The Holocaust in Night by Ellie Wiesel Essay Example


Elie Wiesel is a man that survived the Holocaust. He has written books and given speeches about his experiences. Now most people know the general information about the Holocaust, but after reading Elie Wiesel’s memoir Night I was way more informed of the horrors this genocide was. I also read and listened to his speech, Perils of Indifference, which was, again, very informative to the details of the Holocaust. Now the question is, which one was better to understand the events and details of this trauma? Well this might seem like an obvious question because one was a book and one was a speech. To no surprise I feel that the book paid much more detail to really get the point across to the readers. It included several emotions such as anger, sadness, and countless others. It helped you understand every step of the way including his life before, the sacrifices, and the loss. Whereas the speech even though it was a beautiful and long speech, it still couldn’t have covered as much as the book. Another element to consider is though it did give a contrasting perspective, he was talking more about the indifference brought soon by the situation, not only from the people directly involved but also the entire world. He spoke about the perspective of the world looking into this, about how little everyone did to help. He mentioned an important aspect of this in his speech, “In the place that I come from, society was composed of three simple categories: the killers, the victims, and the bystanders” (Perils of Indifference). The speech gave a different message, not necessarily a better one or a completely different one, but he talked more about how we choose who we are, we can choose if we stand back or act. And it’s that choice that lets things get too far, or stops them. So yes Night was better in components and structure, but not necessarily better overall.

In Night I was forming an envision what it could have felt like to be standing there, his descriptive words painted a picture in my mind. The intent of this book was not to try to experience the Holocaust but to understand, to learn, to know how grave this was to everyone involved. He explained how he felt, what it looked like, the process leading up to it. Additionally he made sure that we could easily comprehend the base of the story, but he also gave us a little room to foresee and visualize. And I absolutely think it worked, I will view the Holocaust differently because of this book. Especially when I look at a number like 6 million and try to imagine that in human deaths, it’s impossible. I can’t imagine even 100 deaths. Elie didn’t focus on the numbers as much, he focused on the people. Their traits, opinions, passions, perspective, and lives. That is what really helps connect people, not a number, but the actual individual human beings. That’s why I think Night did an amazing job at helping us understand.

Overall I can confidently answer that question from before, which one was better to understand the events and details of this trauma? Night did, Elie led us through everything so that we could comprehend everything. Comparatively in his speech he talked more about afterwards, and I think his speech is a great thing to listen to after you read Night. He ties it all together in a beautiful, poetic way. Considering the ending in the book, the speech was great to not only see him, but also to realize what was happening after and during the Holocaust on the other side of the world.

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