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Elie Wiesel's Memoir About the Holocaust

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Have you ever given up hope in the darkest of times? In Elie Wiesel’s memoir, Night, hope plays an important role throughout Elie’s life as a prisoner and laborer. Wiesel loses most of it during the Holocaust but there is still a sliver that makes him fight. Also, hope keeps Elie alive and giving him reason and want to survive. Particularly, hope allows Elie to battle and endure many of the challenges he encountered while being held captive.

Most SS officers during the Holocaust were brutal and harsh but one that Elie ran into inspired him to survive. Many Nazi’s felt bad for the Jews and wanted to help them but there was only 2 positions in the genocide and they wanted to be on the right side of it. An SS officer told the prisoners “Don’t lose hope… Have faith in life, a thousand times fate… Help each other. That is the only way to survive.”Magda Herzberger’s recalls the day she lost her freedom, for the next year, Herzberger struggled to survive the daily routine terrors and psychological torture in concentration camps in the holocaust. With Herzberger, the University, also gets a refresher course in humanity, grace and discovering hope in the darkest of places. I think my great trust in God was my source of survival,” she said. “Regardless of what I experienced in the camps, and all those terrible things, I’m still a loving and forgiving person.” Magda has always been a hopeful person and her hope helped her get through the holocaust. She was only 18, still considered to be a child.

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Elie’s father always put others first even ahead of his family but he started to think more about his family and hoped that they were still alive. Elie’s father still had hope about his family and them being alive even though that it was slim to none they were still alive. “Mother is still a young woman,’ my father once said. “She must be in a labor camp. And Tzipora, she is a big girl now. She too must be in a camp…’How we would have liked to believe that. We pretended, for what if one of us still did believe?” (Weisel 46). Mr. Weisel was hoping that his children and wife were still alive, “What is more heartbreaking than the position of Jewish children in Europe during World War II? Confused and abandoned, often given into the hands of strangers or torn viciously from their parents’ arms, these children, whether real or fictional, are living testaments to the human determination to survive.” Children in the Holocaust were abandoned, and just hoped to maybe one day see their parents again.

Everyone who was still alive was even more motivated because if they survived that long under those conditions they couldn’t die now. This struck hope into everyone because what’s the point of surviving this long just to die? “These words of encouragement, even coming at they did from the mouths of our assassins, were of great help. Nobody wanted to give up now, just before the end, so close to our destination, Our eyes searched the horizon for the barbed wire of Gleiwitz. Our only wish was to arrive their quickly.“This protest clearly went too far, especially at a moment when German forces had just suffered a major defeat at Stalingrad and the regime was cracking down on defeatists.” As the Germans began to lose wars and lost control of the concentration camps the Jews began to have more hope for the future and hope for leaving alive. In the holocaust this was extremely important as it is today.

The holocaust was a horrible time for a lot of people, but hope kept them alive. In the book Night Elie has a sliver of hope which ultimately leads to him regaining his freedom. I think that hoping for things is a normal part and without it we don’t have much to look forward to. Eventually, Elie lost most of his hope but without hope do you think that Elie would have survived? 

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