In Night, how does the Nazi plan affect the Jewish community in Sighet?

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scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the first two chapters of Night Wiesel presents a firsthand account of how the stages of Hitler's "Final Solution" or Nazi plan worked in Sighet.  The Jewish community experiences a denial and repossession of their rights gradually.  Hitler and his ministers chose this method carefully because they knew that they would meet with very little resistance if they did not make dramatic changes all at once.

Wiesel writes that his father and other Jewish leaders turned a blind eye to the serious implications of the canceling of each right.  For example, first the Jews of Sighet witness the arrest of Jewish leaders, the closing of synagogues, and the enforcement of wearing a yellow star.  Chlomo (Elie's father) mentions that a star never hurt anyone--it's simply a star.  Unfortunately, his attitude represents the view of many of the Jews and the reason that they willingly housed German and Hungarian soldiers in their homes and then moved to the ghettos.  At the same time, they were not allowed to keep objects of value, and finally, they were deported.

In an interview, Wiesel masterfully explains this dehumanization process on the part of the Nazis by noting that they started by taking away his country, then his city, then his address, then his small objects of worth, then his identity, and finally, his faith (for others--he mentions that their lives or physical beings were the last to go).

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