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NightBy: Elie Wiesel

Identity Religion

" At that moment in time, all that mattered to me was mydaily bowl of soup, my crust of stale bread. The bread, the soup—those were my entire life. I was nothing but a body. Perhaps evenless: a famished stomach. The stomach alone was measuring time."(52)Elie has changed so much that he has no hopes, dreams, or plans. He only wants to fill his stomach by any means possible.

"From that moment on, everything happened very quickly. The race toward death had begun.First edict: Jews were prohibited form leaving their residences for three days, under penalty of death.The same day, the Hungarian police burst into every Jewish home in town: a Jew was henceforth forbidden to own gold, jewelry, or any valuables. Everything had to be handed over to the authorities, under penalty of death. Three days later, a new decree: every Jew had to wear the yellow star." (1.66-72)

"In the afternoon, they made us line up. Three prisoners brought a table and some medical instruments. We were told to roll up our left sleeves and file past the table. The three "veteran" prisoners, needles in hand, tattooed numbers on our left arms. I became A-7713. From then on, I had no other name." (3.143)That day he was stripped of his identity. He "had no other name". He became known only by the number he had tattooed on his skin.

""Abruptly, our doors opened. Strange-looking creatures, dressed in striped jackets and black pants, jumped into the wagon. Holding flashlights and sticks, they began to strike at us left and right […]." (1.60).When Elie first sees the camp prisoners, he describes them as "creatures". They have all lost their identities, they were all dressed the same in strange clothes. Within one night he will become one of these creatures

"Faster! Faster! Move, you lazy good-for-nothings!" the Hungarian police were screaming.That was when I began to hate them, and my hatred remains our only link today. They were our first oppressors. They were the first faces of hell and death" (19).The police of Hungary saw the Jews as animals and treated them like animals.

The Jews of Sighet were slowly starting to lose their identities and their humanity. They lose most of their freedom and possesions. All they had left was their Jewish Heritage


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