Night Quotes

“Here, there are no fathers, no brothers, no friends.” (115)

This was spoken by the head of the block when Elie Wiesel was caring for his dying father. This is an example of how a person can disregard the well-being of everyone else and only think of himself. The head of the block essentially told Wiesel to let his father die by telling him that he shouldn't give up his share of bread and soup to his father and telling him that he should be having his father's share. The next morning, Elie Wiesel's father was no longer with him. His father had been taken to the crematory and in his place was another invalid.

“No! He isn't dead! Not yet!” (104)

Elie Wiesel said this quote when two 'gravediggers' were attempting to throw his weak sleeping father out of the carriage along with all of the dead bodies. Elie woke up his father in time to prove that he was alive, and the 'gravediggers' moved off for another person. This is an example where the child and parent switch places, and the child is responsible for the parent instead of the other way around. Elie was determined to keep caring for his father and not turn against him as many other sons were doing. When his father finally died, he felt somewhat relieved of the responsibility he had toward his father.

“Long live liberty! A curse on Germany! A curse...A cur-” (69)

This quote was spoken by a brave and hopeful prisoner moments before his execution. He was still optimistic in a position that it would seem impossible to be so. The fact that this statement gave hope to Elie and the other prisoners is evident it that Elie said that the soup tasted good that night. The morale in the camp was raised by this man's courage and hope for the future. There were ten thousand prisoners that were witness to this man's hanging and his courage.

“Where is He? Here He is - He is hanging here on this gallows...” (72)

Elie Wiesel silently said this in response to a man asking, "Where is God now?" after a young boy had been hanged. This is a representation of Elie's faith when it has dropped to an extremely low level. He is saying that God, by letting the Germans hang the little boy, was, in Elie's mind, becoming dead or nonexistent. Elie, by saying that the soup that night tasted like corpses, leaves the idea that the morale and hope had been cut down a considerable amount.

“No, not fifty. Forty. Do you understand? Eighteen and forty.” (39)

When Elie and his father arrived at the first concentration camp, a prisoner asked them their ages. He told them to say they were eighteen and forty because he knew about what would happen if they were too young or old for labor. This showed that the prisoners were human and did care for each other's well-being. By telling them this, the prisoner saved their lives. After Elie and his father had passed this first selection, they saw babies being burned because they wouldn't be able to do labor.

“The yellow star? Oh well, what of it? You don't die of it...” (20)

This was said by Elie's father when the Germans first started imposing on the Jewish people's lives. He said it because he didn't want to dishearten the others. This is ironic because it they actually did eventually die of it. The Germans issued decrees and the Jews kept saying that it wasn't so bad until it was too late for them to possibly revolt. They were banned from public places and services, and then isolated in the ghetto, until they were transported to the concentration camps where most of them met their deaths.

“He's [Hitler] the only one who's kept his promises, all his promises, to the Jewish people.” (87)

This was said by a faceless person in the bed next to Elie when he was in the hospital for an operation on his foot. The person said it after Elie asked him why he regarded Hitler as a prophet. This is an example of the general low morale among the prisoners. They were beginning to have more faith that Hitler would do what he said than that God would do what He said. Hitler had made the lives of the Jewish people a living hell. With this statement, the man summed up how low his faith in God had fallen.

Paragraphs written by James Cassell