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Why did Eliezer lie to stein, his relative, about stein’s family? Discuss...

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cye93 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 3, 2012 at 8:06 AM via web

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  1. Why did Eliezer lie to stein, his relative, about stein’s family? Discuss whether or not you think he was morally right.

My question is from the book Night by Elie Wiesel.

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 3, 2012 at 10:58 AM (Answer #1)

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Your assignment is asking for you to give your opinion about whether or not Elie's lie to his distant relative Stein was morally right. Consider the situation as described in Night and draw your own conclusion, based on how you interpret the events.

Elie and his father had been in Auschwitz for eight days when Stein found them and explained that he had no news about his wife and sons since he had been transported to the concentration camp two years earlier. Elie didn't know anything about the family but told Stein that they had received news and that all were well. Stein wept with relief and gratitude upon hearing the good news.

In the following days, Stein returned to visit, sometimes bringing bread for Elie to eat - probably from his own small ration. As he encouraged Elie to eat, he told them, "The only thing that keeps me alive...is to know that Reizel and the little ones are still alive. Were it not for them, I would give up."

When a transport arrives from his home town, he goes with certainty that someone in the group will have recent news about his family. Elie and his father "never saw him again. He had been given the news. The real news."

You must decide for yourself if it was morally right to give him hope by lying.

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