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Night

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Night

Night was based on the true life account of Elie Wiesel. As the story begins, he is living in his hometown of Sighet, in Hungarian Transylvania. Elie studies the Torah and the Cabbala. His learning is cut short when his teacher, Moshe the Beadle, is deported. In a few months, Moshe returns, telling a horrific tale. The Gestapo took charge of his train, led everyone into the woods, and systematically butchered them. Nobody believes Moshe's story and they all think he is crazy.

In the spring of 1944, the Nazis occupy Hungary. Shortly afterward, a series of increasingly extensive measures are passed, and the Jews of Elie's town are forced into small ghettos within Sighet. Soon they are herded onto train cars and his horrific adventure begins. After several days and nights being in the cramped train car, the exhausted and near starvation people reach their destination, Birkenau, the gateway to Auschwitz.

Upon his arrival in Birkenau, Elie and his father are separated from his mother and sisters, whom they will likely never see again. In the first of many "selections" that Elie describes in the story, the Jews are evaluated to determine whether they should be killed immediately or put to work. Elie and his father seem to pass the evaluation, but before they are brought to the prisoners' barracks they come upon the open pit furnaces where the Nazis are burning hundreds of babies with no remorse.

The Jewish newcomers are stripped naked, shaved, disinfected, and treated with the utmost cruelty. Eventually, the Germans march them from Birkenau to the main camp at Auschwitz. They prisoners eventually arrive in Buna, a work camp, where Elie is put to work in an electrical fittings factory. Under very harsh conditions, severely malnourished and mentally drained by the frequent "selections," the Jews take comfort in caring for each other in religion and in Zionism. In the camp, the Jews are subject to beatings and repeated humiliations. A vicious foreman forces Elie to give him his gold tooth, which is pried out of his mouth with a rusty spoon.

The prisoners are forced

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