps, their relationship develops into an almost unbreakable bond.
· Shlomo: Shlomo is Elie’s father and a well-respected Jewish community leader. The people of Sighet come to Shlomo with problems and for advice and he has a very strong faith. Elie and Shlomo build a bond of incomprehensible love and friendship.
· Moishe the Beadle: Moishe is a poor Jewish mystic who spends most of his time in the temple at Sighet. He takes on the job of teaching Elie the mysteries of Kabbalah and he is also the man to give the first warning of the Nazis.
· Dr. Mengele: He looks like a typical German SS Officer but he has a much crueler mind. At one of the concentration camps that Elie and Shlomo reside in, Dr. Mengele decides who lives and who dies. He is also known for his strange medical explorations.

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:::::In Abby’s Opinion:::::
I really enjoyed this novel. It was a great example of how Jews were treated during WWII and it paints a great picture of what the concentrations camps were like. There really isn’t anything I dislike about the book. Elie Wiesel really leaves everything on the pages of this short novel. His style of writing makes the reader really feel like they were with him along his horrific journey.


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:::::ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS:::::
1. What are the root causes of persecution? The root causes of persecution are fear and hatred. The fear that another group is more powerful than your group instills hatred and fear in someone’s mind. Another cause of persecution is basically brainwashing. Hitler taught young German’s that Jewish people were the enemies. These children did not know any different.
2. What are some current examples of persecutions that take place in today’s world? Today persecution is very common although not as radical as during World War II. In the 90s Sudan Human Rights Organization reported a forcible closure of churches. This act forced displacement of people such as, Islamic and Arabic peoples. In ’94 there were reports of the pastors being tortured. This goes to show that people are still against other cultures and religions.
3. What does Night teach us about what it means to be human? Elie Wiesel’s novel teaches us that we need to respect other people. The Nazis were brainwashed into believing that non-Germans were enemies. From their example we are taught to respect other cultures and religions.

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:::::What YOU Can Learn:::::
This novel gives a first hand example of what life was like for a Jew in Europe during WWII. The reader learns how horrible the concentration camps really were and how the war changed the few that survived. This is a great novel for anyone to read because it helps someone who was not at all affected by WWII learn what it was like for the people who were affected.