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Night by Elie Wiesel. Adolf Hitler ’ s Genocide. Genocide: the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group. His goal was to exterminate all Jewish people.

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by Elie Wiesel

Adolf Hitler’s Genocide

Genocide: the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group.

His goal was to exterminate all Jewish people.

In March of 1944, the German army took over Hungary, and the holocaust reached that region

The Nazis murdered over 560,000 Hungarian Jews

Hitler; his army

Auschwitz Concentration Camp

Auschwitz was the worst concentration camp- over 1,300,000 Jewish deaths took place here.

This particular concentration camp was known for the burning chambers “furnace” as a form of extermination.

Women being filed into Auschwitz; an actual furnace from the camp


Learn from the Past:

A Shrine to the Many Dead

about the author
Born on September 30, 1928, in Sighet, a small town in Transylvania

Elie and his family were sent to the holocaust in May, 1944, where he was separated from his mom and sisters.

He and father remained together throughout their experience.

About the Author
  • Elie Wiesel

Wiesel’s message of peace has inspired many

Elie Wiesel’s Strong Connection with the Jewish Community

Elie Wiesel’s Novel, Night

His father was involved with the community

Wiesel studied the Torah (1st five books in the Old Testament)

Wiesel studied the Talmud (oral law) and the Cabbala

Wiesel’s book was published in 3 different languages, and he also published a book in more detail of his experience.

While the book Night is about Wiesel’s life, it is not necessarily considered an autobiography

He changes facts to make his characters different, making this a fictional story.

Because of this, his story is considered more of a memoir than an actual novel.

Wiesel now lives in New York City as an American citizen.

  • Genre of Night

Malnutrition and starvation were common in the concentration camps

This story is about Elie Wiesel, a young teenage, Jewish boy who is a survivor of the holocaust.

The story takes place in Sighet, Transylvania, Hungary, Germany, Auschwitz in 1944-1945

The German troops invade his hometown, force all of the Jews to load up on a train and travel to Auschwitz.

  • Background of Novel:

Elie as a young boy; passengers load onto the trains

Background, Con’t:

They first arrive in Birkenau (another camp), where Eliezer and his father are separated from his mother and sisters, whom they never see again.

They have to endure “selections”(where the German troops select those who will go to the furnace and die, and those who will go to barracks and work)

The many barb wires of a concentration camp

Background, Con’t:

Problems and Conflict

During this year, Wiesel encounters many obstacles, mentally, physically, and spiritually, that he must endure.

He is forced to witness murders, is malnutrition, and is constantly doubting his, once confident, faith.

The entire story is based off of his experience there.

Eliezer -  The narrator of Night, protagonist, a teenage boy in the 1940’s. Dedicated to his faith in the beginning.

Chlomo- Eliezer’s father. His name is only mentioned one time throughout the whole novel, and is the only other character that is constant until the end. Highly regarded in the community.

Moshe the Beadle -  Eliezer’s teacher of Jewish mysticism, Moshe is a poor Jew who lives in Sighet.

  • Characters
Madame Schächter  -  A Jewish woman from Sighet who is deported with the rest of the community, and goes crazy.

Juliek -  A young musician whom Eliezer meets in Auschwitz.

Tibi and Yosi  - Two brothers who Eliezer becomes friends with.

  • Characters, Con’t:
Characters, Con’t:

Dr. Josef Mengele -  the historically infamous Dr. Mengel was the cruel doctor who presided over the selection of arrivals at Auschwitz/Birkenau.

Idek- Eliezer’sKapo (nazi police officer at Buna)

Dr. Josef Mengele was appropriately nicknamed “the Angle of Death” by inmates at Auschwitz

Eliezer’s Struggle to Maintain Faith in a Benevolent God


Inhumanity Toward Other Humans

The Importance of Father-Son bonds



  • Themes
  • Symbols

Directions: Use the computers in class to search websites (on the left) in order to answer the questions (on the right) on the following slides. Click on the links to begin your quest. All answers should be written in complete, framed responses on your own paper or in a Word document.

  • Example of a complete, framed response for number 1: Elie Wiesel was born in_ (place) in(year).
  • This task should be completed in class. Any incomplete work should be completed at home or in the library.
background for night and the holocaust topic i about the author
Background for Night and the HolocaustTopic I: About the Author

Elie Wiesel Foundation

1. Where was Elie born? In what year?

2. What happened to him at the age of fifteen?

3. Elie received an appointment from President Jimmy Carter. For what was that?

4. Where does Elie live now?

5. What great honor did he receive in 1986?

topic ii the final solution
Topic II: The Final Solution

**United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: "Final Solution" Overview**

6. Nazis coined the term "The Final Solution." To what does this term refer? Why did they use this language?

7. What were some of the stages implemented as part of "The Final Solution?"

8. What was the intended purpose of these state-sponsored programs?

topic ii the final solution1
Topic II: The Final Solution
  • 9. How were ghettos used just before and during WWII?
  • 10. Where were the first ghettos set up?
  • 11. How many ghettos were established?
  • 12. Why did the Nazis initially set up ghettos?
  • 13. What happened with the ghettos after the implementation of the "Final Solution" in 1941?

**United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: Ghettos**

topic iii concentration camps and auschwitz
Topic III: Concentration Camps and Auschwitz

14. Where was (and still is) Auschwitz located?

15. What was Auschwitz?

16. How many people were killed there?

17. What were some of the things that first happened to people arrived at the camps?

18. What was everyday life like there in terms of clothing, food, and the bathrooms?

**United States Holocaust Museum: Auschwitz**

**Holocaust Research Project: Auschwitz**

topic iii concentration camps and auschwitz1
Topic III: Concentration Camps and Auschwitz

19. What were gas chambers?

20. Why did the Nazis begin using gas chambers instead of mobile killing units and shooting squads after a while?

21. What did the Nazi SS guards pretend the gas chambers were?

22. At the height of its operation, how many people were gassed daily at Auschwitz?

**United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: Gassing Operations**

topic iv doctor mengele s experiments
Topic IV: Doctor Mengele's Experiments

23. For what is Dr. Mengele famous? What was his role at Auschwitz?

24. On whom did Dr. Mengele primarily perform experiments? How did he rationalize these experiments on these people?

25. While Dr. Mengele's experiments were unimaginably cruel, some scientific discovery came out of them that we still use today (pressurized airplanes, dental procedures, etc). Some have argued that Dr. Mengele should be given credit for these discoveries. Others argue that he should receive no credit since the nature of his experiments was so brutal. What do you think and why do you feel this way?

**Dr. Mengele- The Angel of Death**

topic v traditional jewish customs meals holidays
Topic V: Traditional Jewish Customs/Meals/Holidays

26. What is the proper way for a Jewish person to be treated after death?

27. What are three important Jewish holidays/customs?

Judaism 101

The Jewish Federations of North America

topic vi auschwitz virtual tour
Topic VI: Auschwitz Virtual Tour

Inside the Nazi State

Take the virtual tour through the PBS website. In a short paragraph, explain the mobile killing units, ghettos, camps, crematoriums, and slave labor systems.