The Summary Of Elie Wiesel’s Novel Night

Night is told by Eliezer, a Jewish teenage who lived in Hungarian Transylvania’s Sighet when the memoir began. Eliezer studies Torah (the Old Testament’s first five books) and Cabbala (a doctrine that teaches Jewish mysticism). His education is cut by Moshe The Beadle who is his instructor. Moshe, who returned to his home in just a few short months, told a frightening tale: the Gestapo, a German secret police force, took command of Moshe’s train. They led everyone into woods and slaughtered them. Moshe is a man of madness who is distrusted by everyone.

The Nazis take over Hungary in 1944. Shortly thereafter, a series more restrictive measures are taken and Eliezer’s Jews are forced into small ghettos located within Sighet. They are soon driven onto cattle cars and an excruciating journey ensues. After spending days and nights in the car, exhausted and close to starvation, they arrive at Birkenau. The memoir’s first “selection” shows Eliezer evaluating the Jews to determine if they should be killed immediately or put to work. Eliezer’s father and Eliezer seem to pass the evaluation. However before they are taken to the prisoners barracks, the Nazis open-pit fires infants by busloads.

The Jewish refugees arrive dressed in their most basic attire, with razors and clean hands. Their captors eventually lead them to Auschwitz. Finally they reach Buna where Eliezer gets to work in an electric-fittings workshop. They are forced to work in slavery and severely malnourished by their “selections”. The Jews then find refuge in each other’s company, in religion, Zionism and caring for one another. Zionism advocates the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine. The Jews are repeatedly humiliated and beat in the camp. Eliezer, who is corruptly commanded by his foreman, must give his golden tooth to him. It is then taken out of Eliezer’s mouth with a sharp spoon.

Watching fellow prisoners hang in the camp courtyard is a punishment for the prisoners. The Gestapo once even hanged a Buna rebel kid. Due to the constant danger of death in the camps, many prisoners begin to become harsher and more concerned with their survival. Fathers are abandoned and abused by their sons. Eliezer’s humanity and faith begin to be destroyed, as does his faith in God.

Eliezer is admitted to the hospital after months of being in the camp. He has a foot injury and undergoes surgery. The Nazis evacuate the camp to protect Buna while Eliezer lies in hospital. The prisoners start a death march, running more than 50 miles towards the Gleiwitz concentration site. Many people die due to fatigue and extreme weather. Gleiwitz’s cattle cars are used to transport the prisoners. The train arrives at Buchenwald and the prisoners begin a second fatal journey. One hundred Jews are in the car; only twelve survive. Eliezer and the father of Eliezer support one another through their ordeal. Buchenwald is the final place Eliezer will live. His father died from dysentery and abuse. Eliezer survives as a shell of an individual.


  • nicholashopkins

    Nicholas Hopkins is a social media teacher, writer and educator. He has been blogging since 2009, and has since published over 20 articles and taught social media in high school and college. He is currently a social media teacher and blogger at Nicholas Hopkins Academy.