How does deportation change Moshe?


Elie Wiesel

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mkcapen1's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #1)

Moshe the Beadle was a happy and spiritual beggar.  People loved him in the community.  The order came for the non-citizens to be deported.  Moshe was taken by train to a place where they unloaded him and the people and they had to dig their graves.  He witnessed people being shot.  Bodies were thrown on top of one another.  Moesha was shot but it only grazed him and tossed into a grave.  He hid pretending he was dead.  He saw babies being tossed into the air and shot.

When he escaped he returned to the city and began to tell everyone what he had seen.  He desperately tried to warn the people but no one believed him.  He had lost his faith and was very unhappy.  Everyone thought he was crazy.

akannan's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #2)

When Moshe is deported, he is witness to the true horror of the Nazis.  He understands, probably before anyone else in Sighet, what "the Final Solution" really entails.  There can be no denial in Moshe because he sees it, witnessing it with his own eyes.  When he comes back to tell the villagers of Sighet what he has seen, they dismiss him as a crank and someone who has always been an outsider and one who is wrong.  It is the combination of seeing the Nazis' lack of humanity and then experiencing the emotional blight at the hands of those considered his friends and townspeople that compels Moshe to run away, leaving both Sighet and those in it to their brutal fate.  In the story of Moshe, Wiesel paints a hauntingly effective portrait that details the real horror of the Holocaust was how the victims mirrored many of the abusive and denying practices of the perpetrators.

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