Night by Elie Wiesel

Katrina Songco

Elie Wiesel Biography

Elie Wiesel was born on September 30, 1928 in the town of Sighet, now Romania. After the Holocaust Wiesel studied literature, philosophy, and psychology at the Sorbonne in Paris. In Paris, he worked as a journalist with a France newspaper. Wiesel became an internationally recognized author who wrote about his experiences in the concentration camps of the Holocaust. Wiesel won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for speaking against violence, repression, and racism. He also won "The Congressional Gold Medal" in 1985. Elie Wiesel is the only only from his family to have survived the Holocaust.
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Overview of War

The Holocaust was a genocide of approximately 6 million Jews by the Nazi regime. The Holocaust started in 1933 when Adolfo Hitler came to power. A total of about 11 million people died in the mass murder. The targets were mainly Jews, but also Gypsies, the disabled, Slavic people, Jehovah's witnesses, homosexuals, and anyone else who was not considered a part of the "aryan race". The Nazis used the term " The Final Solution" to refer to their plan to murder the Jewish people. There were a number of different kinds of camps, including concentration camps, extermination camps, labor camps, and transit camps.

Summary of Night

Night is a memoir that follows young Jewish boy Elizer Wiesel on his jaw dropping experience in the Holocaust. Separated from his mother and sisters, Elie struggles desperately to survive from concentration camp to concentration camp with his father. Along the way we experience Elie struggle with his religion and see his faith in God crumble. In desperate situations, we see Eliezar conflict with the choice of supporting his weakening father or saving his strength for himself to give himself a greater chance at survival. Eliezar's father dies a few months before the concentration camps were liberated by Allied soldiers. Eliezar's innocence has been stripped away after the violence he has been apart of and witnessed.

Significant Quotes

"The ghetto was not guarded. One could enter and leave as one pleased. Maria, our former maid, came to see us. Sobbing, she begged us to come with her to village where she had prepared a safe shelter.

My father wouldn't hear of it. He told me and my big sister, 'If you wish, go there. I shall stay here with your mother and the little one...'

Naturally, we refused to be separated."

This quote is significant cause it explains how Elie had a chance to escape the ghetto without being seen. Elie had several missed opportunities to escape. In this quote/passage in particular shows that staying together with family is more important than escaping and having no guarantee who would make it.

"Blessed be God's Name?

Why, but why would I bless Him? Every fiber in me rebelled. Because He caused thousands of children to burn in His mas graves? Because He kept six crematoria working day and night, including Sabbath and the Holy days?... How could I say to Him:Blessed be Thou Almighty, Master of the Universe, who chose us among all nations to be tortured day and night, to watch as our fathers, our mothers, our brothers end up in the furnaces?"

This quote shows Elie taking a turn on his faith in God. He questions why he should praise God's name when he's caused so many horrendous murders. Elie just can't comprehend why such a terrible thing could happen to his friends and people.

Author's Purpose

I think that Elie Wiesel's purpose to righting Night was to share his experiences as a Holocaust survivor to the world. What better way to do it than with a memoir. Elie Wiesel knew that his readers would not know the reality of the Holocaust, but at least have an understanding of what it was like through reading the experiences from a survivor.

Major Themes

  • Unjust actions test the faith of others Religion.
  • Violence strips the innocence of others.


Personal Reaction

I am truly blessed to be living during a time and place where we have rights and order in our government. Despite the political and government controversies, I believe we are far from experiencing our own kind of Holocaust. I understand Elie Wiesel's purpose now, than I did when I read it in eight grade.

Book recommendation to readers

I recommend to anyone in high school and older. I read this book in eight grade, yet I did not find as much meaning, understanding, and depth as I did when I read it again my sophomore year. There is a lot for background research that could be put into this book. An extensive vocabulary fills the pages of the book. Reading the book gives you a greater outlook on the life that you live. You think about how privileged you are to be living in time and place where you have rights.

Learner Creation

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"The Frame." : Blessing of the Sun. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2014.

Wiesel, Elie, and Marion Wiesel. Night. New York, NY: Hill and Wang, a Division of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006. Print.

"The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity." The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2014.