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Why are the prisoners so angry with the newly arrived jews?

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bonnieserpico | eNoter

Posted May 20, 2013 at 6:21 PM via web

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Why are the prisoners so angry with the newly arrived jews?

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted May 20, 2013 at 10:41 PM (Answer #2)

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Why are the prisoners so angry with the newly arrived Jews?

The Jewish prisoners are angry with the newly arrived Jews for various reasons. The most important reason as to why the prisoners are angry with the newly arrived Jews is due to fact that the war is not ending. If new Jewish people are arriving, that means the outside world does not know about the terrible things the Jewish prisoners are experiencing.  

When new Jewish arrivals come into the concentration camps, it causes the prisoners to lose all hope. Hope is all that they have. They hope the war will end. They hope that other countries will come to their aid. When newly arrived Jews enter the camps, the previous prisoners become angry because other countries are not trying to stop Hitler and his German Nazis.  

In Night, chapter three, the prisoners express their angry sentiments with the new arrivals. In particular, in chapter three, a prisoner lashes out at the new arrivals:

"Shut up, you moron, or I’ll tear you to pieces! You should have hanged yourselves rather than come here. Didn’t you know what was in store for you here in Auschwitz? You didn’t know? In 1944?"

Truly, this prisoner yells at the new arrivals and calls them morons for not knowing how terrible the conditions are in the concentration camps. He thinks they should have chosen death by suicide rather than coming to the camps. 

Wiesel confirms that the new arrivals did not know what was up ahead in the camps: 

True. We didn’t know. Nobody had told us. [The prisoner] couldn’t believe his ears. His tone became even harsher:

Over there. Do you see the chimney over there? Do you see it? And the flames, do you see them?" (Yes, we saw the flames.) Over there, that’s where they will take you. Over there will be your grave. You still don’t understand? You sons of bitches. Don’t you understand anything? You will be burned! Burned into a cinder! Turned to ashes! (3.25-27)

This particular prisoner was shocked that new arrivals had no idea about the crematories. The new arrivals were just as shocked when they learned what was to happen to them. 

It was 1944 and the war should be over. Some prisoners had been experiencing the horror of the concentration camps for too long. No doubt, the prisoners were angry. The camps were filled with starvation and crematories. Death existed everywhere for the Jews. 

Clearly, the prisoners are angry because more innocent people will die. Many of the prisoners have lost their strength and sense of hope. The prisoners cannot help but express their angry sentiments  over what is taking place. The camps are so filled with death until the existing prisoners react harshly to the new arrivals. The existing prisoners cannot believe that the new arrivals have no idea how horrible the conditions are in the concentration camps. 

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kezze | Student , Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted May 20, 2013 at 9:04 PM (Answer #1)

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The prisoners are angry that the new Jews have arrived because they think they should have known better and had a way of getting away since it is 1944. When they first arrive, they are given advice. Elizer is told to say he is 18 and not 14, and his father is supposed to say he is 40 and not 50. This advice will keep them alive. Some of the other prisoners there are not as helpful. They are angry that prisoners are still being brought there. They think they should have known better. Even when the new prisoners say they had no choice, the old-timers get angry. "Shut up, you moron, or I'll tear you to pieces! You should have hanged yourselves rather than come here. Didn't you know what was in store for you here in Auschwitz? You didn't know? In 1944?" (ch 3) This anger is a result of the fact that they despise that prisoners are still being brought to Auschwitz. It means that people still do not know what is happening to them. The outside world does not know what is hapenning. Every new transport of prisoners makes them lose a little bit more hope.

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