Eliezer was brought up in a religious family with a strong reverence to God. However, the harsh and cruel conditions in the Nazi concentration camps coupled with the inhuman experiences at the hands of the Gestapo officers during the Holocaust made Eliezer and other Jews lose faith in God.
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Nevertheless, Eliezier tried to strictly adhere to the Jewish traditions although at some point he was forced to compromise his strong faith by prevalent circumstances. For example, his family were deported from their initial ghetto, they had high hopes that God would not let them perish
Furthermore, they did not expect more family separations as it was reported that only the young and energetic would work in the factories while the old and the sick would be assigned duties in the fields. This made them grateful to God and they still had faith that nothing bad would go to happen since they did not expect any hard labor or cruel treatments “We gave thanks to God” (Cockburn 12).
The helm of brutality by the German soldiers took place when two Jews were executed while others stood and watched. Men were left wondering where God’s love and mercy had gone since He had allowed all this to happen to his people. Eliezer questioned God’s existence and why He should let them suffer to that extent. He even went ahead to denounce God when everyone was blessing his name, “Why? But why would I bless him? Every fiber of me rebelled” (Wiesel 66).
He saw no reason to continue blessing God, the same God who had allowed so many children to get burnt, men and women tortured and even slaughtered. He became rebellious to the God he had once worshiped and adored. Eliezier even conceded in his mind that man is greater than God! “Yes, man is stronger, greater than God” (Wiesel 67). In fact, he was an observer amidst worshiper.
Eliezer denied God throughout the whole period of slavery and imprisonment. He totally lost his strong faith in God and no longer believed in his existence or power to save. However, when they were finally free, he turned back to God; he realized that many people including his father lost their lives during this period and it must have been God who ensured his survival. He thanked God for having sustained him through the suffering “Blessed be thou, for giving us life, for sustaining us and for enabling us to reach this day” (Lombardi 73). Thus, it is clear that he denounced God due to the harsh and cruel conditions that they were going through.
Eliezier, a God-fearing and religious young boy, was forced to rebel against God as a result of the ordeal he went through under the German forces. He became bitter towards God for letting them go through all this suffering. However, in the end, he realized that God had a hand in his survival and was quick to return back to Him. Hence, suffering and trauma can cause one to have wavering faith in God.
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Cockburn, Alexander. Truth and Fiction in Elie Wiesel’s Night. London: Oxford University Press. Print.
Lombardi, Esther. Night Quotes. New York: McGraw Hill. 1986. Print.
Wiesel, Elie. The Night Trilogy Night, Dawn, Day. London: Macmillan publishers.1960. Print.