The book "Night" was written by Elieser Wiesel, a survivor of the Holocaust. In his book, he expresses how his world changed from peaceful mornings to countless nights of pure, bloody Hell. He explores, in extraordinary detail, the subject of self-preservation. For many, the only way to survive the Holocaust was to rely on one individual -- yourself.
First, the reader must know what self-preservation is. Self-preservation is the preservation or protection of oneself from harm or destruction. The victims of the Holocaust did whatever they could to do just that. In fact, the need for food was so great, many would commit murder just to fill shrunken stomachs, even if it meant killing one's own father for a single scrap of bread.
For many, the food shortage wasn't the only problem, but also the cruelty of the S.S. guards. Spontaneous beatings and outbursts of brutality were regular occurrences in the camps in which Elieser was incarcerated. A prisoner would not intervene when another prisoner was beaten, no matter how close the two were. For if he did, it would mean a sound thrashing, or a very unpleasant death.
During Elieser's time at the camps, he witnessed several prisoners attempting to leave behind close friends, fathers, and sons who were too weak to carry on. One instance occurred on the Death March to Buchenwald. The grueling pace left many dead on the snow-covered ground. A son used this mass confusion to his advantage. He ran as far and as fast as he could, away from his father. Elieser supposed that the boy saw his father as a dead weight, a ball and chain. Elieser vowed never to leave his father's side.
During the Holocaust, over six million people were tortured and murdered. They all had one thing in common: They were Jews. In a way, the non-Jews who stood by and let this happen were self-preservationists as well. Nothing was happening to them, so why get involved? This reminds me of a poem I once read:.