|Ch. 1-4 Night by Elie Wiesel
1. In what point of view is this story written? 1st person
2. Describe the setting (time and place). Early 1940’s in the village of Sighet
3. What is Elie Wiesel’s strong and unique connection with Moshe the Beadle? Moeshe became Elie’s teacher of the Cabbala (Elie’s spiritual advisor)
4. Why does Moshe suddenly leave Sighet? He was expelled because he was a foreign Jew
5. What story does Moshe tell when he returns to Sighet? The Getsapo forced the foreign Jews to dig graves then they were shot
6. How do the Jews of Sighet react and respond to Moshe at this point? They refuse to believe him; they say he is crazy
7. Why do the Jews remain optimistic in the face of what Moshe tells them and rumors they hear of other anti-Semitic incidents in Europe? They don’t belive him; they think the war will be over soon; they do not think they will be affected
8. What are the Jews’ first impressions of the Germans occupying Sighet? They are nice and polite
9. In Spring of 1944, on the seventh day of Passover, Wiesel writes. “The race toward death had begun.” What three “restrictions” are imposed on the Jews? 1. Jews were not allowed to leave homes for 3 days. 2. Jews were not allowed to keep any valuables (gold, jewels, etc.) 3. Jews had to wear the Yellow star
10. Describe the ghettos. Look at your notes...
11. How do Elie and his sisters help the first Jews who are deported out of the ghetto? They gave them water
12. What “joy” is Wiesel talking about on page 13? They could get out of the heat/sun
13. Who is Martha and what does she offer? Their old servant; refuge at her village
14. Describe the “expulsion”. They were lines up in the heat. There were 80 people to a train car. It was on Saturday that Elie and his family were expelled.
1. Describe the journey by train. Little food and water; hot; 80 people to a cattle car
2. What are the Jews told at Kaschau? To give up their valuables or be shot; they weren’t staying in Hungary; Anyone sick could move to the hospital car.
3. Describe Madame Schachter and her actions. She was crazy—moaning and crying, begins screaming about a fire/furnace
4. How do the others in the car react to her? At first, they try to calm her. Then they begin to beat, bound, and gag her.
5. At Auschwitz two men are allowed to get out and fetch water. What news do they bring back to the car? They were at their final destination. It was reportedly a nice place (a labor camp, families wouldn’t be split up, the old and disabled would work in the fields, the young would work in the factories.)
6. How is Madame Schachter proved to be not crazy but perhaps “visionary”? they see the smoke stacks for the crematoriums
7. What is Birkenau? Reception center for Auschwitz
1. “Eight words spoken quietly, indifferently, without emotion. Eight short, simple words.” What painful, life-changing meaning do these words have for Wiesel? “Men to the left. Women to the right.” He was forever separated from his mother and sister.
2. How are Wiesel and his father “greeted” by some of the prisoners at Birkenau? Good (told to lie about their ages) and bad (cursed at for not committing suicide instead of coming to Auschwitz).
3. Some of the young men want to revolt. Why don’t they? The old tell them not to lose hope and to follow the teachings of their faith.
4. What infamous person is directing the men to the left and to the right? Dr. Mengele
5. Describe why the men begin weeping and praying. Does Wiesel join in? Why or why not? They thought they were going to die. Wiesel decided that instead of going to the furnace, he would commit suicide by running into the electrified barbed wire fence.
6. “Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed.” Why might this be one of the most significant passages in the book? It was so horrible that for the rest of his life remembered the dehumanization of that night.
7. For what job were the strong, sturdy men selected that first day? Work at the crematoriums
8. Describe the “process” that Wiesel and the other new arrivals go through that first night and day. They were beaten and forced to strip. They could keep their belts and old shoes (new shoes had to be given to the soldiers. They were given old clothing. They were completely shaved.
9. Why does Wiesel thank God for mud? The mud kept the soldiers from seeing that his shoes were new.
10. Who is Wiesel referring to when he speaks of the “Angel of Death” and what “choice” does this man give the prisoners? SS officer; work or die
11. Why does the gypsy strike Wiesel’s father and how does Wiesel react when this happens? The gypsey hits him because he feels he is superior to the Jews. Wiesel doesn’t react.
12. How do the prisoners get from Birkenau to Auschwitz and what are their first impressions of this new camp? They marched; it was better than Birkenau (concrete buildings; gardens; daily baths)
13. What is Wiesel referring to when he writes, “The first human words”? “Good night.” The Pole spoke kindly to them; told them to keep faith.
14. What is Wiesel’s number and where does he “wear” it? A-7713—Left arm
15. What lie does Wiesel tell Mr. Stein and why? That Mr. Steins family was safe. To give him hope.
16. According to Wiesel’s father, what has happened to Wiesel’s mother and little sister? They are in a labor camp.
17. How long are Wiesel and his father in Auschwitz and what do they do there? 3 weeks; They slept.
18. Describe the move to Buna. They walked slowly. The guards flirted with young German ladies. They were not beaten. The trip lasted 4 hours.
1. Why are some of the children treated so well by the Germans? They are pedophiles.
2. What kind of music are the Jewish musicians forbidden to play and why? Beethovan; Jews were not allowed to play German music
3. What is Wiesel’s job at Buna? Counting electrical parts
4. Why is Wiesel summoned to the dentist? The dentist wanted to take out Elie’s gold tooth. Twice Elie said he was ill, and the dentist did not take the tooth. Then the dentist was arrested and his office was closed.
5. Why does the French girl pass herself off as an Aryan? Because she is a Jew and she doesn’t want to be put in a concentration camp
6. Describe how Wiesel feels as he watches Idek beat his father. Elie did not do anything to help his father. He was trying to keep from getting hit himself. He was angry at his father for not avoiding Idek’s punishment.
7. Why does Wiesel try to teach his father to march in step? To keep him from being beaten by Franek
8. What does Franek want from Wiesel and how does he get it? Franek, the foreman, wanted the tooth. When Elie refused, Franek began tormenting Elie’s father. After two weeks, Elie gave him the tooth.
9. Why is Wiesel whipped? He laughed when he walked in on Franek and a woman
10. Why are the prisoners unafraid and joyful during the air-raid? They are hopeful that they will be rescued
11. Why does Wiesel say “I found the soup excellent that evening” after the first hanging? He was glad to be alive
12. And why does he say “the soup tasted of corpses” the night after the hanging described on pages 61-62? He felt like his faith in God had died with the young boy