Unanswered [0] / Urgent [0]
Home / Research Papers2

Night Essay- add or suggest what I should expand upon for in text analysis and other issues.

Paper has already been graded and needs additional analysis within the text.

World War II: A Short History, written by Michael J. Lyons, is widely considered an impactful, accurate, and unbiased account of the events that took place during World War II. This text, combined with the documents in the course pack, give a comprehensive overview to students establishing a historical sense of the Second World War. These readings also serve as reference to the accuracy of many texts written as personal accounts throughout the war. One such text, written by Elie Wiesel, is Night: an autobiography of the horrific treatment he and his father endured during the Holocaust. By analyzing Night through a comparison of the Holocaust literature in this course, one can witness the accuracy and precision of Wiesel's remarks. To begin, Wiesel accurately describes the timeline of events placed upon the Jewish community. Next, he also correctly depicts the description and condition of German concentration camps. Lastly, Wiesel precisely illustrates the abuse, violence, and torture endured by the Jewish community during the Holocaust.

Before addressing the accuracy of the text, it is first necessary to account for the opposing viewpoint. To start, some scholars believe that Wiesel's account is inaccurate due to exaggerations. A good explanation for this is Wiesel's education of the English language at the time the text was written. As he described in the preface, he was just beginning his career as an author. His English was far from perfect, and a translator was used to convert the text to English. This accounts for some slight exaggeration throughout the text, but does not comprehend the overall accuracy of the material. Secondly, others may claim that the text is too concise to truly include an authentic depiction of the Holocaust. A response to this can once again be found in the preface. Here, Wiesel describes that after writing the first version of the text he never reread it. However, his wife did, and began rigorously editing and revising his work. Thus, Wiesel shortened the length of the book to make it as accurate as possible.

Switching focus to analyzing the accuracy of the text, Wiesel correctly portrays, in order, the timeline experienced by Jewish citizens under German control. To start, as witnessed in Hitler Seizes 20,000 Jews written by Sigrid Schultz, one of the Germans first acts against the Jews was a systematic destruction of property. Jewish businesses and homes were overpowered and looted; Jewish Synagogues were set aflame by dynamite and fire. A connection quickly occurs in Night through one of Wiesel's first comments: "By day I studied Talmud and by night I would run to the synagogue to weep over the destruction of the Temple". Following the destruction of Jewish property, the Germans began methodically arresting the Jews. The Jews were arrested without any official charge; the Jews committed no crime other than simply practicing their religion. After the arrests, the Jews were placed in ghettos before getting transferred to concentration camps. Once again, the accuracy is depicted in Night. Upon arrival of German forces in Hungary, their first act was to introduce two ghettos in Sighet. Both encircled with barbed wire, one large ghetto stood in the center of the city, and another smaller ghetto was located on the outskirts of town. Moving forward, in 1942 the Germans decided on extermination for the final solutions for the Jews. Thus, after containment in the ghettos, the Jewish people were then inhumanely transferred to concentration camps. As Wiesel describes, the Jews were lined up outside for roll call, which was essentially taken on repeat throughout the day. During this time, they were offered no food, no water, and no sincerity. When the Jews were finally packed into rail cars, they were crammed with eighty passengers each, and only supplied with scraps of food and water. In addition, the windows were also barred to prevent the threat of escape. In 1944, an estimated 400,000 Hungarian Jews arrived at Auschwitz in this fashion. At this point, Wiesel had impressively and accurately described the timeline of restrictions placed on the Jewish community while under German control.

Wiesel also accurately portrayed the description and condition of German concentration camps. To start, Wiesel describes the separation process correctly. Upon arriving at the concentration camps, many Jews were excited to exit the rail cars. The excitement soon ended however as the men were sent in one direction and the women in the other. Further interrogation then took place assessing age, occupation, and health. Finally, the Jews were once again pointed in one of two directions: to the left meant life, and to the right meant death. As the text continues, Wiesel's ethos improves through similar descriptions as W.H. Lawrence in Nazi Mass Killing Laid Bare in Camp, and John H. Crider in U.S. Board Bares Atrocity Details Told by Witnesses at Polish Camps. Wiesel described his initial discovery of the burning pits full of live babies, the black smoke and the smell of human flesh surrounding the crematorium, and the selection process used to determine who would live and who would die. Lawrence's works lends credibility to the conditions described in Night through his descriptions of mass murder, decomposing bodies, crematoriums, and death pits. In the same matter, Crider also gives credibility to Wiesel's remarks by depicting a German campaign of terror, brutality, and Mass Murder. Although Lawrence's and Crider's accounts differ slightly from Night, this is because they witnessed the horrors after they had occurred, while Wiesel lived through it.

Wiesel also correctly portrayed the violence and abuse endured by the Jewish community throughout the war. It is no secret that the Jewish people were the damned after the introduction of the Nuremburg laws in 1935, and Hitler's New Order following Operation Barbarossa. At first, the Germans main goal was to make the Jewish community miserable, in hopes of dispersing the community out of the Reich. In 1938 however, German officers became increasingly violent towards the Jewish community after the assignation of a German official by a Jew. Following the ordeal, the German people murdered 100 Jews and arrested over 30,000 more. German officers showed extreme brutality towards the Jewish people, often degrading, beating, and even murdering them. Eventually, the Germans decided upon extermination as the final solution, and the Jews were forced to face violence as never witnessed before. Wiesel does an immaculate job portraying this violence and abuse throughout the text. The abuse started with the removal of self-identity. Upon arrival at Auschwitz, Wiesel described the process of identification: veteran prisoners placed tattooed identification numbers on the left arm of all inmates. Wiesel states: "I became A-7713. From then on, I had no other name". The violence and abuse continued throughout the Jews daily life. On another occasion, Wiesel described the abuse he endured in his workplace. One day when Wiesel's Kapo Idek was relieving tension, he beat him endlessly in the chest and head. Idek continually picked him up and dealt violent blows until Wiesel was dripping in blood. When the ordeal ended, Wiesel was sent back to work as if nothing had taken place. On a separate occasion, Idek aimlessly beat Wiesel's father with an iron bar. In yet another incidence, the Kapo whipped Wiesel twenty-five times for snooping. These events portray the violence and abuse taking place not only on the part of the Germans, but throughout the entire camp. A description of one incidence in particular helps accurately portray the extent of violence practiced by the Germans at the camps. One afternoon upon returning from work, Wiesel and a cluster of Jews were surrounded by a group of SS officers holding machine guns. The prisoners were forced to watch as two men and a young child were condemned and executed. The violence is then brilliantly illustrated as Wiesel states: "Then came the march past the victims. The two men were no longer alive. Their tongues were hanging out, swollen and bluish. But the third rope was still moving: the child, too light, was still breathing..." With dozens of incidents like this occurring throughout the text, while also taking Wiesel's description of concentration camps into consideration, it is easy to witness the accuracy of Wiesel's remarks on German violence during the Holocaust.

Lyons account of World War II is often considered a factually accurate description of the events that took place during the war. Collective with the texts assembled in the course pack, these readings give important background to students studying World War II. These texts also serve as orientation to the accuracy of personal accounts written during the war. By analyzing Night in comparison to the readings of this course, it is possible to see the accuracy of Wiesel's remarks. First, he accurately describes the timeline from destruction of property, to the introduction of ghettos, to the transfer to concentration camps. Second, Wiesel also accurately describes the condition of Auschwitz during his time of imprisonment. Finally, Wiesel truthfully illustrates the abuse and violence endured by the Jewish community during the Holocaust.


Crider, H. John. "U.S. Board Bares Atrocity Details Told by Witnesses at Polish Camps." In World War II: Causes, Conduct, and Consequences, edited by Dr. Jane K. Vieth. Collegeville Textbook Company, 2016.
Lawrence, W.H. "Nazi Mass Killing Laid Bare in Camp." In World War II: Causes, Conduct, and Consequences, edited by Dr. Jane K. Vieth. Collegeville Textbook Company, 2016.
Lyons, J. Michael. World War II: A Short History Fifth Edition. New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc, 2010.
Murrow, R. Edward. "For Most of It I Have No Words." In World War II: Causes, Conduct, and Consequences, edited by Dr. Jane K. Vieth. Collegeville Textbook Company, 2016.
Schultz, Sigrid. "Hitler seized 20,000 Jews." In World War II: Causes, Conduct, and Consequences, edited by Dr. Jane K. Vieth. Collegeville Textbook Company, 2016.
Wiesel, Elie. Night. New York: Hill and Wang, 2006.
Wiesel, Elie. "Preface to the New Translation." In Night. New York: Hill and Wang, 2006.

Dec 10, 2016   #2
Steven, I think that the reason your professor indicated a need for more analysis within the text is because the presentation of the information that you used is very mechanical in nature. It is academically accurate and represents the thoughts of the author in a concise and clear manner but ails to represent your understanding the text. In these types of essays, you are expected to do additional research outside of the required reading material in order to enhance your presentation of facts.

It would have helped if you had taken ownership of some thought int he paper by presenting your personal opinion or results of personal research. Such additional information provides a deeper analysis of the required text by adding additional background or opinions regarding the atrocities of the second world war.

By using information solely taken from the preface of the book, it would appear to the reader that you did not really read or go through the book. That is because you should have cited actual mistakes in translation taken from actual passages of the book in order to prove that claim on your part.

Since this paper has already been graded, I am not sure how my comments regarding this work can help you. Maybe you can use some of my advice are reminders for the improvement of your future work. I hope you got a good grade on this paper. You deserve it for a well researched piece of academic writing, regardless of the perceived shortcomings in presentation and content.
  Closed ✓

Home / Research Papers /