Night – Fathers And Sons Essay, Research Paper
Night Essay- Fathers and Sons
During World War II, millions of Jews went to work in concentration camps.
Many were separated completely from their families. And some who were not still did not
do their best to stay together. In the book Night, by Elie Wiesel there are some instances
of this involving fathers and sons. In all of these examples the son was cruel to his father.
Although there is never a good reason to be unkind to one of the people who created you,
these sons had to think of their own survival, which was threatened at this desperate time
The first example in the book was found on page 60. One of the pipel, who were
young children under the Oberkapo, beat his own father because the father did not make
his bed properly. When his father cried, the boy told him that if he didn t stop, he would
no longer receive his ration of bread. The reason behind this vicious treatment of the
child s own father was probably that if he didn t treat all prisoners equally, including his
own family members, he probably would have been killed for not doing his job. His own
survival was threatened and the only thing he could do was follow his orders.
A second example of cruel treatment of a father was found on page 87. This was
during the prisoners march from Buna to Buchenwald. When they were traveling, Rabbi
Eliahou came up to Eliezer and asked if he had seen his son. Eliezer lied and said that he
hadn t. He didn t want the man to know the real story. In reality, the rabbi s son had seen
his old, weak father drop back in the line and did not want to risk his own safety by
slowing down for him. If he had, the guards probably would have shot him. This was a
time when you had to think about yourself and only yourself. You weren t being selfish-
you were staying alive.
The last example was on page 106. Eliezer s father had contracted dysentery and
was slowing dying. He could no longer get up from his bed to go to the bathroom, and he
didn t want to eat. The only thing he wanted to do was drink water, which was only
worsening his condition. When one of the guards became upset with Mr. Wiesel, who
would not stop calling for his son to bring him water, he hit him in the head with a
truncheon. Eliezer just stood aside and watched. He had to have known that this would
be the last thing his father could take, because his life had already been hanging in the
balance. But Eliezer did not want to take a chance at getting hit himself, so he just sat
there and basically watched the man kill his father.
All of these examples show terrible things that sons did to their fathers. But all of
them shared the same reason for doing what they did. They couldn t depend on anyone to
help them. Their fathers couldn t either. In the camps it was every man for himself. Even
when it came to family. It is a very sad truth, but it is just that- the truth.