Friday, April 11, 2008

Night: Intolerance


One essential question of the text is How does intolerance lead to cruelty and inhumanity?

Please read the following speech by Elie Wiesel entitled The Perils of Indifference.

In your blog entry, respond to following question:

In his writing, both in Night and in his speech, and through his words in the video, what image of humankind does Wiesel portray and what appears to be his message to his audience(s) and the world about humankind and humanity ?


This will be graded on an open response rubric - 4=95, 3=85, 2=75, 1=65. I'm looking for you to refer to the works. Start with an assertion. One page will suffice.

36 comments:

Chloe C 2 said...

Elie Wiesel sees humankind as indifferent to the many cruelties during the Holocaust, as shown by his memoir Night and his speech The Perils of Indifference.

Anybody can become indifferent to the inhumanities that they see. The Hungarian people of Sighet have lived with the Jews for many years before the Holocaust. Yet, when the Germans come in, they quietly obey their orders. They even “used their rifle butts…to indiscriminately strike old men and women, children and cripples” (16) all of whom they have lived with for quite a while. Even a long community feeling can be pushed aside by the indifference and heartlessness that is produced by the Germans. Elie himself almost became one of those monsters when he saw his father “struck, in front of [him], and [he] had not even blinked.” Elie, having lived with his father his entire life, did not feel anything when he saw his father being struck. He only cares about his own life and completely forgets about his father’s. A father child bond can be severed by indifference.

The United States is also guilty of this indifference. The Jews in the concentration camps had hope “that the leaders of the free world did not know what was going on”. Surely, they thought, the world was not cruel enough to let this injustice continue; “surely those leaders would have moved heaven and earth to intervene.” But no, “the Pentagon knew, the State Department knew” and they didn’t do a thing. The great country known as the United States fails in reputation by being indifferent.

Although he sees the world as indifferent, he wants people to become involved. He wants people to follow the example of Roosevelt, who helped bring the Nazis to justice, of Mrs. Clinton, who mourned the death of the millions of Jews who died by holding a memorial service, and of the “‘Righteous Gentiles,’ whose selfless acts of heroism saved the honor of their faith.” He hopes that more people will get involved to save those suffering children when “so many of them…could be saved.”

Elie Weisel believes most of the people of the world to be indifferent. Many people do not make a conscious effort to involve themselves in another’s problems. It is because of this that people become indifferent. Elie urges the populace to become involved and to end the injustice that is happening. He wants everyone to stop being indifferent and do something.

Victoria P. 4 said...

Elie Wiesel shows how humankind has been indifferent by speaking his mind, and writing about it in both the memoir Night and his speech The Perils of Indifference. He displays how the world and even himself can turn away from what they used to stand and fight for. Although people around the world may had been thinking that they would help any of the holocaust victims, when it came down to the overall situation they would most likely have not. Elie understands this, “It is, after all, awkward, troublesome, to be involved in another person's pain and despair” because at times it would just seem easier to stick to your own problems. The indifference made by the Germans took a long lasting affect on not only Elie but thousands of Jews. It takes place while thousands of innocent Jews are being brutally killed, and almost half the world is watching.

Elie feels that it is the countries that are guilty, of this scared and indifferent humankind. It is Americans that waited around to try and help the Jews It was the rest of the Allies that just waited around. It is this that makes the humankind the way it is. It is hard for all of these suffering people to understand, “[that] now we knew, we learned, we discovered that the Pentagon knew..” that after all of their wondering and anticipation, that it was their own choice not to help and aid right away. And although all of these terrible exterminations happened some things happened like; “the defeat of Nazism, the collapse of communism” which helps make this indifference better.


The indifference and selfishness of the people, seem to be coming to a stop. Elie writes that “ together we walk towards the new millennium, carried by profound fear and extraordinary hope” which allows the reader to think that possibly the world is finally understanding what it is to be one. Elie depicts to the audience that at one time the Allies (or the world), had been indifferent, but with all the chaos that they have encountered has changed them. Possibly turning this indifferent world, just different.

Elaine T 4 said...

In the memoir, Night, and the speech, The Perils of Indifference, Elie Wiesel sees humankind as indifferent to the cruelty of the Holocaust and of other conflicts around the world, such as the “two World Wars, countless civil wars, [and] the senseless chain of assasinations…” along with many other conflicts.

Wiesel first speaks about how anyone can become indifferent to the inhumanities that they witness. Often, there is a conflict and many people bear witness and do nothing to try and resolve these conflicts before things get out of hand. People tend to turn away from these conflicts and pretend to not know anything because “it is so much easier to look away from victims. It is so much easier to avoid such rude interruptions to [their] work, [their] dreams, [their] hopes. It is, after all, awkward, troublesome, to be involved in another person’s pain and despair.” People look away and keep to their own business because they feel that once they meddle, they will get sucked into the conflict and suffer themselves. Wiesel is trying to highlight that these people are selfish for not helping others simply because they don’t want a burden thrust upon them.

Wiesel then speaks about how during the Holocaust, in the concentration camps, a place where death seem to be at every corner, the Jews were helpless. Although there were people who that knew about this cruel time, they did not help the Jews. They let them suffer. He believes for one “to be indifferent to that suffering is what makes the human being inhuman.” He also says that “Indifference is not a beginning; it is an end” because by “not [responding] to [people’s] plight, [and] not to relieve their solitude by offering them a spark of hope is [exiling] them from human memory. And in denying their humanity, we betray our own.” Wiesel is saying that by being selfish and turning our backs on those who need our help is not only hurting those you leave behind, but it is also hurting yourself.

Elie Wiesel then addresses that during the Holocaust, he thought “that the leaders of the free world did not know what was going on behind those black gates and barbed wire” and if they did, they “would have moved heaven and earth to intervene.” However, Wiesel later learns that the “Pentagon knew, the State Department knew” yet they did nothing about the Holocaust and the millions of Jews being executed. But as time passed during this century, “good things have also happened…the defeat of Nazism, the collapse of communism…” Wiesel is trying to say that although many stood by and watched the Holocaust happen and were indifferent, he believes that we, the people, are starting to become less indifferent to inhumanities and are becoming more humane. He believes that if everyone around the world would just stop and think about others then the world would be a better place. Wiesel believes that “together we walk towards the new millennium, carried by profound fear and extraordinary hope” and we’ll all see a new life, a life of humanity. He believes we can only achieve a humane life if we all come together.

Lynn T. 4 said...

Elie Wiesel suggests in his speech The Perils of Indifference and his novel Night, that one of the worst crimes committed by humanity is being indifferent. Every corner and every inch there is a “dark shadow over humanity.” There has been “two World Wars, countless civil wars, the senseless chain of assassinations,” and multiple acts of cruelty and for every act of cruelty there is an act of indifference.

Even hatred and animosity is a better alternative than indifference, because indifference means no concern at all. Even to hate requires energy, where as indifference requires none at all. Most people choose to turn away and avoid the problems all around the world because indifference is the easiest route to take. “Indifference elicits no response. Indifference is not a response,” it is nothing, it is avoiding the world. Even the one of the greatest presidents in America showed indifference. “Roosevelt was a good man, with a heart. He understood those who needed help. Why didn't he allow these refugees to disembark? A thousand people -- in America, the great country, the greatest democracy, the most generous of all new nations in modern history. What happened? I don't understand. Why the indifference, on the highest level, to the suffering of the victims?” Even a man as great as Roosevelt was blinded by the convenience of indifference because it is so much easier than intervening.

Indifference is displayed in Night when Moshie the Beadle returns to Sighet, and “(h)e spoke only of what he had seen. But people not only refused to believe his tales, they refused to listen. Some insinuated that he only wanted their pity, that they were imagining things. Others flatly said that he had gone mad.” (7) Nobody would fabricate an experience as serious as Moshie’s yet no one believed him. When people ignore the inhumanities of this world, than nothing changes. Everybody knew what was happening in Auschwitz, and everybody knew what Hitler was doing in Germany yet nobody stopped him. Everybody knew of the “hundreds of Jewish shops destroyed, synagogues burned” and the “thousands of people put in concentration camps,” however nobody did anything, so nothing changed.

The people of Sighet believed that“ ‘Hitler will not be able to harm us, even if he wants to…’ ” (8) They thought, “Annihilate an entire people? Wipe out a population dispersed throughout so many nations? So many millions of people! By what means? In the middle of the twentieth century!” (8) Nobody believed the capability of Hitler. Although the hype of the holocaust was so great, everybody refused to believe in it because it they were selfish and if it did not affect them, then they did not want to do anything. However, “(t)he same day, the Hungarian police burst into every Jewish home in town…” (10) Now, they were afraid and the Americans were afraid to risk their lives to save the Jewish. It was just one man, one leader, and no body had the strength to stop him, everybody was indifferent. If one man, one group, or one thousand of billions of Americans stopped being indifferent, they could have saved one more, or many more lives being held captive in Germany.

Jillian D 2 said...

In the memoir, Night, and in the speech The Perils of Indifference, Elie Wiesel, sees that the humankind is indifferent. That the cruel things that happened such as the “two World Wars, countless civil wars, [and] the senseless chain of assassinations”, tries to show that people are different, but that every one, who starts a war is indifferent because no one can work together to try to achieve a humane society.

Wiesel first seemed to wonder how people could just sit back and watch these inhuman things happen. In everyday life, especially teenagers, we sit back and let things happen, we know they are wrong, but we do nothing to stop them because we do not know what will happen to us. People find it easier to just turn away from what is going on and just hope that what is going on will eventually fix itself. People back then found “it is so much easier to look away from victims” no matter what was happening. Wiesel talked about the Holocaust and life in the concentration camps, where death overcame most of the people. The people in the camps, such as the Jews and the Polish people, were completely helpless and could not do anything about what was going on at all. Elie Wiesel believed that people who suffered would never get respect from the people causing the suffering because, being “indifferent to that suffering is what makes the human being inhuman.”, which means that the people causing all of the bad things to
happen, are cruel, and they should be punished. In this case, the American people who did the Jews justice in the Holocaust, were right, but that American and other countries should have not sat back and let all of this happen, and let all the Jewish people die.

How could countries so close not know anything at all? Well, Wiesel thought that America and the other countries had no idea what was going “behind [the] black gates and barbed wire”, however everyone knew what was going on during this all. Wiesel thought that the free world leaders would come and save the people being killed, however, no one did. According to Wiesel, however, the people of the Nazi party are more indifferent than the people who tried to stop it, because they are more humane, and tried putting an end the horrific thing happening. Wiesel tells the reader, that he wants everyone and he believes that “together we walk towards the new millennium, carried by profound fear and extraordinary hope”, and that with this, everyone will be happy, and that we all have to live with each other no matter how much we hate it, but people are going to hate people, but everyone is going the place together, but no one is going to be able to achieve this life that he wants as being humane, until everyone accepts each other and people come together and work hard for what they want.

Belinda said...
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Belinda said...

In the speech The Perils of Indifference and the memoir Night by Elie Wiesel, the author explains through the pieces of literature his feelings of humankind and humanity showing that with indifference in the world, pure humanity will not be reached and one can only hope for the day of complete tolerance. The image in which Weisel portrays shows the readers that Weisel believes mankind has a heart. He understands that although the knowledge of the holocaust and other cruelties were out there, indifference is still part of the human nature. Weisel believes that it “is necessary at times to practice it simply to keep one's sanity.” He explains through his speech that “the Pentagon knew, the State Department knew. And the illustrious occupant of the White House then” also knew, but indifference kept them from acting upon it. Weisel understands that although the human race is able to see the intolerance of others, they are unable to help it because “indifference can be tempting -- more than that, seductive,” Man is unable to help others when they feel in their own way that they are also targeted.


Elie Weisel uses this image to write the memoir Night which shows through the text his message to the readers. He uses the memoir to indicate that men are unable to help others when they are in danger. They will always put themselves first. Even Elie himself, was unable to do anything to help his father, or others around him, knowing and fearing what might come out of his attempt. His message indicates that indifference causes mankind to hide the knowledge of cruelty because of their fear for their own lives. This also shows the world that his view of mankind and humanity is flawed no matter what goes on. Men and their humanity is trying to change and become less indifferent. But true tolerance will never be reached. There will only be “profound fear and extraordinary hope” for the showing of true humanity in this world.

Katherine Z 4 said...

In both the novel Night and in his speech The Perils of Indifferent Elie Wiesel suggests that throughout times, there is always a flaw in humankind, that flaw being indifferent to cruelty. A new millennium will emerged however the indifferent that human have created will always “cast a dark shadow over humanity.” Those indifferent attitude involved “two World Wars, countless civil wars, and senseless chains of assassinations.” As long as humans have lived, there have always been wars and cruelty; however people simply choose the easier route to escape problems that involved others.

Elie Wiesel through his speech suggests that people are so absorb in their own problems that it is tempting to avoid the problem that others faced. It is that indifferent attitude towards the suffering that “makes the human being inhuman” They are indifferent to others around them. They knew the violent occurs; however it is always “so much easier to look away from victims,” that way they would not have to get involved in the conflict and problems of others. According to Elie being indifferent to others is simply too easy, it is rather horrifying. Indifferent requires “no response” nothing is needed for someone to be indifferent, that is what makes it even crueler. Elie suggests Franklin Roosevelt, one of the greatest presidents of our time, a person who “[fought] fascism, [fought] dictatorship,” and also “[fought] Hitler,” have been indifferent to the Jews. The Pentagon knew about the concentration camp and so had the State Department. However when one of the ships that carried nearly 1,000 Jews arrived in U.S, Roosevelt had denied their entrance, forcing them back into death. What had happen to the great hero that had saved thousands of lives? Why is he not helping the Jews, even though he knew that by refusing their entrance he is sending them back to their death? This suggests that no matter how great a hero, they alone cannot escape being indifferent.

In the novel Night, Elie also suggests that humanity cannot escape the indifferent attitude that one has. Mrs.Schachter, who suffered from the loss of her family, has been troubled by an insane mind. She screams about fire all the time; however the other passengers cannot help but react in a cruel manner. They “struck her” (26) and other passengers actually “shouted their approval” (26) Their indifferent to her loss of family members shows that in times of danger, the real nature of human surfaces. They only think about themselves, and not the suffering of others. Elie Wiesel have also first hand experience this when his father “had been struck, in front of [him] and [he] had not even blinked” (39) Elie have lived with his father his whole life, in the past he would not think twice about defending his father, however in the face of danger, he became indifferent to the suffering of his father. He chooses the easy way out, to not get involved, thus not getting hit in the process. Elie Wiesel shows us through his speech and his novel that the biggest obstacle that humans have is being indifferent to others, when help is most needed. It shows the inhumane side of people, that they can let cruelty happen, as long as it does not involved them personally.

laura b said...

The world is wiser to what is right and wrong, but still we must be careful not to slip back into the indifference that allowed the holocaust to happen in the first place. Elie Wiesel portrays a, painful and often contradictory but accurate image of what human kind is and has been in the past century. Wiesel uses his speech “The Perils of Indifference” as a platform to commend, scold and warn his listeners all at once.

Wiesel message is that human kind, like [Roosevelt’s] image in Jewish history, is flawed. FDR is celebrated and Wiesel agrees for good reasons, but asks “Why didn't he allow [Jewish] refugees to disembark” when he knew the horror they were trying to escape. He suggests that we need to be careful of our own ability to look the other way as Roosevelt and so many others did during the Holocaust. Though tolerance is sometimes a needed defense mechanism, especially in times of war, it can also be a powerful message that the brutality taking place is okay.

It is clear that he is thankful that “there were human beings who were sensitive to our tragedy” but yet he is undeniably fearful that too many people were indifferent to the suffering that was known about for too long. Wiesel commends soldiers and says that he was comforted by the look of horror on the faces of the men that freed him, that he “will always be grateful to them for that rage, and also for their compassion” but asks each of us to see if we are looking the other direction today in the face of equally horrific events.


“Indifference is not a response” and Wiesel suggests that any form of it can not be accepted in the world we live in today. “Indifference, then, is not only a sin, it is a punishment” that makes all of human kind suffer no matter who the intended victims are meant to be.

Cristina V 2 said...

According to Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel, intolerance and indifference, lead to the inhumanity and cruelty that took place during the Holocaust.
In his speech, The Perils of Indifference, Wiesel explains the meaning of the term, indifference, as “to be indifferent to that suffering is what makes the human being inhuman”. Elie Wiesel explained in his speech about the terrors he faced and the cruelty he experienced while in Auschwitz. He also says, “society was composed of three simple categories: the killers, the victims, and the bystanders.”
Indifference can easily turn people inhuman, as it is “easier to look away from victims. It is so much easier to avoid such rude interruptions to our work, our dreams, our hopes.” People do not usually stop to help one another if they are in need, because that is what intolerance does to people. Intolerance makes people forget what is really important. This is a perfect example of the Nazis, they decided to blame the Jews for everything that was going wrong in Germany this led to the murders of millions of innocent people because the Nazis simply did not have any tolerance for the Jewish people of Europe. Therefore, they treated them as though they were not human.
Elie Wiesel, as a prisoner in the concentration camp in Auchwitz, witnessed many forms of inhumane cruelty. People were beaten, shot and burned alive. All because one person saw them as inhuman, so everyone agreed. “Indifference, then, is not a sin, it is a punishment.” This is true, because the Jews had not sinned; they were only punished for something they didn’t do. Wiesel wants to put an end to inhumanity and alert people of the indifferences that took place in Europe in 1945.

Martin D 2 said...
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Martin D 2 said...

Through the words of Elie Wiesel, and in his book Night, the image of humankind that he portrays is that the indifference, or intolerance, of what would essentially be considered a “bad” thing, can lead to cruelty and inhumanity.

Elie questions whether the “philosophy of indifference [is] conceivable?” For some people, what may be considered a “good” thing may be “evil” for others, and vice versa. It is this very idea and fear of causing more problems that prevent people to get involve in conflicts, since “it is so much easier to look away from the victims”. Elie further explains that “indifference is always the friend of the enemy, for it benefits the aggressor”. The statement is only true when there is no opposition against these “aggressors”. “Also, these “aggressors” feel that their actions, no matter how malicious, are justified, since no one has the “guts” to resist them.

In the case of his memoir, Night, God was being indifferent to the Jews and because of this; they lost their faith in him. This loss in faith was due to the fact that they felt God did not help them in any way, in their suffering at the concentration camps, as well as the oppression by the Germans. The Jews believed that especially when they did nothing to deserve such cruel treatment, but their loss in faith to what they called their “God” eventually led to a loss in the will to live. For example, Akiba Drumer, a victim of the selection, “no longer [fought], had no more strength, [and] no more faith” (76).

Elie’s message to his audience(s) and the world about this “indifference” towards the humanity “it is not a response” and being “indifferent to that suffering is what makes the human being inhuman”. He emphasizes the necessity to aid those who are suffering, or in pain and anguish.

sandy j 2 said...

In his novel Night, and his speech of “the perils of indifference” , Elie Wiesel portrayed the kind of humanity that he and other Jews faced during the holocaust. The word “Indifferent” as used in his speech means no difference. The way they were being treated in the concentration camps, they saw no difference between life and death or melancholy and happiness, everything was indifferent.
In his speech “The perils of indifference”, he described how the people were. “Wrapped in their torn blankets, they would sit or lie on the ground, staring vacantly into space, unaware of whom or where they were.” Elie depicts how being in that work camp made you forget who you are. It was so horrible that it made one feel lost. They didn’t know why they were there or how they got there. They only knew that they were there. “They no longer felt pain, hunger, thirst. They feared nothing. They felt nothing.” They were humans, but there was nothing humane about their situation. Not the way they look, not the way they were treated, especially not the way they ‘lived.’ Nothing mattered to them anymore, because it couldn’t get worse. They were taken away from their family, they were exposed to death in many different horrendous ways, after a while they just felt indifferent. “Indifference then, is not only a sin, it’s a punishment,” Since they were being punished already for nothing, feeling indifferent was another punishment they did not care for. It couldn’t get worse, they were used to the punishment, so punishing themselves wouldn’t seem as bad.
Elie’s message to the world about humanity is that at that time, humanity did not exist. In his own words he said “being inhumane was humane”. Human kind is cruel, but it can change. He’s the proof that one can still have hope that they could still come out alive.

casey w. 4 said...

Elie Wiesel views people of the world as indifferent to the humanity of others. Our world has suffered from “two World Wars, countless civil wars, [and] the senseless chain of assassinations.” What is the answer to all this crime, violence and cruelty? The dictionary definition of indifference is the lack of interest or concern. That definition exemplifies significance to the answer of this question as does Night and The Perils of Indifference both by Elie Wiesel.

Indifference tragically reaches the hearts of many humans, everywhere. Elie Wiesel depicts his experience of the Holocaust to show the epitome of indifference to humankind. No one bothered to help the Jews suffering in the holocaust. Elie reveals “the world is not interested in us” (pg.33). At that time he was right. The United States and the Allies knew what was going on but they lacked concern. It made “no difference” to the countries that were not involved in Hitler’s tirade of what could happen to the people who were. This marks the point at which those countries became “indifferent to that, suffering.” This makes the “human being inhuman.” Indifference, till this present day lurks about the world. There is suffering all over the world. The children we “see on television or read about in the papers,” that easily have the potential of dying could be saved. People look at these children “with a broken heart” but that is not enough. That is where the “lack of concern” comes in. Staring at the ones of suffering with the want to help them is different then actually doing something that may help save some lives. To want to help shows a person has a heart but to want to help and do nothing makes a person just as indifferent as the man who ordered the death of million of innocent Jews during World War II.

In the past times, the indifference of humanity has been a constant struggle to get out of. How do we transpire from this idea of indifference? It is clearly unrealistic to think that one morning the humankind of this world will wake up and think only of what they can do to help others. Selfishness is just as big as a battle to conquer as indifference. Selfishness is what makes the act of indifference exceedingly popular. However, Elie Wiesel portrays the idea of while “we walk towards this new millennium” the hope that indifference can be diminished over time shall be carried along with us forever.

Marissa G 4 said...

Elie Wiesel portrays to humankind and humanity that being intolerant does lead to cruelty and inhumanity.

He explains this in the documentary, book, and in his speech. In the documentary he said “it was know human to be inhuman” . When he said that it was saddening because to be civilized to people was not popular and to treat them as objects was normal. In Wiesel’s speech The Perils of Indifference he spends a while on the definition of indifference, he said to be indifferent to people who are suffering “makes the human being inhuman”. The Webster’s dictionary definition of indifferent is without interest or concern; not caring; apathetic, so those who do not care or take action are to blame just as much or even more as those causing it. Many people in today’s life and then are only concerned with ones self not in the need of helping others. In the case of the Holocaust America was indifferent because they limited the number on Jewish immigrants so many had to stay and be taken to concentration camps like Wiesel. Throughout the Holocaust millions of innocent people were killed for the mere fact that they were Jews. The Nazi took there humanity because it made the killing of them easier and gave them less guilt. The Nazi’s are the biggest example of being inhuman to others. Many just sat by and knew it was happening but still did nothing about it. Sadly to Wiesel he thought “Indifference, then, is not a sin, it is a punishment.” And I bet many others thought the same way, but indifference should not be a punishment. It is a sin to those who are being indifferent because they are causing harm to others without doing anything. Yet Wiesel is right because the Jews never did anything wrong, but were punished in the most crucial way. It is an amazing thing when people like Elie Wiesel and Anne Frank come along because we get to really know what happened and after we get to here there thoughts on the whole situation and it is just fascinating.

Kellie L 4 said...

In Wiesel’s writing both in “Night” and in his speech, he portrays a brutal and indifferent image of humankind. He states, “…to be indifferent to that suffering is what makes the human being inhuman. Indifference, after all, is more dangerous than anger and hatred.” Wiesel’s main point throughout this speech is showing that “indifference” is the worst trait of humankind.

Elie continuously states that “indifference” to other humans’ pain and suffering is the worst trait obtained by humanity. Because Wiesel is a survivor of the Holocaust, he brings his thoughts of humankind into perspective. “…the inhumanity in the gulag and the tragedy of Hiroshima. And, on a different level, of course, Auschwitz and Treblinka. So much violence; so much indifference.” Wiesel states that the actions of others were actions of “inhumanity”. He also brings up “indifference”. The image of humankind Wiesel portrays is brutal, and “inhuman”. His image of humankind is “indifferent” because of the suffering caused by other humans. The sufferers “no longer felt pain, hunger, thirst. They feared nothing. They felt nothing. They were dead and did not know it.” All of this is happening to the sufferers, while other humans are “indifferent” about their suffering. The image of humankind that Wiesel portrays to his audience is brutal, and “inhuman” because of what they put other people like themselves through.

Elie Wiesel also sends a message to the world about humankind and humanity. By saying “indifference, then, is not only a sin, it is a punishment”, Wiesel is saying that because of their harsh treatment towards their own humankind, they must suffer the consequences. His message is that one day, inhumanity and “indifference” will come to an end. By showing “indifference” as a punishment, he infers that inhumanity is steps closer to a more humane lifestyle. When Elie Wiesel ends his speech, he says he carries “extraordinary hope”. This shows the audience that his hope for the end of “indifference” is everlasting. It also shows that “in this outgoing century's wide-ranging experiments in good and evil”, inhumanity is unsupported, and lead to the worst trait of humankind which is “indifference.”

Aaron G 2 said...

Elie Wiesel proves that not wanting to deal with something in a mature manner can have vast negative effects. Through all his works, Wiesel portrays humankind as almost ignorant. The message he puts forward is be kind and patient.

With this idea of indifference, Wiesel shows how humans can be joined as one. That people choose to be the way they are to each other. That not liking someone for being a different way is almost in some word lethal. He points out, why be ignorant and disrespectful to a diffent type. That type may not be so different. Wiesel shows why people may be ignorant to other trouble, “ It is so much easier to avoid such rude interruptions to our work, our dreams, our hopes.” Wiesel confirms “to be indifferent to that suffering is what makes the human being inhuman” by giving all the examples of death and murder in his novel Night.
But why not shoe compassion to those that are different from you? If they are going through a tremendous hardship do to another human, compassion should be evident. “Indifference, then, is not only a sin, it is a punishment” to those that are affected by the suffering. If this was not present “Some of them -- so many of them -- could be saved.” All that was to be done was not look the other way of the problem but to stare it in the eyes. If people joined together it could have been stopped or prevented.

Consuelo T 2 said...

Through his speech The Perils of Indifference, and in his work in Night, Wiesel portrays the indifferent/apathetic humankind that had acknowledged their wrong ways. His message to his audience and the world is about humankind and humanity and their indifference to difficult situation.
In his speech The Perils of Indifference, Wiesel speaks about how humankind is indifferent. Through his speech he points out several tragedies through the years like “two World Wars, countless civil wars, the senseless chain of assassination”, and “Auschwitz”. Behind every act of cruelty or violence there is always the action of indifference. He points out that many seem to avert them saying that “indifference can be temping”. He points out how humanity is blameworthy of indifference saying that it’s “easier to look away from victims”, and that it’s “troublesome, to be involved in another person’s pain and despair”. Being indifference just seems to be the easy way out, just ignoring the problem or not even acknowledging it.
In his speech he points out that the United States has also been guilty of being indifference. The Jewish victims of the Holocaust assumed that everything that was happening to them was kept a secret. When they found out that “the Pentagon knew, the State Department knew”. He displays this as indifference, America knew what was happening, and they did not do anything. The Jews expected them to actually do something, which was it intervene. When America tried to they didn’t allow the “refugees to disembark” and it’s hard to understand why there was indifference “on the highest level, to the suffering of the victims”.
Although there has been indifference in the world, Wiesel sees that there has been change. Through out his speech he shows the reader his message that humankind has been indifferent, but that they have learned through their mistakes. He sees that perhaps “the human being become less indifferent and more human”. Humankind through past experiences have been indifferent, but have learned to become more involved, and not just stand by, and do nothing. Wiesel feel that there is “extraordinary hope” mean that there perhaps indifference could possibly come to an end eventually.

Andy T. 4 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andy T. 4 said...

In Elie Wiesel’s book Night, and his speech The Perils of Indifference, Wiesel portrays humankind as indifferent to cruelty that took place during the Holocaust.

In The Perils of Indifference, Elie reveals how indifference led to the suffering of those during the Holocaust. Indifference makes “it is so much easier to look away from victims.” Wiesel uses Franklin Roosevelt as an example of indifference when he didn’t “allow refugees to disembark.” Elie wants us to see how turning around and avoiding a problem is so much easier than helping it which lead to many problems such as the Holocaust.

Throughout the story of Night, Elie Wiesel reveals many cases of indifference towards the people. When Moishe the Beadle returns to the city after escaping the horrors, he comes to try and warn all the people of the town. But there he is ignored and “people not only refused to believe his tales, they refused to listen.”(7) When the people ignored his warnings, they were all inhuman to how he was trying to help them.

Elie emphasizes that humankind and humanity is cruel when they are indifferent to people. Ignoring what is wrong just to make your work easier creates a larger problem and suffering around the world. Wiesel wants to warn those people of indifference and help put an end to indifference, cruelty, and inhumanity.

Malik B. 4 said...

Through years of witnessed suffering throughout the world and personal agony during the Holocaust, Elie Wiesel expresses fear for humanity and its future in his speech and memoir, Night. In his speech, “Perils of Indifference” Wiesel criticizes the inhuman tendency to avoid issues that do not directly impact them. Wiesel agrees that, “It is so much easier to avoid such rude interruptions to our work, our dreams, our hopes”. Elie argues that the easiest way of dealing with a witnessed problem is to ignore, through indifference, but only results in, “reduc[ing] the Other to an abstraction”. Ultimately by taking no stand at all a witness essentially abandons the victim allowing them to suffer from the ultimate human fear of being forgotten.
Elie’s fear as a child being oppressed during the Holocaust lingers in his life to this day, and continues to serve as a warning to the world of what indifference can engender. The fear that was instilled in Wiesel as a child today has been altered into fear for such an event in the present day. Coupled with this fear Wiesel believes the world will be, “carried by profound fear and extraordinary hope”, as it enters an uncertain time in its existence. Despite an apparent recent improvement of intervention Wiesel questions if, “we have learned from the past?…Have we really learned from our experiences?”. Following such a traumatic unjust confinement and torture with the sense of being forgotten, Wiesel questions whether or not as a society the world has moved on from indifference and learned to intervene when necessary.

Malik B. 4 said...

Through years of witnessed suffering throughout the world and personal agony during the Holocaust, Elie Wiesel expresses fear for humanity and its future in his speech and memoir, Night. In his speech, “Perils of Indifference” Wiesel criticizes the inhuman tendency to avoid issues that do not directly impact them. Wiesel agrees that, “It is so much easier to avoid such rude interruptions to our work, our dreams, our hopes”. Elie argues that the easiest way of dealing with a witnessed problem is to ignore, through indifference, but only results in, “reduc[ing] the Other to an abstraction”. Ultimately by taking no stand at all a witness essentially abandons the victim allowing them to suffer from the ultimate human fear of being forgotten.
Elie’s fear as a child being oppressed during the Holocaust lingers in his life to this day, and continues to serve as a warning to the world of what indifference can engender. The fear that was instilled in Wiesel as a child today has been altered into fear for such an event in the present day. Coupled with this fear Wiesel believes the world will be, “carried by profound fear and extraordinary hope”, as it enters an uncertain time in its existence. Despite an apparent recent improvement of intervention Wiesel questions if, “we have learned from the past?…Have we really learned from our experiences?”. Following such a traumatic unjust confinement and torture with the sense of being forgotten, Wiesel questions whether or not as a society the world has moved on from indifference and learned to intervene when necessary.

Jess L 2 said...

In the novel Night, and in his speech entitled the Perils of Indifference, Elie Wiesel shows his opionion of humankind, and doesn't seem to think too highly of our species. He sees that everyone is blind, and turns the other way when anything turns bad and has nothing to do with them. He sees people as heartless, if they refuse to acknowledge that such things as the Holocaust were happening at the time, or if they knew of it and just accepted it, without trying to make a difference and save other fellow human beings.

People, more often then not, are inclined to ignore terrible things, in order to convince themselves that their lives are okay. While they are living in their dream land, the victims are living a nightmare. No matter what inhumane things they must endure, I doubt any could be worse than coming to the realization that the human race is full of selfish cowards. There are also many that aren't fully blind, and see the things that are happening. Then it is even worse when the refuse to try to do anything about it. Guilt is human nature, and it eats away at people. Not only did they refuse to at least attempt to save lives, but they have to live with that forever, knowing that they could have helped, so "indifference, then, is not only a sin, it is a punishment," as Wiezel said.

He is trying to open the eyes of people, one person at a time. If one person reads his book and understands the basic flaws of humanity, that is one human being who will no longer be blind, and what he's trying to say is to work as individuals towards a better cause. Sure, during the Holocaust, one person who stood up for what they thought was right would ahve just been shot down, but if everyone stood up, they might have been able to do something about it.

Thanh N. 4 said...

In the article The Perils of Indifference and his memoir Night, Wiesel sends a message to his audience and the world about humankind and humanity, that there is no end to suffering once it already takes place because it is indifferent. In Night, he portrays an image that the German Nazis are the enemies of the Jews and how no one, such as God, will help them get through the suffering. Wiesel believes that there is no help for anyone when there is trouble and when there is help, it is already too late, which he explains in the article.
When he was held in the concentration camp, the one thing that kept going through his mind is help from God. No matter how much he prays inside his mind, he knows that there will be no help because it is already too late. It is too late for him when his father dies because without him "nothing mattered to [Wiesel] anymore" (113) because there is no point for him to go on. He feels that his father is what kept him going, but if he is not there, no one will guide him because the other people that want to help will not understand his need. Wiesel sets an image to the audience that a person has to expect the worse in life at some point in their lives. He wants to show that even with the help “of the army that freed” the survivors at the concentration camps, it does not change the fact that “the human being [becomes] less indifferent and more human”. Despite all of the help that the prisoners receive, the torture and the pain they went through will always remain. Inside the people is thinking why no one came earlier when they needed it the most. He is trying to show that even if there is help, the person will always remember it so it is best to let them die than to save them to live on. Wiesel portrays an image of how humankind is messed up and how the moment is brought to the worst part in their lives, they will never forget it, so it is indifferent.

Jessica F 2 said...

In the memoir, Night by Ellie Wiesel, sees humankind as indifferent and cruel due to the Holocaust and many other conflicts around the world.

Wiesel brings up how anyone can be indifferent to the inhumanities that all these people witnessed. People very often witness a lot of problems and conflicts going on. Some people turn away from these conflicts and pretend to not know anything because “it is so much easier to look away from victims.” Everyone usually turns away because they don’t want to get involved. They just want to keep to themselves and hope that they don’t have that problem. The author is showing that these people were selfish.

Wiesel brings up the Holocaust and what went on in the concentration camps. The Jews couldn’t do anything to save themselves. So many helpless lives were lost. Other people knew these things were going on and no one helped them. They let them be tortured and die. He believes for one “to be indifferent to that suffering is what makes the human being inhuman.” This quote makes a lot of sense but it kind of makes you feel upset.

Wiesel thinks that if the outside world knew what went on inside the gates they “would have moved heaven and earth to intervene.” Later to learn that the “Pentagon knew, the State Department knew” and no one did a thing to help the Jews. As time goes on better things happen such as “the defeat of Nazism, the collapse of communism”. Wiesel is trying to say that the people are becoming more humane. Ellie Wiesel believes we can only achieve a humane life if we all come together.

barbara j 2 said...

In Elie Wiesel’s speech “The Perils of Indifference,” he shows humanity as people of indifference. To him indifference means not to care at all and Wiesel does not consider indifferent people as human. Human beings are being indifferent each time they are careless and each time they ignore people in need “and in denying their humanity, we betray our own.” It is just like ignoring ourselves when we ignore others that we do not see at the same level as us because they are as human as anyone else.
In both his novel Night and his speech, he describes how bad the Jews and others were treated during the Holocaust. Everyone that was victim of the Holocaust suffered so much that they couldn’t even feel the pain anymore. It is like their body was there working but in fact it was dead. The reason why many people are being ignore and are not treated well is because of indifference, the ignorance of humankind.
Being indifferent is easier and tempting. “It is so much easier to look away from victims.” Some people see the suffering right in front of their eyes but they do not want to get involve in anything and because of that they decide to be indifferent and not pay any mind to others. In the speech, Wiesel gives us the example of how a great leader just like Franklin D. Roosevelt could also be indifferent that time he did not allow refugees to disembark because it was the easiest thing to do. There would so many lives saved if people were not as indifferent as they are and decided to help others around them.

::HebaK:: 4 said...

Humans are given an indifferent image in Elie Wiesel’s speech, The Perils of Indifference. The Holocaust is an example of humans’ indifferences. “Etymologically, the word means ‘no difference.’” Wiesel’s speech points out the flaw in the human environment, the consequential flaws. Everyone’s minds are set either in-between a subject or on opposite ends. This is shown in the Holocaust. Humans were not in their right minds, violence was the answer to everything, violence is the between of “cruelty and compassion.” Indifference is in the background of every little topic and statements. Indifference damages the mind.
The world secretly knew of the Holocaust. They refused to take it into consideration; something that brutal could and would never have been possible. With still knowing the truth, some of Americas leading businesses did business with the Germans. Humankind’s inhumanity and indifference lead to massive amounts of suffering. “Indifference elicits no response.” It is no help. “It is a punishment” for the humans who have no indifference or humanity left.
While innocent people suffered in the Holocaust, the world was full of indifference. Decisions could not be made. A blanket of silence was thrown upon humankind. According to Elie Wiesel, this has been reduced now; “but this time, the world was not silent.” His speech shows the biggest flaw of humankind, indifference, and his message to humanity: indifference is and was a problem, demolish it and so many lives can be saved; so much hope can be given.

::HebaK:: 4 said...

Humans are given an indifferent image in Elie Wiesel’s speech, The Perils of Indifference. The Holocaust is an example of humans’ indifferences. “Etymologically, the word means ‘no difference.’” Wiesel’s speech points out the flaw in the human environment, the consequential flaws. Everyone’s minds are set either in-between a subject or on opposite ends. This is shown in the Holocaust. Humans were not in their right minds, violence was the answer to everything, violence is the between of “cruelty and compassion.” Indifference is in the background of every little topic and statements. Indifference damages the mind.
The world secretly knew of the Holocaust. They refused to take it into consideration; something that brutal could and would never have been possible. With still knowing the truth, some of Americas leading businesses did business with the Germans. Humankind’s inhumanity and indifference lead to massive amounts of suffering. “Indifference elicits no response.” It is no help. “It is a punishment” for the humans who have no indifference or humanity left.
While innocent people suffered in the Holocaust, the world was full of indifference. Decisions could not be made. A blanket of silence was thrown upon humankind. According to Elie Wiesel, this has been reduced now; “but this time, the world was not silent.” His speech shows the biggest flaw of humankind, indifference, and his message to humanity: indifference is and was a problem, demolish it and so many lives can be saved; so much hope can be given.

henry d:2 said...

In Elie Wiesel’s writings, both in Night and The Perils of Indifference he portrays humankind – even himself – as indifferent towards the conflict that affect million of lives. Elie Wiesel recognizes that we would rather attend to our own lives, “for it is much easier to look away. It is so much easier to avoid such rude interruptions to our work, our dreams, our hopes. It is, after all, awkward, troublesome, to be involved in another person's pain and despair.” Yet he criticizes this for this is the exact reason why humankind is indifferent. United States is one of these perpetrators of being indifferent for during the holocaust “the Pentagon knew, the State Department knew” about the killings of the innocent lives. Although the American’s the sole savoir of the Jews, they are indifferent for they did not speak out with “great outrage and conviction” when they knew. “They could “bombed the railways leading to Birkenau, just the railways, just once,” too stop the transportation of death; instead United States attended its own trouble. Even the sole savoir of the Jews were indifferent, which proves Elie’s point that any human can sink into cruelty and selfishness. Although he see’s the world as inhuman, he seems some hope for it is “a new millennium.” His message is the wanting of a change in the society. He wants the indifference to disappear so there would be light dissipating the dark shadow over humanity.

Jen-T 4 said...

In his writing, both in Night and in his speech, and through his words in the video, Elie Weisel portrays an image of humankind that we are learning. Throughout the memoir, Night and the Perils of Indifference speech, Elie Weisel gives us the notion that we as a powerhouse country in the world make mistakes, but that throughout the years, we have learned from them and are changing.
While listening to his speech, Weisel portrays the idea that Americans are oblivious to the world around them. He does this by using events from World War II, such as, “the tale of St. Louis” and how he repeatedly states that, “If [America] knew they would have spoken out with great outrage and conviction”, while talking about how millions of Jews were being killed at concentration camps. Weisel, in disbelief doesn’t understand why we Americans “knew” and still didn’t do anything.
“Why was there a greater effort to save SS murderers after the war than to save their victims during the war? Why did some of America's largest corporations continue to do business with Hitler's Germany until 1942? It has been suggested, and it was documented, that the Wehrmacht could not have conducted its invasion of France without oil obtained from American sources. How is one to explain their indifference?”
The speech Perils of Indifference portrays Americans as stuck up and describes out country as obvious because we were silenced by the mass murdering of Jews during the holocaust. However, regardless of what happened, Weisel justifies our actions by how it is,” awkward [and] troublesome to be involved in another person’s pain and despair”, and still has hope in the future of humankind and humanity.
Elie Weisel, a Holocaust survivor, despite what he has witnessed throughout his life, still believes that there is a greater good in the world. He describes his hope as “extraordinary” towards the end of his speech by the advance effort in human peace worldwide. He uses “Israel’s peace treaty with Egypt” and “the joint decision of the United States and NATO to intervene in Kosovo and save those victims” as a step forward in the overall fight towards world peace.
The question of “Does this mean that we have learned from our past?” still arises, but as for the advances since the horrid massacre of Jews throughout the Second World War, the answer is yes.


Sorry =[

Herman T 2 said...

Elie Wiesel suggests in his address The Perils of Indifference and his memoir, Night that the crimes committed by humanity and humankind are indifferent. Indifference is “a strange and unnatural state in which the lines blur between light and darkness”. There has also been “two World Wars, countless civil wars, the senseless chain of assassinations,” that consists of indifference.

Indifference “can be tempting” and “seductive” because it makes it “so much easier to look away” from ones problems. To be indifferent is to separate oneself from the world and “his or her neighbor are of no consequence.” In other words, indifference is the easiest way out of many impediments one will encounter. Indifference is “after all” “more dangerous than anger and hatred.” Hatred “may elicit a response”, but indifference doesn’t. Indifference “is always the friend of the enemy, for it benefits the aggressor”. The crimes that are committed by humanity are “magnified when” one “feels forgotten.”

“Roosevelt was a good mad, with a heart. He understood those who needed help. Why didn’t he allow these refugees to disembark?” “Why the indifference, on the highest level to the suffering of the victims?” Roosevelt is portrayed as powerful person, but he chose to be indifferent because it gave him the option of doing nothing since it is easier than intervening.

The Jews were indifferent. They chose not to listen to Moshie the Beadle after he comes back from Sighet. Moshie tries to spread the news of “what he has seen.” (7) However the Jews decide not to believe him or listen. They didn’t want to accept the fact of a threat upon them so they simply ignore the inhumanities within the world and nothing changes at all. Indifference is everywhere, especially after the Kristallnacht. “Hundreds of Jewish shops destroyed, synagogues burned, thousands of people put in concentration camps.” And yet, nobody decides to do anything resulting in no change.

The biggest source of indifference is from the Jewish people themselves. They chose to believe that “Hitler will not be able to harm” (8) them. While the Holocaust was going on and there was evidence that Hitler was doing unspeakable acts, nobody chose to intervene, but they rather be indifferent.

DAvid T 2 said...

Elie Wiesel sees humankind as both cruel and compassionate, as illustrated through his memoir Night and through his speech The Perils of Indifference.

In his memior, Elie tells of how the Germans had "used their rifles…to indiscriminately strike old men and women, children and cripples” (16)This shows how curel humankind can be. Ruthless. Cold. Evil.
With everything he had experienced through the Holocaust, the murders and the abuse, he feels that humans are just heartless.

In his speech, Elie shows how humankind can also be compassionate. Elie had been rescued by "American soldiers, [and] remembers their rage at what they saw. And even if he lives to be a very old man, he will always be grateful to them for that rage" (1st par.) With everything he had gone through at the camp, Elie was rescued by people who had cared. Compassionate people who had felt rage at what they saw.

Even though he had seen many evils at the camp, there were still people who cared and felt rage at the site of the camps. FOr that, Elie Wiesel does not just only see humankind as evil, but he also ses them as compassionate.

Trang T 2 said...

In the novel Night and the speech The Perils of Indifferent by Elie Wiesel, the author suggests the humankind element has been sadly denied by the world. Wiesel went through many experiences at the concentration camps and he states that never shall he forget those nights. In the novel, the author shows us the fact that he realizes he had changed that much since the day he entered the camp. His humanity had been taken away “I thought of stealing away in order not to suffer the blows…that was what life in a concentration camp had made of me…” (p54) The SS officers tortured his dad severely in front of him but Wiesel didn’t dare to take any actions to protect his dad. He explains that because of this society, he was no longer caring for others. He tends to seek his own survival and tries to find a way to escape himself.
Even though the Holocaust incident has been 50 years ago, Wiesel once again reminds the audiences of the inhumanity in which he and other Jews had suffered deadly. He blames for whom is not involved to rescue the victims of injustices, the homeless, the victims of this world. The Humanity has been indifferent. At the beginning of the speech, Wiesel admits that for him, Gratitude is the word which stands out the meaning of humanity. In contrast, gratitude is totally opposite with indifferent. The world turns away and seems to avoid rescuing the victims. Being indifferent is meant to be inhuman, because since he/she doesn’t care about something/someone but only themselves.

Trang T 2 said...

Ps: sorry for being late...

Jimmy v.2 said...

In Elie Wiesel's writing, both in Night and in his speech, he portrays humankind as indifferent to others' problems. Through this portrayal Wiesel suggests that indifference can lead to cruelty and inhumanity. When humans are indifferent they let cruelty and inhumanity go on within society. Wiesel says in his speech that ''one does something special for the sake of humanity because one is angry at the injustice that one witnesses. But indifference is never creative''(10). Indifference does not cause a reaction in humans to fight what is wrong. In Night, the indifference the prisoners felt created a feeling of despair and hopelessness. There was a deep need to survive and care for oneself. In turn the people with the power, the Nazis, had free range to bully millions of people. A particular situation when Wiesel's father was beaten by the camp guard shows that the feeling of indifference can overcome other emotions, like anger. Wiesel was angry at the guard and even promised himself that he'd never forget what they did. Still, he did not say a word and acted as if he did not even see. As a human he felt angry when he saw what he did but the atmosphere with all those broken people gave him the feeling of indifference. Therefore cruelty and inhumanity went on unhindered.
Although Wiesel states that indifference is a part of human nature, he hopes that future generations will not tolerate cruelty and inhumanity. The message he brings through Night and his speech calls for a humankind that will work together to prevent tragedies such as the Holocaust and other genocides.

Kimberly said...

In the book Night and the speech, Elie Wiesel compares humankind to the violence of the world. Wiesel sees humans as corrupted beings. Humankind is also “indifferent” to the terrifying wars and genocides.

There are “two World Wars, countless civil wars, the senseless chain of assassination,” and atomic bombings. These violent acts are all caused by humankind; the indifference of human and violence. “Roosevelt is a good man, with a heart” who “understands those who need help”, but he did not allow a ship of 1,000 Jews enter America during the run of Holocaust. Wiesel sees that humankind is almost completely indifferent to violence, but the only part of humanity in human is gratitude, as explained in the speech.

In the book, there are multiple scenes where Wiesel shows loss of faith in God and religion. The speech states that “to be abandoned by humanity then was not the ultimate” but “to be abandoned by God was worse than to be punished by Him”. Wiesel knows that God may be “unjust”, but an unjust God is better than an “indifferent one”. Humankind is indifferent to violence and cruelties. Human beings are corrupted.