Why are the warning of "horrible things to come" from Moshe the Beadle not taken seriously? Are there other warnings?

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

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One of the reasons why Moshe's warnings are not taken seriously is because of the community's indifference to Moshe.  He is not entirely respected by the community, despite his role as a spiritual adviser.  This dismissing of what he sees and what he predicts will happen identifies a critical theme that Wiesel emphasizes throughout the work.  The sin of indifference and silencing voices is morally reprehensible.  He argues that this becomes the lasting sin of the Holocaust:  The behaviors of the abusers become replicated in the actions of the abused, completing a dehumanizing cycle.  The silencing of voices that the Nazis perpetrated was demonstrated in how the people of Sighet silenced and "banished" Moshe the Beadle.  While Wiesel is understandably condemning of the Nazis, he also is very quick to point out that there were individuals of Jewish faith who committed similar abhorrent acts to one another.  Similar behavior can be seen with the silencing and abuse of Madame Schachter, who suggests the terminal fate which awaits them all.  Part of this silencing of voices was done out of denial of the horrific truth that confronted those who were victimized through the Holocaust.  However, Wiesel's adamant belief that silence and indifference empowers the aggressors in all forms is represented through the treatment of characters such as Moshe.

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