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What are positve lessons of the Holocaust that Wiesel hints at in Night?

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nickr | Salutatorian

Posted January 22, 2013 at 12:56 AM via web

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What are positve lessons of the Holocaust that Wiesel hints at in Night?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 22, 2013 at 6:11 AM (Answer #1)

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The key positive lesson to emerge from this horrendous account of what the Holocaust meant for Jews is the message that humans must never forget the depths to which they have sunk. One of the most powerful passages comes just afte Eli arrives at Auschwitz with his father and they contemplate the chimneys with the smoke rising from them. Eli writes a kind of prose poem talking about how that moment is carved onto his heart and soul for all eternity:

Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed.

Never shall I forget that smoke.

Never shall I forget the small faces of the children whose bodies I saw transofrmed into smoke under a silent sky.

The positive to come from such an experience is that the author calls us to never forget and to never erase the reality of man's depravity from our memory. By so doing, humans can remember and make sure that such a dark chapter of human history is not repeated. Wiesel makes it very clear that humans must never forget the Holocaust, because to forget it, and to pretend that it didn't happen, only would allow similar atrocities to occur once more. This is the main positive message that emerges from this text: by remembering, humans ensure that hopefully there will not be a repeat episode.

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