In his book, Night, Elie Wiesel spoke about his experience as a young Jewish boy in the Nazi concentration camps. During this turbulent time period, Elie described the horrifying events that he lived through and how that affected the relationship with his father. Throughout the book, Elie and his father’s relationship faced many obstacles. In the beginning, Elie and his father have much respect for one another and at the end of the book, that relationship became a burden and a feeling of guilt.
Their relationship took a great toll on them throughout their journey in the concentration camps.
As the story begins, Wiesel said, “My father was a cultured man, rather unsentimental. He rarely displayed his feelings, not even with his family, and was more involved with the welfare of others than with that of his own kind”. Chlomo, Elie’s father, was well respected in the Jewish community of Sighet. In Sighet, numerous members of the community came to meet with him for many unknown reasons.
Wiesel felt that his father devoted too much time to make others happy and not enough to time with his own family.
When Elie decided to take his studies of religion into greater exploration, his father dismissed his idea and claimed that he was too young. This is proof that the two did not have a strong bond but many different views of how to do things in life. Their lives took a turn for the worst when the Wiesel family were forcefully taken and placed into cattle cars to Auschwitz, a concentration camp. Elie’s view began to change and he started to see his father as someone who he admires and did not want to lose. As the family arrived at Birkenau they are given the order “Women and children to the left.
Men to the right. ” Elie was young and could have gone with either his mother and sister or father, but instead he decided to stay with his father who would have stayed all by himself if Elie had not joined him. At this moment, he realized that he must hold on to his father in order for them to survive this nightmare. On their arrival at the camp, Elie’s father has an attack of colic and asked where the toilets where located. The Gypsy who was in charge, punched his father with such intensity that he fell down and squirmed back to his place in line. “I stood petrified. What had happed to me?
My father had just been struck, in front of me, and I had not even blinked. I had watched and kept silent. ” Wiesel goes through a rollercoaster of emotions when dealing with his father. At times, Chlomo became his only hope and the only reason that he did not die. At other times, he felt that his father was a burden and was pulling him down. He couldn’t march well or keep up with the others. Through all of this despair and anguish their bond became stronger than ever. When the Russians were close to Buna the Germans rounded up all the prisoners they could and evacuated the camp.
Elie was in the infirmary due to an infection on his foot, but all he could think about was staying close to his father. They had already suffered and endured so much that it was not the time to be separated. After many days of running, marching, and a long train ride under horrendous weather they reached Buchenwald. By then Elie’s father was already sick and weak. The sirens began to wail and they were chased into the blocks. At this point, sleep was all that mattered to Elie, not his father. When Wiesel awoke the next morning he realized that he had forgotten his father and went out to look for him.
He thought if he didn’t find him he would be able to use all his strength to continue his fight for survival…“Instantly, I felt ashamed, ashamed of myself forever”. Before his father died, Elie only heard his name “Eliezer”. Wiesel became haunted by this experience and tells the horrific events of the Holocaust hoping that no other person will ever have to experience a situation with their family like this again. In the end, Elie Wiesel who survived this terrible experience of the Holocaust learned that even in tough times small indifferences don’t seem to matter.