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Night by Elie Weisel - A Boy's Life in a Concentration Camp

            "Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times over" (Weisel 34). "Night," by Elie Wiesel, is a memoir about a boy's experience in a concentration camp. The Jews were stripped of everything they had; they were dehumanized. In the matter of a couple weeks, life as they knew it came to halt. It did not matter whether one was weak or strong, male or female, young or old; everyone was just a number. This kind of formative setting will naturally have a major influence on one's identity. in the case of the Holocaust, where the environment lacked sanitation, conditions were horrid, and death loomed around every corner, the setting cultivated empathy in its victims.
             The Holocaust acted as an equalizer across social and economic statuses, which created empathy among people of different classes. The first to be transported were the foreign Jews. Most of the foreigners were dirt poor, most notably, Moishe the Beadle. The only reason for Moishe the Beadle's return is to warn the other Jews of the danger that is before them. Before the transport, Moishe is unimportant to the community. "He stayed out of people's way. His presence bothered no one" (Weisel 3). But, after coming face to face with death, and witnessing the horror of the Nazi regime, he began to knock on his neighbors' doors and warn everyone of what he saw; He dedicated himself to protecting and helping others. For, the near death experience that Moishe had gone through showed him how quickly and easily one can lose everything he or she has. And, Moishe did not want anyone else to suffer as he had. It is this that caused him to worry for the well being of his neighbors. Even though the others had not yet experienced the concentration camps, Moishe can still relate to them; he was in same naive mindset as the rest of town before the deportation. And, now he is trying to protect them from the same ignorance that caused him pain.

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