Do Elie's experiences cause him to lose all faith? And who else besides Elie lost their faith?please give examples/quotes with page numbers

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

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Elie Wiesel lost his faith in the goodness and justice of God. Through the horrors of the concentration camps, Wiesel experienced a loss of faith. He was so devastated by the gas chambers, the crematories, and the hangings until he felt a part of him died:   

"Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my god and my soul and turned my dreams to dust..."(pg 32).

Innocent Jews were tortured in the most horrendous ways possible. Elie himself was starved. He and father were barely surviving. Elie witnessed his father being beaten unmercifully by not only the Nazis, but also the other Jews would beat his father because he could not go outside to relieve himself.

Elie witnessed a Jewish father and son kill one another over a piece of bread. This disturbed Elie so much until he gave up all hope and stopped believing in the goodness of God. Elie lost his praise:

"Why should I bless his name? The eternal, lord of the universe, the all-powerful and terrible was silent. What had I to thank him for?" (31).

Elie lost faith in God's justice. He watched innocent Jews die without God's intervention. How could God be fair when innocent Jews were being killed by the millions:  

"I did not deny god's existence, but I doubted his absolute justice..."(pg 42).

Watching innocent Jews being consumed by flames scarred Elie forever. He knew that the Nazis were wrong. The Nazis were evil. There was nothing that Elie could do to change his family's situation. He lost his mother and sister in the flames:

"Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever..."(pg 32). 

In the end, Elie was reduced to a skeleton of a human being. He was so starved until he could only think about food. He did not even weep when his father died. He was even relieved in a way to know that his father would no longer be a burden. He stopped praying. He became so distant from god. He questioned god:

"Where is the divine Mercy? Where is God? How can I believe, how can anyone believe, in this merciful God?" (73). 

Elie was not the only one to lose his faith. Even the most devout religious Jews begin to lose their faith.  Akiba Drumer loses his faith when he does not make the selection. A rabbi from Poland loses his faith. He had always recited the Talmud from memory, but he concludes that God is no longer with them. "For some, losing their faith in God is akin to losing their will to live." No doubt, it would have been near to impossible to keep the faith in the conditions the Jews faced in the concentration camps. 

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