“I am not a saint. I’m a simple creature of flesh and bone. I suffer hell in my soul and my flesh. I also have eyes and I see what is being done here. Where is gods mercy? Where’s God? How can I believe, how can anyone believe in this God of Mercy?”
This is a statement made by a pastor in the camp with Elie. I pick this quote because it shows that even in our darkest times we don’t see the light. This man who had given his life to God, was now starting to question it. The Jewish people believed that their God would save them, but where was God? In the gallows? In the empty homes where innocent people were taken, beaten and killed all because of believing in him? Where is the savior? It’s a lot of questions to ask for one man, even a man of his faith. My biggest question is even when they needed him why didn’t he help them?
God works in mysterious ways. In my understanding of this quote is that the pastor asked them to pray for him. To pray for his soul on his way to eternal life. Even after he had questioned his God and felt weary of his beliefs. God was with him, giving him the strength to go when he was called. I think that it is hard for people to understand that there is a reason for everything. As for the Holocaust we may never know the main purpose.
“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.”
~Elie Wiesel Chapter 3
Reflection on the quote
I feel like this quote says a lot about Elie as a human, as a boy, and as a Jew. His whole life was about to be flipped around on it’s axis, and there was nothing he could do about it. The only thing he could control was the amount of fear and hope the Nazis pushed in and out of him. The saying “You get what you give.” Does apply in someways to this quote. The Nazis gave the Jews names, tags, brands, and false senses of hope. They also gave them new ways of fear and torture. In a way for some Jews that fear turned to hatred, which then turned into a fuel to feed into the fire that the Nazis had created. It is almost as if they filled a abyss with gasoline and set a match upon it. The force would be greater than they could ever imagine. That’s what was burning inside of Elie. This didn’t just mean war to the Jewish community, nor did it mean survival. It meant extermination, genocide, of innocent people. It meant that they would have to survive at all costs, to make sure that they’re suffering wasn’t for nothing.
To say that this never happened to the Jewish families that did not survive the holocaust would be stating that their suffering was for nothing. It would be as of they were the new faces on the blank pages of a history book. Never to opened, never to be relived and to never be learned from. These families rights were taken from them. Their religion, safety, and homes were are taken away on the false accusations that they caused destruction to Germany. I feel that these reasons also led to the writing of this quote. It was meant to hit home with people and just tell them how truly awful humans can be.I feel that this quote helps lay out the fears and the hatred that would soon boil into the survival of Elie Wiesel.
” They dwell in the depths of our souls and remain there until we die.”
The Beginning of the horrors of the Nazi’s and Adolf Hitler was to begin. It would strike fear into the hearts of the innocent and kill many. What I take from this quote is that we as humans, are capable of mass destruction. Of lies built upon lies to prove someone’s race, religion, and color wrong. Thus coming back to the main idea of this quote. I believe that Hitler had this idea growing and churning in the dark depths of his soul. It was just he needed the proper time to execute his plans. Thus making war a perfect cover up. In all his grand plans and ideas, the Holocaust was by far the worst. Maybe for all those innocent civilians life, death and terror were are mashed into one. Their lives were a mere scratch on the surface of Hitler’s real plan. World domination, and his superior race tactics that soon proved wrong. I also feel that this part of the text represents that the building tension of this war was inevitable. It also to me shows how the Jews felt against the Nazis.
Many people were trying to make the most out of this awful time in history. Most families tried to play this off like everything would get better, but it wouldn’t. For the Jewish families in Sighet the times of war were to get far worse than they ever thought possible. I also think that in a sense this could represent hope. A hope that dies as time goes on and slowly stays to die in the depths of our souls. Hope for these innocent people was close to none. I think that to have hope was almost like having your death wish signed and delivered. No one could have ever imagined the horrors Hitler portrayed. The sade truth; There was more to come.