The book Night shows the journey of Eliezer Wiesel throughout the Holocaust and life inside of the Concentration Camps. When we were first introduced to Eliezer, we learned that he was extremely religious, and he wanted to go behind his father’s back to learn more about his religion. Before the Holocaust, he and his family lived in Sighet, where they lived a normal life. Once the Nazis took over, all of that changed for Eliezer and the millions of other Jews and other groups that were persecuted.
The Nazis main goal was to dehumanize the Jews and the other groups that were persecuted. The definition of dehumanization is to deprive of human qualities, personality, or spirit from Merriam Webster’s Dictionary. The Nazis had the effects of mental, emotional, and physical dehumanization of their victims. The Nazis physically dehumanized their victims by starving them, making them do hard labor for long hours, and beating them for not doing their job as well as they want them to do it.
Mentally, Eliezer sees his father getting beat up, he is abused, and he becomes malnourished. Emotionally, Eliezer has to leave his mother and sisters, not knowing if he would ever see them again. This time is especially hard for Eliezer, and he stays strong, and knows that God is on his side watching over him. With the three types of dehumanization, Eliezer and the millions of others felt degraded, and they didn’t want to believe in God anymore, whereas God wouldn’t let this happen to them. As mentioned before, there are three types of dehumanization: mental, physical, and emotional. Mental affects the way you think, physical affects the way your body’s current state, and emotional affects what you are feeling. An example in Night of Eliezer being dehumanized is I became A-7713. From then on, I had no other name (Wiesel 42). This quote shows how the Nazis had mentally, physically, and emotionally dehumanized them. They were mentally dehumanized whereas they now had the thoughts that they weren’t worth being called a name, they were just a number. They were emotionally dehumanized now that they felt useless and broken down, and that they don’t mean anything. They were physically dehumanized considering they had been tattooed and forced to have a number on their arms. The effects of mental dehumanization outweigh physical and emotional dehumanization, as a result of all of the trauma and abuse from the camps and the nazis. As an example, in Night Eliezer says I had watched it all happening without moving. I kept silent. In fact, I thought of stealing away in order not to suffer the blows. What’s more, if I felt anger at that moment, it was not directed at the Kapo but at my father. Why couldn’t he have avoided Idek’s wrath? That was what life in a concentration camp had made of me (Wiesel 54). In this quote, Eliezer has been dehumanized so much, that he didn’t stand up for his father. Eliezer would’ve done everything to stop this from happening and helped fight off Idek, but he didn’t.Eliezer was obligated to experience his father dying from dysentery, and there was nothing he could do about it, thanks to none of the doctors wanted to help him, and he didn’t have anything to treat him. Eliezer was scared to help his father, or he would be punished, but he didn’t want to leave him. My son, water I’m burning up my insides (Wiesel 111). Eliezer tried to give him water, but an officer came and warned Eliezer’s father, to be quiet. Eliezer’s father couldn’t hear him, so unfortunately, Eliezer had to witness the officer smashing his club on his head, and then he slowly died. This had taken a toll on Eliezer, although he feels free of the burden that his father had left on him. Throughout, we see the change that the deaths of others, abuse, and torture that the Nazis have brought upon him. When Eliezer first got to the camp, he had to stare at dead bodies, he had reacted unquestionably differently then, whereas now, he didn’t even react to his own father’s death. Eliezer and many others had no choice but to face the effects of this dehumanization when they tried to return back to normal lives. The deaths of millions of innocent Jews and other groups that were victims had effected those who had survived this attack. Even though this attack was gruesome, the genocides are still occuring today. These attacks on certain ethnic groups are still occuring in Syria, Sudan, and Ethiopia. Terrorist groups try to wipe out populations of different groups and ethnicities, and currently, 250,00 people have been killed in Sudan and 60,00 have been killed in Syria. The people that are still being affected and have already died in the violent crimes have the same effects of dehumanization and physical and mental torture. The holocaust may be over, but there are still genocides that are occuring, like in Syria and Sudan. Most people have no idea that these are even going on right now, and they need to be talked about. People are dying everyday because of the horrible conditions and malnourishment.