How are the Germans Portrayed in Elie Wiesel’s Book?


In the book Night by Elie Wiesel, Germans have been portrayed in various perspectives. Elie betrayed himself, his customs, values, his father and religion in his mind. Betrayal was a main life aspect for Jews in the entire Holocaust, particularly Elie. Elie felt deceived by the Germans. This is because Germans treated Jews as if they were not human beings. They took away the Jew’s self-esteem. The main hero also experienced as betrayed by his god, who permitted Elie and his companion Jews to be handled in that way by the Germans. Thus, betrayal started a sequence of insignificant occurrences in Elie’s life and impacted him at the time of the Holocaust and henceforth.


Betrayal was established to Elie in the period the Germans assumed the Jew’s towns and homes. They forced the Jews out of their societies and the places they called homes and extorted them to live in the concentration camps. Therefore, the Germans betrayed the Jews by withdrawing their lives, as well as depriving them of their self-worth, values and humility. Thus, they changed completely from who they were initially. Germans assumed everything of worth from the Jews. They only permitted them to maintain objects that did not have importance or value. Germans took shoes, gold fillings and valuables from the Jews community. The Jews felt betrayed by Germans as they did not only abstracted tangible elements, but also respect, values, pride strength, as well as health. In addition, Elie also suffered betrayal from his God. This happened due to the fact that Elie felt discarded because his own god permitted Germans to torture, overwork, exploit, kill and burn the Jews who considered being so steadfast to their god.

Additionally, Germans are portrayed as cruel. The initial unfeeling cruelty Eliezer practices is the one of Nazis. When the Germans initially perform, they do not appear immoral in any way. When Eliezer narrates, their first imprints of the Germans were the most reassuring moments they had experienced. Their attitude regarding their masses was reserved, but polite. Therefore, many elements of the Holocaust are unfathomable. Perhaps the most problematic to comprehend is how humans could so heartlessly slaughter hundreds of thousands of innocent fatalities. Wiesel highpoints this incomprehensible disaster by drawing the Nazis in concentration camps first as individuals. The memoir changes regarding focus camps and viewing the brutal carnage that they were dedicated.

Besides, Night demonstrates that Germans cruelty breeds brutality. Instead of bolstering one another in periods of hardships, the prisoners react to different situations by turning away from one another. The culmination of the novel is when a Kapo highlights to Eliezer that every human being has to struggle for himself and should not think about anyone else apart from himself. Therefore, there are no brothers, no fathers or friends but instead a man for himself. That is the main lesson that was introduced by the Germans to the Jews. They were also taught that everyone dies and lives for himself alone, and there is no need of caring for their neighbors. It is important that a Kapo articulates these comments to the narrator since Kapos were the prisoners positioned in control of other convicts. The prisoners enjoyed a comparatively better though still an awful life in the camps. They assisted the Nazi and often behaved cruel regarding prisoners in their custody. At the start of the fifth unit, Eliezer denotes them as functionaries of death. The Kapos’ location symbolizes the way in which the Holocaust’s cruelty raised inhumanity in fatalities, turning individuals against one another as the self-defense became the uppermost virtue.

The Germans are portrayed as colonialists. In the spring of 1944, the Hungarian government cascades into the Fascists hands, and the following day the German armies inhabit Hungary. In spite of the Jews’ confidence that Nazi anti-Semitism could be imperfect to the capital city, the Germans soon migrate into the Sighet.

Moreover, the Germans are oppressive. A sequence of increasingly ruthless actions is forced onto the Jews. The society leaders are detained, the Jewish treasures are impounded, and entire Jews are obligated to garb yellow stars. In the end, the Jews are restricted to small ghettos, parked together into slender streets behind the barbed-wire barriers.

Germans are portrayed as very inhuman. Eliezer is surprised that human beings could be that cruel to their fellow men. The first segment of the account portrays the whole town of Sighet in renunciation. At the moment when the foreign Jews are extradited, the town maintains everything glowing. When Moshe the Beadle reappears and reports Nazi outrages, the town maintains that all was well. Additionally, the time the Fascists overtake Hungary and the SS start patrolling the town, the city maintains that all is in order. There is the depiction of the time when Martha, a prior servant, provides asylum, even after major towns had been ousted. The people in Sighet could not understand that other persons can be that evil to discriminate and mistreat their fellow human beings.


In conclusion, the Germans have been portrayed as having negative traits against their fellow human beings. In the book Night by Elie Wiesel, Germans have been portrayed in various perspectives. They appear as betrayers who have deceived their fellow Jews instead of treating the Jews with humility they deserve by virtue of being the humans. Germans have been portrayed as cruel, oppressive, and inhuman.

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