In Night, what do we learn about Eliezer based on his descriptions of Moshe the Beadle?

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

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One of the most overwhelming elements gained about Eliezer in his recollection of Moshe the Beadle is precisely that:  His power to recollect.  While his experience might have desired to wipe out his memory of life before the death camps, his mere act of remembering is resistance.  Eliezer does not succumb to the tendency of failing to recall life before Auschwitz.  Rather, in his act of memory, one sees resistance against authority in constructing a life that others in the position of power wanted to remove.  The story of Moshe also brings to light how individuals treat one another.  The idea that the true terror of the Holocaust was not merely the Nazis silencing their victims, but that this lack of respect for humanity was perpetrated by victims against other victims is shown through the village's treatment of Moshe.  When Moshe comes back to warn the people of Sighet of what he has seen, what he had experienced, the scorn, dismissiveness, and lack of validation that he experiences reflects how cruelty is something that cuts across all ethnic lines and all constructions of division.  In this, Wiesel is unparalleled in bringing out that one of the most compelling moral and ethical lessons of the Holocaust was to never engage in the practice of silencing voices.

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