Mila Night/Elie Wiesel
1939, The beginning of the Second World War. The Nazi party was going to take control not only of Germany, but also of the whole world. The threat to the Jews was huge, but still, there were countries in which the Nazis threat still wasn't felt.
The "Night" tells about the life of a 12 year old boy, Elie Wiesel, in 1941. In fact, the writer of the story tells about his life according to the Second World War, which in 1941 reached also Transylvania (Elie's native land). Elie Wiesel lived in a small town, which included Jewish and non- Jewish resident; fact that caused, of course, to an Antisemitism and to a hate. Elie Wiesel lived in a very religious family. He had 3 sisters: Hilda, Bea and Tzipora. Elie's father aroused in Elie many questions and wonders. His father was a kind of parson, which cared more about other people's problems, instead caring about his family. Elie Wiesel studied the Talmud. He was very religious boy too. His faith was his entire world. At nights he used to go to the synagogue and pray; and while he was praying- he cried. Elie's big wish was going learned the Kabbalah, but his father didn't permit him. He knew, that the information, which the Kabbalah transfer to her believers-can made them get crazy. Kabbalah is the study of the mysticism of our life; answers to fundamental question about the life.
In the small town (in which the story is happening) lived also a strange man, named Moshe, but the people used to call him "Moshe the Beadle". Despite that the non- Jewish residents of the town, didn't like Moshe and made fun of him- the Jewish residents did like him. Moshe was involved with Kabbalah studies- that cause Elie Wiesel to ask Moshe to teach him the Kabbalah.
(: Well done, Mila --Nellie Deutsch 21:17, 17 November 2008 (UTC) )
Hello Michele. I was asked to write about some Choiceless choices from "Night", so this is my answer: One example was when the Nazis soldiers were hitting Ellie's father. In front of Ellies' eyes his father was beaten, but Ellie couldn’t move. Elie, actually, had no choice, because he knew, that if he will try to stop the Nazis soldiers, they will hit, or maybe even kill him. Another example refers to the entire situation in the ghetto. People there were suffering every day, killed almost every day; they hardly received food- human can't live like that, so why people there didn't do anything?! - Because they had no choice. Their lives were in Nazi’s hands, and no choice was, only to keep going and surviving. Waiting for your opinion about the subject :)
Survivors Who Champion Human Rights
I've read your answer and I think exactly as you do. In Israel there are many Holocausts survivors. I met some Holocausts survivors and as I saw, the main goal of many of them is to publicize, as much as they can, their story. There are some Holocausts survivors that for many years tried to hide their story, even from their children! Today, when these people are old, they understand that their story has to be published. I think that Elie Wiesel was really brave and he had a lot of strength when he decided to publicize his story at the beginning of his release. As you said Elie went through a lot of horrible things. He saw death from his own eyes; he saw people dying almost every day- and all this only because of stupid hate and refusal to accept the different. Elie Wiesel is a survivor who really championed human rights. He does a great job not only for the Holocausts survivors, who are still alive, but also for all the Jews in the whole world.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me
Indifference or helplessness
Hello Michele I don't really know how to answer on this question, because, as you said, this was a very complicated situation. The most horrible thing, which caused the Holocaust, was the lost of any morality values. Nazis soldiers were treating the Jews as they were animals, without any pity. In the Ghettos the life of each Jew was totally changed. Each one came with their own values, but soon these values disappeared. The life in the Ghettos "forced" people to change their characters and "roles": parents, which until that moment were the dominant side, became to be the weak side; and the kids, who always were protected by their parents, became to be responsible not only for their life’s, but also for their parents life. For many children this change was very difficult and they couldn’t stand it. I think that this is what really happened with Elie when he saw the Nazis hitting his father. Elie does nothing to defend his father, he was helpless. I think that Elie past over such a stress when he saw his father beaten by someone, so he couldn’t move. As I said, for any child, who grew up in a normal family with protective parents, is horrible to suddenly see the parent in the weak side, in the helplessness situation. I’ve read about your grandfather and I can understand the pain you felt. It’s horrible when you know that someone dear is sick and you can’t help him. How your grandfather now? Did he cure? When I was nine years old my grandfather died. I remember that besides the pain which I felt when I heard about this, I felt really helpless, because I couldn’t do anything to help my mom and cheer her up. This was a horrible feeling. Your Israeli friend, Mila
Hello my dear friend
I have to say, that it was really confusing to find some examples of foreshadowing in the “Night”, but finally I found some :)
In chapter 6, Elie Wiesel tells about his Polish friend, Juliek. Elie saw Juliek in their way to Gleiwitz. Juliek came with his violin- thing that surprised very much Elie. He couldn’t understand how Juliek could take his violin to this horrible journey (people there barely can care of them selves and Juliek chose to care about his violin), but Juliek was certain about his decision. At the end of the day, Elie hears Juliek playing on his violin very sad melody of Beethoven. At the morning, when Elie woke up, he saw his Polish friend slumped over, dead. Near him lay his violin, smashed and trampled. The meeting with Juliek and his violin was a foreshadowing of his death.
Belief, Indifference, and Denial
How are you? I'm o.k. and hope that you are too. I'm so jealous of you, because of the winter; we in Israel barely know what real winter is. Even now, in December, the sun still shines and warms. I want so much to see snow!! The last time I saw a snow was 14 years ago, in Ukraine.
So I read what you wrote about The Night and I think that you have a very interesting viewpoint. I hope that you would like my viewpoint too. Forgive me if I will not show a big knowledge about the book, I'm only in page 20, but soon we will have a holiday (Hanukah, a Jewish holiday) and I'll finish reading the book.
I disagree with you about the character, which is indifferent. I think that Elie was very active. The main reaction that I saw in Elie’s character was denial.
When the Beetle tells to the Jewish residents of his neighbourhood, about what he saw (Jewish people are digging pits to their selves. The pits will be their graves, despite that they are alive) no one believes him. Elie, which was the only one who always believed to the Beetle’s words- decide to deny and not listen to him.
The one, who is indifferent, in some way, is Elie’s father. From one side, he was described as a very active parson, but his activism express only toward the Jewish community’s problems. When the situation refers to the family- Elie’s father is actually indifferent. He prefers to deal with other’s problems, than with the problems of his family.
The one, who believes is the Beetle. As you said, he knows exactly what he saw. People in the neighbourhood were laughing at him; they were sure that the Beetle is an old and crazy man, but this man was the only one who saw the situation in it’s real colour and believed, that something bad is coming (as we all know- he was right).
I was glad to hear from you and hope to talk to you soon :)
Your friend, Mila
Is There Any Morality to Survival
Dear Michele It’s really difficult to judge Elie’s decisions or thoughts during the war. Elie was in such a helpless situation, that any morality wasn’t there. When Rabbi Eliahou advised Elie not to feed his dying father, he was thinking in a “logical” way without listening to the emotions. Of course that any normal parson, with a normal and healthy way of life will say that he will do anything for his parent/ siblings, but in the Ghetto people lived in horrible conditions. People there act like animals, they were ready to do anything in order to get piece of bread. We can’t imagine what is to be really hungry; when you fight almost every day to receive a little piece of anything. So I don’t really know what to say. The only thing that I think about is, that if I were in Elie’s situation and I was a survival, I couldn’t continue to live my life knowing, that I didn’t do all I could to save my dears ( I don’t mean that Elie didn’t do this); but who knows, maybe the reality was different. I also think, that if I were in the Holocaust and I was sure that my parents are alive, I were fighting for my life and maybe I even were survive. Mila
Dear Michele I think that actually, the entire Holocaust situation can be expressed by the word: “silence”. People there past throw a lot of horrible situations in which they had to be silent, without fighting for their rights. In the book we could see the feelings of Elie when he was told to be silent when his father was beaten. Probably, Elie understood that if he will do something and will break his silence- his father will be killed. It’s an analogical situation, but Elie had no option. After the war, much of the world was silent to the plight of the victims. Some people were even ridiculing the Holocausts survivors, for keeping their silence during the war, instead of fighting. At the first years after the war, people didn’t know much about the Holocaust, because of the silence of many survivors. The reason for the silence was the huge trauma throw the survivors had to past. It took more than 10 years for these people to break their silence and give the world the real information. In the war, people were silent due to keep their dears and them self safe. After the war, the silent maybe was like a medication for forgetting all the visions from the war years. Today, Holocaust survivors say and emphasize, that the real medication is to talk about. I’m very interest in you answer, so answer me soon. Your Israeli friend Mila
Where is God?
Dear Michele This question is another one on which I don’t really know how to answer. I can’t criticize Elie in this situation, because when you see such a terrible things, like the murder of the young boy, you can’t really believe that there is a god. It’s analogical, that if there is a god why people are suffering in such a cruel way?! Why innocent people are dying?! If I had passed through all these terrible things, I’m not sure that I could believe in god any more. The event with the hanging of people in front of another Jews eyes was awful. Elie’s answer was expected, he probably was very disappointed from god. Elie grew up in a very traditional family, with a deep faith of god. He loved god more than he loved anyone else; and now, when he need god’s help more than anytime, there is no response. The deep disappointing cause Elie to answer in such a cynical way.
I think this projects was the most enjoyable that I’ve ever had. You were a great partner to work with and I always enjoyed reading your thought. I’m happy that thanks to this project, I could hear about the wonderful and very special man, Elie Wisel; and I could read his great book Night. The idea of shearing thoughts about the book with people from other countries was really good and I’m very thankful for the opportunity I had. I really want to keep our friendship, especially now when I have your facebook J
Your Israeli friend