Grant Hughes April 21st, 2011 AA World History 4th Hour You Mean The Holocaust Was Bad? It’s simple to say that the Holocaust was bad. I don’t think it was third grade and I already knew that. In A Good Day from Survival in Auschwitz, an autobiography by Primo Levi, and Night, an autobiography by Elie Wiesel, I learned the very different first-hand experiences of two young men who dealt with persecution from the Nazi Officers, during the time of the Holocaust.
Now although these stories are very different, in truth, they both share similarities as well. The first, and most noticeable, things are the differences. Right off the bat, we can tell that these stories are going to be very different by looking at the titles. We can infer that A Good Day is going to be more optimistic and cheerful than a story with a dark title such as Night. The obvious cliches aside, it can be seen that these presumptions are surprisingly accurate. In A Good Day Levi describes the pleasantries of the first day of spring. …we all look at the sky in the east to spot the first signs of a milder season, and the rising of the sun is commented on every day; today a little earlier than yesterday, today a little warmer than yesterday, in two months, in a month, the cold will call a truce and we will have one enemy less. ” Now, aside from the fact that that was an extremely long run-on sentence, it is clear that Levi is experiencing a vision of new hope and optimism. In the very intro of Night, Wiesel has already set the pessimistic mood. “We stayed at Gleiwitz for three days. Three days without food or drink.
We were not allowed to leave the barracks. SS men guarded the door. ” This alone is considerably more pessimistic, exhibited by the emphatic repetition on the fact that this young boy has been three days without sustenance. The differences between these stories are clearly shown through their mood. Now, of course, these differences between stories are warranted. These situations warrant these men to have noticeably different emotions. Wiesel is only just experiencing such oppression at such a young age, whereas Levi is used to it. Levi has been experiencing this pain of unger and oppression for what can be assumed is months, if not years. Wiesel, on the other hand, is for the first time being deprived of food and being emotionally abused, so of course, to him, this is the worst possible scenario. These together clearly make up the differences. Now, you may be thinking at this point that these stories are as different as Night and Day (pun intended), but this simply is not true. These stories have some very clear similarities. For instance, both Levi and Wiesel are fraught by the Nazi Officers. Not only are they both hated, but they’re also very hungry.
Although Levi might be sizably less hungry because he received two bowls of soup that day, it doesn’t make up for the starvation he’s been going through for the past few days. Another similarity is that they both have been separated from their family. Wiesel’s father may have been within the vicinity, but his son was still helpless while being attacked. It can also be noticed that both Levi and Wiesel express the ugly parts in their situation. Levi wrote, referring to the Buna, “Its roads and buildings are named like us, by numbers or letter, not by weird sinister names.
Within its bounds not a blade of grass grows, and the soil is impregnated with the poisonous saps of coal and petroleum, and the only things alive are machines and slaves – and the former are more alive than that latter. ” In the same likeness, Wiesel wrote, “We were given no food. We lived on snow; it took the place of bread. The days were like nights, and the nights left the dregs of the darkness in our souls. ” They both express a more hidden sadness of their circumstance that they’ve either grown used to or shows us the glooming darkness in the midst of their story.
Yes, Wiesel and Levi were in two totally different situations, but even so, there are similarities underlying in the cracks. Now although these are just two stories that ring in my head reminding me that the Holocaust was bad, they went more in depth than any history textbook I’ve ever read out of in my life. These two men’s differing, yet similar, situations show clear how tragic the Holocaust really was. Maybe Wiesel’s story was a little darker and Levi’s lighter, together they both balance each other out, showing the ranging spectrum of occurrence during the time of the Holocaust.