What does Eliezer’s story in Night mean to you?

Eliezer's story means facing the harsh reality of what totalitarianism and dictatorship can do to a society. Eliezer is changed forever because of the horrors that he experienced during the Holocaust, including the deaths of his mother, sister, and father. When Eliezer is finally set free, he can hardly recognize himself. The war has taken everything from him, including his sense of self, and there is nothing more devastating.

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Simply put, war, totalitarianism and dictatorship lead to broken families, destroyed lives and misery. For me, Eliezer's story means that as an independent nation, we have the ongoing responsibility to fight for liberty in all corners of our world, because the alternative is death and destruction.

The story of what happens to Eliezer and his family is similar to that of what thousands of other families around the world experienced as a result of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. Their family was torn in two as soon as they arrived at Birkenau, with Eliezer's mother and sister being carted off for immediate execution. The prisoners in these camps were stripped of every basic human right—not to mention robbed blind of every asset including, in Eliezer's case, a gold crown on one of his teeth.

There is no end to the atrocities that go on here. Children are hanged, Jews lose their faith to the point that Eliezer is nauseated at the thought of celebrating Rosh Hashanah, and people are chosen for death at the random whims of the soldiers.

To me, in short, this book should be studied by every student, as it provides a personal and powerful tale explaining why these kind of atrocities should never be repeated.

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