Webquest for Elie Wiesel's Night

 

Introduction

The novel Night is the heartbreaking and shocking autobiography of Elie Wiesel.  Wiesel was a teenager during the Holocaust, and was witness to almost all of the major events of the time.  For example, Wiesel was forced to abide by the Nazi regime's rules upon Jews, relocated into a Jewish ghetto, was taken by train to such concentration camps as Auschwitz and Buchenwald, and finally, liberated towards the end of the war.  Night forces the reader to reevaluate what they consider evil and dark times of life.  For Eastern European Jews, the experience of the Holocaust is one they will be tortured with for the rest of their lives.  Wiesel, as well as many other survivors, have taken it upon themselves to "bear witness" for the dead and the living.  This webquest will look at the questions that anyone who reads this book wants to ask: How could this have happened?  Can it happen again?  What can be done that this will never happen again?

Tasks

List 10 adjectives to describe Adolf Hitler's personality and discuss how he was able to cause such devastation.

What does the word Holocaust mean?
How many Jews were killed in the Holocaust?
What other people were killed in the Holocaust, and how many?
Who are the Nazis?
What does the name "Nazi" stand for?
Who were the SS?
What was the Final Solution?

Wiesel says that even before the Holocaust people were interested in Zionism.  What is Zionism?

Not all Europeans turned a blind eye to the Holocaust.  Some tried to help the Jews.  How did Raoul Wallenberg of Hungary act to aid them?  What happened to him?  Did anyone try to help the Jews of Signet?  The Wiesel family?  Who and how - support your selections.

What were the Nuremberg Laws and what did they do?
What did the Nazis do to separate the Jewish people from the rest of society?
What were ghettos?
What was life like in ghettos?
Why did the Nazis put Jews in ghettos?
What was the purpose of concentration camps?
What were death camps or extermination camps?
How were people killed in those camps?
What were other causes of death in those camps?

Using your understanding of Night, cite the following: Two examples of the Nuremberg Laws that the Wiesel family had to obey.  Two examples of how the Nazis separated the Jewish people from the rest of society?  What life was like for Elie and his family in the ghettos?  Discuss five significant events that Wiesel remembers after he arrives at the first camp and says:

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.

                               
                                                    ~ an excerpt from Elie Wiesel's first book, Night

Wiesel has dedicated his life to ensuring that none of us forget what happened during the Holocaust.  Analyze the following site and write a response to my letter "Why I Teach Night."