In the book Night, Chapter 3, what was Elie Wiesel's first impression of Auschwitz after leaving Birkenau?

Expert Answers
mlsldy3 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Elie coming to Auschwitz is the beginning of big changes for him. None of the Jews knew what waited for them there. It was the beginning of a nightmare for Elie.

Elie's first impression upon coming to Auschwitz, is that it was better that Birkenau. He says that he saw two story cement buildings instead of wood barracks, and there was even a couple of small gardens. Once of the train, he realizes just how wrong he was. His mother and sister is taken away from him and his father, never to be seen again. Elie is happy that he and his father get to stay together, but he has no idea how this is going to change him forever. The first night they are there, they see a big fire and the German officers throwing babies into it. This act will haunt Elie the rest of this life. This is the first point where Elie begins to become angry with God. While he is at Auschwitz, Elie loses all his faith in God, by the horrible things he witnesses. The image of fire, now become a symbol of the darkness in Elie. 

"All that was left of me was a shape that resembled me. My soul had been invaded and devoured-by a black flame", this quote shows us that there is a darkness in Elie now. The atrocities of what is happening to him, have forced the young boy to face things no one should ever have to face. 

The quote that always sticks out to me in the book is:

"Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God himself. Never."

This should be a lesson to all of us. Never should we forget the horrible tragedy that happened to these innocent people and their families. Never.

Read the study guide:

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question