Social Impact on Ellie Wiesel
The holocaust was an appaling time full of death and misery, taking the lives of six million Jews. Eliezer Wiesel(Ellie) got to have a first hand experience watching all the turmoil and torment going on around him. The Holocaust during World War II had a significant impact on all involved. Ellie Wiesel was one of them. Wiesel’s firsthand experience with the Holocaust affected him and turned him into a better person to make our generation think a different way.
The constant yelling and torturing really struck Ellie and tested his faith that there was still hope in being liberated. “In front of us, those flames. In the air, the smell of burning flesh. It must have been about midnight. We had arrived. In Birkenau. (2.63)” Elie is brought into Birkenau, a concentration camp, with the overwhelming stench of burning bodies and the thought of death stuck into his head. Entering into Birkenau meant you will most likely die.
"Over there. Do you see the chimney over there? Do you see it? And the flames, do you see them?" (Yes, we saw the flames.) "Over there, that’s where they will take you. Over there will be your grave. You still don’t understand?....... Don’t you understand anything? You will be burned! Burned into a cinder! Turned to ashes!" (3.25-27). Everyone surrounding Elie wanted to do anything rather than be burned alive in the crematoria. The guilty feeling of walking into the gas chambers, knowing you are about to lose everything really took a toll on Elie. The torment that enclosed Elie has still stuck with him today.
Hunger was an extreme challenge while working in the concentration camps. “We received no food. We lived on snow; it took the place of bread.” Because of the lack of food and warmth, Elie and the other prisoners started losing more and more weight which made them more susceptible to death. their bodies were frail and whoever fell behind, was killed. “One day when we had stopped, a worker took a piece of bread out of his bag and threw it into a wagon. There was a stampede. Dozens of starving men fought desperately over a few crumbs.” The prisoners humanity was taken away. All they ever cared about was getting enough food in their bodies to keep pushing forward. This shows how in these moments, food took over the care for family, kindness, and morality.
Not only did society affect Wiesel, but in a way, Elie affected our society. “I think that Elie believed that the greatest memorial that you could do for the victims would be to save lives in the future and to do so in memory of the victims,” said U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Director Sara J. Bloomfield. Elie Wiesel wrote the book night to show future generations how to stop such madness from ever coming back again. Reading “Night” by Elie Wiesel leaves a scar on your heart. Knowing all of the long-suffering millions of people had to go through and us barely doing anything to help.
Elie Wiesel’s firsthand experience with the Holocaust affected him and turned him into a better person to make our generation think a different way. He would never be the person he was before he died if it wasn’t the long nights without food, the constant fear of death everyday, and how to teach this generation how to prevent anything like this to happen again. I learned that we shouldn’t take life for granted. We should be grateful for the freedom we have and hope that it doesn't turn into anything like WWII. So next time you think about punching your sibling or letting pride get in the way of your humble heart, think about how small and simple things bring big things later.
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