Night Questions and Answers
by Elie Wiesel

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Where are examples of dehumanization in Night?

Where are examples of dehumanization in Night?

An example of dehumanization in Night is the police invasion of Sighet, when police raided the Jews' homes, set strict curfews, and forced all Jews to wear yellow stars. The dehumanization of the Jews continued as they were shuttled to ghettos and eventually to concentration camps. In the camps, Wiesel describes public beatings and hangings that contributed to a pervading sense of inhumanity. Ultimately, Night is filled with countless examples of dehumanization, as the Holocaust itself was an exercise in the mass dehumanization and extermination of millions of people.

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Dehumanization is a theme that is consistently present throughout Night. The Nazis enacted countless horrors upon the people they imprisoned and executed in the concentration camps and ghettos during the Holocaust. Examples of the dehumanization in the actions of the Nazis throughout the book include the systematic forced relocation of Jews from their homes into ghettos and concentration camps, the extermination of people via mostly gas chambers and mass shootings, the beatings and torture of prisoners, the tattooing of numbers onto concentration camp prisoners, the separating of families and loved ones, the enslavement of the people in the camps, and the starvation and neglect of prisoners.

Additional examples of dehumanization in Night include the treatment of Jewish people prior to the mass executions such as the creations of ghettos, forced identification, and political and social discrimination. Once the Holocaust was in full force, examples of dehumanization include the several...

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lisa-mc | Student

Dehumanization is an act or process that strips away the dignity and individuality of people. In Elie Wiesel's Night, this process begins in the first chapter, as the Hungarian police invade the homes of the Jews, seizing their valuables, establishing curfews and forcing them to wear yellow stars. They then herd them into the ghetto they have constructed for them, and later into cattle cars to be transported to the camps. This process breaks down people's identities because, at each stage, they make the decision that they can bear it. That it can't get worse. And then it does, as little by little, the Jews are being forced to let go of so much of their identities. When they arrive at the camps, they are stripped of their names and tattooed with the number they will become known by. In the camps they are beaten, starved, and forced to work. They are reduced to trying to avoid selection for the gas chambers, even as their friends and neighbors are taken to their deaths. They are forced to defecate in their beds for fear of being shot for moving around at night. They watch other prisoners being hung or shot. When the SS is forced by the approaching Red Army to abandon the camp, they force the Jews on a march, in the dead of winter, half-starved and barely clothed. The SS call them "filthy dogs" and yell at them to run faster, shooting anyone who stops. A son leaves his father behind to save himself, as children and old people are trampled to death. Wiesel reminds us that these individuals were all once loving families and good neighbors, who have been dehumanized and reduced to the basic instincts of survival. These were people just like us; we could be them.

lindzc | Student

Dehumanization is shown when the Jewish people are threatened on the train and told if one of them runs the rest will "be shot like the dogs you are". Another is the concept that most traumatic events occur on or during major religious holidays.  This not only dehumanizes but lends an ideal of insignificance the beliefs of the entire culture.  When Elie is tattooed with his identification number would be another example of dehumanization.  The son beating his father to death on the train also shows the dehumanization in action.  Everyone is at risk, starvation and instinctual survival have predominated even familial relations.