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Elie Wiesel and Paul Rusesabagina
Holocaust and Rwandan Genocide
Book Review on Night: by Yasser Corzo
experienced first hand the horrors of the holocaust. It also provides facts about what life was in the concentrations camps. For example, in the book Night on page 30 its states “Hey, kid, how old are you?’ The man interrogating me was an inmate. I could not see his face, but his voice was weary and warm. ‘Fifteen.’ ‘No, you’re eighteen.’ ‘But I’m not,’ I said. ‘I’m fifteen.’ ‘Fool. Listen to what I say.’ Then he asked my father, who answered ‘I’m fifty.’ ‘No you’re forty. Do you hear, eighteen and forty” This shows that the inmate told Elie and his father to lie about their ages because the old and young were bound to die, thus giving the two a greater chance of surviving the camps. While reading the book, I found an interesting
This book, Night, written by Elie Wiesel, is about Elie Wiesel’s accounts about his experience with his father in the Nazi Germany concentration camps in Auschwitz and in Buchenwald during 1944-1945. This book was won the award of Oprah’s Book Club. This book, in my opinion, is a very educational book. It teaches readers about the holocaust with a deeper meaning from the point of view of a survivor that
Book Review: Night
By Yasser Corzo
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. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky. Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever. Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never.
From Elie Wiesel, Night (New York: Bantam, 1982), p. 32. Elie Weisel, a survivor of Nazi brutality of the concentration camps, wrote countless books. One of his best known books, Night, awarded part of Oprah’s Book Club, Wiesel describes his experiences and emotions during the Holocaust: the roundup of his family and neighbors in the Romanian town of Sighet; deportation by cattle car to the concentration camp Auschwitz; the division of his family forever during the selection process, never seeing again his sisters and mother; the tragedies and torture he and his fellow prisoners experienced and the death march from Auschwitz-Birkenau to the concentration camp at Buchenwald, where his father died. Elie Wiesel was born in Sighet, Romania, on September 30, 1928. He is a Boston University professor and a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Weisel has worked to defend human rights and peace throughout the world. In 1944, at the age of fifteen, his family were deported to Aushwitz, where his mother, younger sister, and father later perished. His two older sisters lived. During an interview with the French writer Francois Mauriac when Weisel was a journalist in France after the Holocuast, Mauriac persuaded Weisel to write about his experiences during the Holocaust. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter appointed him Chairman of the President's Commission on the Holocaust. In 1980, Weisel became Founding Chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. “Wiesel's efforts to defend human rights and peace throughout the world have earned him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States Congressional Gold Medal and the Medal of Liberty Award, the rank of Grand-Croix in the French Legion of Honor, and in 1986, the Nobel Peace Prize. He has received more than 100 honorary degrees from institutions of higher learning.”(ushmm.org) Elie Weisel and his wife established The Elie Weisel Foundation for Humanity. Its mission: “to advance the cause of human rights and peace throughout the world by creating a new forum for the discussion of urgent ethical issues confronting humanity.”(ushmm.org)
Paul Rusesabagina is a Rwandan citizen; while working as a hotel manager, hid and protected 1,268 Hutu and Tutsi refugees during the Rwandan Genocide. None of those refugees were hurt or killed during the attacks. After the genocide, Paul founded a foundation called the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation. The foundation works to prevent future genocides and raise awareness. Their mission is to build on lessons learned from the Rwandan genocide and to promote an understanding of the dangerous conditions which lead to misunderstanding, hatred, and violence, which are the seeds of future genocides. In the pyramid of hate, the first level that eventually leads to genocides are stereotyping, accepting negative information, etc. of the dangerous conditions which lead to misunderstanding, hatred, and violence–the seeds of future genocides. of the dangerous conditions which lead to misunderstanding, hatred, and violence–the seeds of future genocides.
The concentration camp in which Elie Weisel and his family were transported. About more than 1 million people died in this camp.
Elie Weisel in 2010
Continued on page 5
Quote said by Elie’s father that can be pondered and argued. On page 33 in the 3rd and 4th paragraph it states “…Still, I told him that I could not believe that human beings were being burned in our times; the world would never tolerate such crimes..”The world? The world is not interested in us. Today, everything is possible, even the crematoria…His voice broke.” What Elie’s father quoted can be used to prevent other genocides from happening. The first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that Everybody is born with their freedom and are born equally. The world must be aware of the genocides that are happening and take interest in it. Genocides like the Rwandan genocide have been on television, however, the world did not care. In history, we have seen many instances in which many groups of people have been targeted because of their race, for example, Nazi Germany and the final solution to the Jewish problem.
Elie Weisel and Paul Rusesabagina
Book Review (continued)
“The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.”(ushmm.org) The word Holocaust comes from the Greek word that means “sacrifice by fire.” The Nazis, a political power in Germany that came to power in 1933 believed that the Aryan race was the superior race and that all Jews were the inferior race and were a threat to Germany. Other groups were also persecuted such as the Slavs, Gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, communist, disabled people and homosexuals.
In 1933, the Jewish population in Europe exceeded over nine million. By 1945, the Germans and their helpers killed nearly two out of every three European Jews as part of the Final Solution, the Nazi policy to murder the Jews of Europe. Although Nazis believed Jews were the primary danger to Germany, others included some 200,000 Gypsies and about 200,000 mentally or disabled people were killed. As the Axis powers spread across Europe, the Nazis and their collaborators were able to murder millions of others. About 3 million Soviet prisoners of war were murdered or died of starvation, disease or torture. The Germans also deported millions of Polish and soviet civilians to forced labor, where many died. Germans also targeted political enemies like communist and other religions.
Nazis completed their “Final Solution” by building concentration camps. These killing facilities forced the victims of Nazis persecution to work under hunger, torture, and the everyday survival to stay alive. The concentration camp Aushwitz was a cementary home to about 2 million victims. A preferred method of killing were gas chambers, where victims were gassed to death.
In the final months of the war, many inmates were force to evacuate from the camps on death marches to prevent the Allies from liberation thousands of prisoners. The marches continued until May 7, 1945 when Germany surrendered to the Allies. In the aftermath, many of the survivors were placed in DP camps supported by the Allies. Between 1948 and 1951, about 700,000 Jews immigrated to Palestine. Others immigrated to the United States and other nations. In some Jewish communities, entire Jewish communities were wiped out completely.
Holocaust and Rwandan Genocide
Millions of people that Hitler deemed unfit were systematically killed in these huge compact gas chambers.
From April to July 1994, members of the Hutu ethnic majority in Rwanda murdered about 800,000 people, mostly of the Tutsi minority. Brutality and violence quickly spread throughout the country. The “Hutu-led government provided arms, planning, and leadership for the militias. It also funded the RTLM “Hutu Power” radio broadcast, the primary source of “brainwashing” for the Rwandan civilians who also took part in the genocide. The machete was the primary weapon used to hack people to death, as it required no training to use.”(world without genocide). On April 6, 1994, a plane carrying the president of Rwanda, a Hutu was shot down close to the capital of Rwanda, leaving no survivors. To date no one knows who were the culprits. Hutu extremist blamed the Tutsis.“Within an hour of the plane crash, the Presidential Guard together with members of the Rwandan armed forces (FAR) and Hutu militia groups known as the Interahamwe (“Those Who Attack Together”) and Impuzamugambi (“Those Who Have the Same Goal”) set up roadblocks and barricades and began slaughtering Tutsis and moderate Hutus with impunity”(History.com) The mass killings quickly spread throughout the Country. About 800,000 people were slaughtered. Officials on radio called on to ordinary Rwandan citizens to take arms. The RPF resumed fighting and civil war occurred at the same time of the genocide. By July, the RPF nearly took control of Rwanda, including the capital, forcing 2 million people, almost all Hutus, to flee into neighboring nations
During the Rwadan Genocide, the most preferred method of killing were using machetes because it required no training to use.
Elie Weisel and Paul Rusesabagina (con)
Hotel rwanda rusesabagina Foundation
Paul Rusesabagina, founder of the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina foundation
How will you raise awareness and promote tolerance?
I want you all to ask yourself this question, how will you raise awareness and promote tolerance? Albert Einstein once said “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.” If we want to prevent future genocides, we have to act and do something so that genocide won’t happen again. The human nature consists of Human instinct, like survival, groups and commonalities. Humans tend to participate in a group with common beliefs. This relates to the levels of the pyramid of hate. The pyramid of hate consist of levels and stages that lead to genocides. If we ever want to prevent future genocides, we have to prevent the name callings, jokes, stereotyping, bullying, ridicule, etc, because these are the seeds of future genocides. Just as Albert Einstein said, we must spread the word, we must stand up for what is right, by doing something so that evil cannot triumph.