A Review of Elie Wiesel’s Book “Night” about the Holocaust

To the readers Elie Wiesel’s book Night is only a memoir of his experiences and things Wiesel went through during the Holocaust. But if you take a closer look at his experiences we can see the bystander effect and how it took place during the holocaust affecting the jews mostly. Have you ever heard of the bystander effect? Well if you haven’t you will now. While reading the book you can find many examples that show the bystander effect, not only was he sharing his experiences and the horrible things that happened during the Holocaust, but was also trying to send another message which was the bystander effect.

As the jews are being moved to the ghettos they believe nothing is going on which is a simple example of a bystander because since no one else thought something was wrong no one did anything about it. Some reasons why bystanders stay away from involving themselves may be because of fear, ignorance or selfishness. Fear was something that helped hitler during the Holocaust. Many jews feared, which forbid them to stand up for themselves and help each other. Which made them only think of saving themselves and not others. Another example of them being bystanders is when Elie’s father got a fever. Instead of the his bunkmates helping him out they were stealing his bread and hitting him. This comes to show that even though they were jewish and in the concentration camps for the same reason they did not help each other survive. The last example is when a guy in the concentration camp told Elie “It is every man for himself, and you cannot think of others. Not even your father. In this place, there is no such thing as father, brother, friend. Each of us lives and dies alone.” meaning he had to think of himself only if he wanted to survive. The man was showing how people had no means to help others but only look out for themselves.

Lastly, the jews had no intention to help eachother or stand up for each other due to them being in fear of what could happen to them which I think was something that made Hitler more powerful with his intentions of destroying the jews. Being a bystander did not help them with their situation and shows that the Holocaust happened not only because of Hitler not liking the jews but because jews themselves did nothing to stop him or defend themselves due to fear. People in our society should stand up for others and speak up about things they don’t seem to agree on because I feel like the Holocaust could have been avoided if they would of done something to help themselves and not be a bystander. I also believe the non jewish people could have also spoken out about the situation due to them not talking about what was going on. By reading this book you can learn to instead be an upstander and not fear to stand up for yourselves or others because by doing that the world won’t get any better. Being an Upstander will help bring more love and kindness to this world and not let something like the Holocaust happen again.