- Night begins with an account of how Elie Wiesel came to study Jewish mysticism with his teacher Moshe the Beadle. In many ways, Night tells the story of Elie's changing relationship with God and religion as he struggles to make sense of the horror of the Holocaust.
- When Moshe the Beadle first recounts the story of his escape from the Gestapo, the people of Sighet—Elie included—refuse to believe it. Death goes on to become one of the most important themes in the novel, as it touches every character, stripping Elie of all his family and friends.
- Hitler's racial cleansing program was an attempt to strip Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, and other non-Aryans of their humanity. Nazis subjected their prisoners to the worst torture imaginable, slaughtering millions in the name of racial purity. These acts demonstrated the essential inhumanity of the Nazi regime.