In the story, Night by Elie Wiesel, why didnt the towns people believe what Moshe the Beadle told them about the deports ?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The previous post did a nice job in addressing Moshe being silenced.  Another explanation could underscore one of the critical themes of the work.  Wiesel contends that one of the worst aspects of the Holocaust was the dehumanization of the victims by the victims.  In the drive for survival, Wiesel suggests that bonds of all kinds were severed.  The dehumanization practiced by the Nazis on their victims were replications between victims.  Moshe the Beadle is one such example.  He was seen as "different" and slightly off of the mainstream by the townspeople of Sighet.  This made it so easy to dismiss what he had to say in silencing his voice.  The irony in him being right is not missed, as the reader understands that when anyone's voice is silenced, the worst aspects of the Holocaust are replicated.

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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In the novel Night by Elie Weisel, the townspeople had originally discounted Moishe the Beadle. He was considered odd or eccentric. Elie was one of the few people who recognized his worth prior to the deportation of the Jews. However, having survived an attempted murder, Moishe came back to Sighet, and due to the affect of his experiences he was perceived as even more peculiar. It was therefore very easy for the townspeople to discount the terrible truths he was try to tell them. Let’s face it, the story Moishe had to tell was grim beyond compare. Who would want to listen and believe the tales of such atrocities? It was easier for the townspeople to dismiss Moishe as crazy than it was to acknowledge the very real evil insanity that was about to overtake them.

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