One’s perspective of the Holocaust is usually one of horror at the vast scope of the crimes against humanity, particularly the Jewish people, by the Nazis. We see the pictures of the camps, the gas chambers, the ovens, the mass graves, and wonder how such a thing could happen. We shudder at the idea of the physical suffering that occurred.
Night takes the focus off of physical suffering. While there is some description of Elie’s hunger, most of the emphasis is on the spiritual effect of his imprisonment. At one point he actually says that the Nazis “murdered my God forever.” This moves the reader’s perspective away from the physical, showing another side of what such dehumanizing treatment does to people.