BC: The End, and the beginning.
1: Night by Elie Wiesel Project by Madison Bass Perspective of Elie Wiesel
3: It is 1944, and my home of Sighet in Transylvania is slowly deteriorating. First, places like the synagogue, where I used to spend so much time, have been closed. Then, the ghetto sprung up. Although it is not a terrible place to live, it is isolating. I did not often wander into the outside world even when I could, but the idea behind the walls and barbed wire is quite terrifying. I'm sure this will not last long though. I am not yet worried.
5: The Nazis have ordered us to leave our ghetto. I don't know where they want to take us to, and no one is allowed to ask or they would be shot. I am currently on a train, packed in with almost 80 other people. For the first time, I am genuinely frightened of what is going to happen to me. To make matters worse, Mrs. Schachter has gone insane. She keeps screaming about a fire, although there is none to be seen. I am afraid that she could be predicting things yet to come. I want this all to end, before I too go insane.
7: My father and I have arrived at Auschwitz. It is a terrible place, but it is better than the crematorium. We are being fed, but in minimum rations of bread and soup. At the entrance, there is a sign that means "work makes you free". I feel the opposite. I am forced to work while German onlookers laugh at the misery. If there is a God, which I am now starting to doubt, I hope he will have mercy on the other Jews and me.
9: Auschwitz has been...tolerable. The gold crown that was on my tooth was taken from me by a Kapo. However, I can still eat the small amount of food they give us. I have been working at an electrical warehouse with my father. One thing the Nazis force us to do is watch executions. When a small boy was hanged the other day, it was devestating. I am losing hope that I will ever get out of this hell.
11: The selection process has greatly shaken life in the camp. I know that I ran as hard as I possibly could to avoid it. Dr. Mengele is notorious for his cruelty to his patients, so everyone was very afraid. It's surprising that there are people who still fear death, after living like this. I used to be able to depend on religion to keep me holding on, but I feel as though I no longer can. How is it possible to believe in God while trapped in a place like this? However, I have not lost my will to live. It helps that I always have my father nearby, to remind me that I had, at some point, a family and a life outside the camps. Still, it is getting hard to be hopeful of ever returning to it.
13: The Allie troops are arriving closer and closer to Buna. To prevent being caught, the SS made us march to other concentration camps, deep into Germany. There is wind and snow and freezing cold, and it is taking its toll. Men are walking one minute, and they have fallen over dead the next. Friends are among the corpses. I heard Juliek play his last dying concert, which had a beauty to it amid all the horror. I am not sure how much longer I can go on like this.
15: We have now been placed in a roofless train car, which is just as bad as marching. We are so hungry, that we are eating piles of snow that collect on our neighbor's backs. I remain in close proximity to my father, who is looking worse by the day. It's hard to believe we have both survived this long, but it is even harder to imagine one of us failing to exist. I hate to admit it, but my father sometimes feels almost like a burden. I don't want to keep living, but because of him I must. Buchenwald has never looked so appealing.
17: When we arrived in Buchenwald, my father was very ill. Finally we had the chance for a hot shower and food, and he nearly gave up. Somehow, he decided to keep living. For the time being. He was soon admitted to the hospital, where he was essentially left to die. They wouldn't feed him, so I had to give him my rations of soup. It was to no avail. He died soon afterwards, and everything is so empty now.
19: I somehow kept living after my father died. Food became my main focus. But only a few months later, the first American tanks appeared at the gates of Buchenwald. Eating actual food was the first thing I did. I fell sick for a while, but it was nothing compared to what I had been through the past year. I still remember the most horrifying sight of the entire Holocaust: My reflection in the mirror.