Through all of these atrocities, Wiesel found that every cloud has a silver lining. In “The Nazi Party is Formed” by James Masters, he explains how Hitler formed the National Socialist Party from a minute German Workers’ Party. Adolf Hitler joined the German Workers’ Party and immediately began to try and make it succeed. He essentially “took over” recruiting members for the club. On October 16, 1919, one hundred people showed up at the monthly public meeting. In a matter of months, four to be exact, the Workers’ party grew tremendously. By this time, they had 2,000 members. Hitler used the huge turnout to kick-start the party’s propaganda.
In his speech, Adolf outlined the following: the unification of all Germans; the refusal to accept the Treaty of Versailles; a mandate for additional territories for the German citizens; citizenship determined by race (no Jew was to be considered a “true” German); and religious freedom (besides those religions that “infected” the German race).
Hitler was obviously formulating an anti-Semitic plan long before he became the dictator of Germany. Adolf finally decided that in order to gain popularity for his new group, he must create a “powerful, instantly recognizable symbol” (Masters).
He decided on a red swastika with a white background. This is still considered “the most infamous [symbol] in history” (Masters). Hitler decided to call his group the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, better known as the Nazi Party. Hitler’s giant anti-Semitic had small beginnings in a beer hall. Without that beer hall and the German Workers’ Party, the Holocaust may have never happened. If the Holocaust had never taken place, Wiesel would not have been put through awful situations and wouldn’t have ever found the good in the bad. Wiesel shows extreme courage throughout his stay in the concentration camps.
A key event that displayed his courage was the awful march in which the prisoners are required to run for forty miles to the Gleiwitz camp without stopping. During the march, Wiesel decided that the “idea of dying…fascinated [him]” (Wiesel 86). Even though he thought that he was going to turn into a corpse, Wiesel was determined to keep pushing on. He did not care about what was happening in the present because he was only focusing on what was going to be his future. Wiesel’s father was the same way. He never lost hope and encouraged his son to do the same.
A rabbi named Eliahu was searching for his son who he had “lost in the commotion” (Wiesel 90). The son had accompanied Eliahu throughout his stay in the concentration camps. Wiesel misleadingly informs Rabbi Eliahu he has not seen the son. In reality, Wiesel witnessed the young man desert his father, running forward when it seemed Eliahu would not stay alive for the duration of the journey. In contrast, Wiesel would never leave his father alone. He even went as far as asking God for the strength to never run off from his father. This undoubtedly exhibited his everlasting courage during the march and his eternal love for his father.
As always, a negative experience can lead to a positive lesson. Humans can build themselves from negative experiences. We learn to grow from our mistakes, punishments, and faults. Elie Wiesel explains his emotional tragedies and how they’ve made him an all-around better person. In one dreadful instance, Wiesel is forced to get his tooth pulled out by a Jewish dentist in Auschwitz. Wiesel attempts and succeeds to excuse himself from the procedure by telling the dentist he is feeling ill. A few days later, the dentist is executed for “dealing in the prisoners’ gold teeth” (Wiesel 52) to no one’s advantage but his own.
Later, a foreman named Franek tells Wiesel to give his precious gold tooth to him. Elie Wiesel asks his father’s advice, and the father refuses to let him give the tooth to Franek. Wiesel realizes that Franek knows his father’s weak spot, which is his inability to march in formation. Wiesel knows that Franek will chastise his father in order to use Wiesel’s emotions for his benefit. This fault brings Wiesel and his father closer. For hours, Elie Wiesel teaches his father how to march. This scenario is one of the ways that Wiesel learns to grow from his negative experiences.
His father is ridiculed and teased, and instead of fighting back and lowering himself to their level, he decides to bond with his father and better himself. In another situation, Wiesel meets a French girl who works next to him in the warehouse. She is a forced labor inmate and seems to not understand or speak German. One day, Idek (who is the head of Wiesel’s work camp) takes his anger out on Wiesel and continuously lashes him. Later, the French girl slips him bread and tells him something in perfect German. She tells him to keep his anger bottled up and to “bite [his] lips” (Wiesel 53).
She lets him know that liberation will come soon and that he should just wait. Years later, he sees her in Paris and they spend the night reminiscing. This displays the goodness in the human experience through friendship and humanity. The French girl could have chosen to ignore him for fear of getting beaten, or for the fear of being overheard when talking about liberation. But no, she decided to make him feel better and create a sense of love in the dark times of the holocaust. She may have been beaten herself and felt the helplessness and loneliness. The reader is not given this fact, but it is implied.
The last instance that helps Wiesel grow and find the good in the human experience is when the man tried to steal soup during the air raid. During a bombing, a man crawls to the soup pot because of his eternal hunger. Wiesel explains the jealousy felt by him and his comrades, and lets the reader know that “fear is greater than hunger” (Wiesel 59). The man screams in utter sanity of fulfilling some of his hunger, and finally gets shot. After that, Wiesel lets the reader know that he and his companions are no longer afraid of death. They have reached the point to where they accept death; they even may go so far as to welcome it.
In Wiesel’s mind, the reality of staying alive until after the holocaust is in itself a tremendously improbable chance, a stroke of pure luck. We come to realize that he has now grown up and learned to acknowledge his destiny. He is no longer the optimistic, jubilant boy that he was when he first got taken from his home. This exhibits the best of the human experience by showing the reader just how fast someone can mature when they need to. Elie Wiesel experienced the best when he bonded with his father, learned about friendship and humanity, and matured rapidly during his time at Auschwitz.
In Elie Wiesel’s “Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech” on nobelprize. org, Wiesel explains the detrimental damage that the holocaust has done to his mind. He also talks about the many things that his time in the Holocaust made him realize. Much of what he now understood is crucial to being fair and realizing the significance of equality in the human experience. Wiesel decided that he would speak up “whenever . . . human beings endured suffering” (Wiesel). In his speech, Elie Wiesel centers the focus on others. He does not speak about himself and his personal importance.
Wiesel instead brings attention to the “injustice and suffering” (Wiesel) that is calling out for the concern of the world. This shows that Wiesel has gained a new perspective on life from his time spent in the Holocaust. He has experienced the pain and sorrow and is now ready to help others who are going through the same discrimination that he did. Wiesel also explains that he still has faith in God, even though he almost lost it. He told of his decreasing loyalty to Him in his memoir Night. Although the holocaust caused long-lasting damage to Wiesel physically and emotionally, he still took positive ideas away from it.
This demonstrates that even when we, as humans, are put in the absolute worst situations possible, optimism can shine through and create a long-lasting difference in the both our lives and others’. Elie Wiesel is a perfect example of a man who has found something positive and worthwhile in a horrible scenario. He found both companions and enemies in his time spent in the Holocaust. His journey opened his eyes to the many crimes that are taking place around the world. He developed a better relationship with his father and learns about the importance of spending time with loved ones while they are still living.
The memoir, Night, tells humanity about his immense determination to find the best of the human experience in the worst. Works Cited Masters, James. “The History Place – Rise of Hitler: Nazi Party Is Formed. ” The History Place – Rise of Hitler: Nazi Party Is Formed. Web. 06 Nov. 2012. <http://www. historyplace. com/worldwar2/riseofhitler/party. htm>. Wiesel, Elie. “Acceptance Speech. ” Nobel Prize Organization. Web. 06 Nov. 2012. <http://www. nobelprize. org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1986/wiesel-
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