Night Study Guide

Night By Eliezer Wiesel

Night is the story of Eliezer, a Jewish boy who survives a concentration camp. Deeply religious, Eliezer follows a rabbi who believes that faith is sustained not by answers, but by questions asked of God.

Elizier lives in Sighet, a town which is warned repeatedly of the coming of the Germans, but ignores the warnings. Moshe the Beadle first runs through the town warning everyone after escaping from the Germans. The radio announced the Gestapo's arrival, and even when the Germans arrived, no one thought anything would happen to them -- then they were forced into two ghettos, and shortly after, transported to Auschwitz.

Elizier struggles not to be separated from his father, but is; later, he is forced to become his father's caretaker as his father's health declines. He begins to believe that his father's continued existence is a threat to his own life, and realizes that the stronger his desire to live becomes, the less he values the lives his fellow inmates.

Finally, Elizier is transferred to the work camps, his life reduced to nothing but the avoidance of violence and the search for food. The Soviets come and attack the camp, and Elizer is forced on a death march in which he and his fellows are put on a path back toward Germany, and anyone who can't keep up gets shot. Of the 100 Jews in his wagon, only 12 survive.

When he arrives at the camps, he is instructed to go toward the baths, and desperately wants a bath, but his father (whom he is still caretaking for) sinks into the snow and cannot move. At last, Elizier snaps and curses his father's existence. He leaves his father behind and goes to the barracks to rest, and his father dies shortly afterward.

Only a few weeks later, the camp Elizier is in is liberated, as the Jews unite and kill the SS officers that remain; the American tanks arrive that evening.

Need more help? Read questions and answers from fellow students below. If you're question hasn't already been asked, ask it now.

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What do the jews of sighet know about the outside world in 1941? how do they respond to what they know?

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Describe the conditions first at the Birkenau reception center, then at Auschwitz, and later at Buna. How does Wiesels relationship with his father change during this time?