Fifty years after the Holocaust, we must still study its horrors because of the devouring effects it had on millions of innocent people, and because the backward practices that were demonstrated in that brutality must never again be repeated. In the book Night, by Elie Weisel, the author tells of the unthinkable tortures and sickening conditions that he was forced to endure as a Jew at the Auschwitz, Buna, and Birkenau death camps. Upon entering the death camps, the Jews were selected into two groups. One was viewed as a workforce for the Nazis, but the other group of humans was viewed as weak or unuseful to their repulsive cause. While Elie and his father were selected for the first group, his mother and younger sister were sorted into the second group of people, all of whom were immediately murdered. To be shown that his own death was inevitable, Elie was forced to look several other prisoners in the face as they were tortured and hung, or sent to crematories to be burned.
" For the first time, I felt a revolt rise up in me. Why should I bless [ God's ] name? The Eternal, Lord of the Universe, the All-Powerful and Terrible, was silent. What had I to thank Him for?" He was driven to question his faith in God and his want to live.
The bloodshed that is represented in this book must never again stain the memory of our world.
If we study the effects of this intolerable mass- murder, we will be able to make ourselves and others more aware of what cannot be simply labeled as right or wrong, but what is actually humane or purely evil. Through our understanding, we can ready ourselves and future generations to resist the jealousy, racism, and pure barbarism that was demonstrated by the Nazis.
"Around us, everyone was weeping. Someone began to recite the Kaddish, the prayer for the dead. I do not know if it has ever happened before, in the long history of Jews, that people have ever recited the prayer for the dead for themselves." Only through hearing these painfilled testimonies of devastation and loss will we be able to prepare ourselves to resist this inhumanity in the years to come.