The terrible truth of the Nazi reign

How did camp change the prisoners as a person?

How did camp life change the prisoners as a person? A family? In addition, relationships with other human beings?

The camp life changed the prisoners in many ways. As time went on, they had to be nothing. To feel nothing. To do nothing but survive. They were numb to the blows of the Nazis and the deaths of loved ones. If they cried or showed any emotion, they were punished. They were only their numbers. Just imagine what it would be like to watch a friend beaten multiple times. Imagine your mind willing them to be strong. Imagine your heart aching for them to get back up. However, you could do nothing. Except wait. Wait until your back in your barracks so you can console them. Tell them to keep their head down and it will all pass over soon. That is, if you both could stay alive until then.

The Nazis picked the weak to die. You know the saying you are only as strong as your weakest player? Well, the Nazis took that very seriously. Most coaches would sit the weak player out. The Nazis just took them off the whole team. Because in the Nazis game of life, every player was on the field. The bad thing was, there was usually a weak one in the families. They changed the Jew’s families because their survival mode kicked in. The strong left the weak to die. The sons left the fathers. It was every man for themselves. The fittest of the fit. No one stood up for you. They were trying to save their own neck.

Identify at least 3 themes in the novel.

Evil, Father and son's relationships, man's inhumanity to man

One of the themes is just pure evil. The people of Germany would throw bread into cattle cars to watch the starving Jews kill each other. The Nazis would throw babies in the air and use them as target practice! One of the cruelest things they did was probably burning the Jews. The Nazis would tell them they were taking a shower. The Jews stripped down and were packed inside. The SS officers had a little window covered with glass so they could monitor them. Then gasoline was poured on the Jews and gas would be released burning them. After they were all dead, the Nazis would assign other Jews to shovel the dead ones out and burn the bodies in pits. They even made a son carry his mother's dead body and burn it.

Another theme is father & son relationships. In the book, it shows you how the camps are breaking families apart. At one point in the book, a father managed to grab a piece of bread in the cattle cars, and his son killed him for it even after the father promised to share it with him. I just cannot believe he would kill his father for a mouthful of bread! Also, when the Jews were running, a father's son run away from him because his father was growing weak. Even all that has happen in the 3 years, the moment the father grew weak, and the son takes off. The last example is even Eliezer himself watching his father being beaten. He does not say a word because he is fearful of being hit himself. So he watches silently.

The last theme is man’s inhumanity to man. The Nazis would give them barely any bread and then have them march for days. One time they had to stand for a long time and could not bend down. Therefore, they grabbed spoons and ate the snow off their neighbor’s backs. They were that hungry. In the cattle cars, sometimes they were given no food or water. If their cattle car had no roof they would eat the snow as it was drifting down. And no one could forget how the Nazis randomly killed people. Striking out and beating the innocent in their rage. However, that was not the worst thing that happened to the Jews. The selection was one of the most feared days for them. The Jews would undress and put their clothes on their beds. Then doctors would examine them. Lastly, the Jews would have to run from a point to another point. If you were too slow or in bad health, your number would be written down. After your number was written down, you were to be killed. This spilt up families and friends.

What does this novel reveal about you as a human being?

What does this novel reveal about you as a human being?

This novel made me realize many things. I take things for granted. The Jews were given barely any water, almost no food, and hazardous working conditions. They worked long hours and were shot without reason. In addition, I realized I need to treasure my family more. The Jews were split from their families. The Nazis would shoot your friends in front of you. Burn your siblings. And there was nothing you could do. You could try to stop them but you would be shot too.

Also, it made me realize as long as I have been alive, I never have or will experience that kind of cruelty. The Nazis did unspeakable things. Things, which I would never have dreamed of happening. I read one story about a man who was an SS officer. He witnessed many terrible things. But one of the worse was when there was a baby crying. Another SS officer got so tired of it; he took the baby by the legs and slammed it against the train until it cried no more. I sincerely hope that we have learned from this and that history will never repeat itself again.