In the times before the Holocaust, European people thought of themselves as the superior civilizations on this planet. The thoughts and actions of equality and enlightenment had been brewing in the minds of these people since the days of the French Revolution. Each generation took bigger and more drastic strides to reach this common goal of equality of social and religious status; whether it was passively or on the, so-called, field of battle. The story Night, by Elie Wiesel, erases all that it thought to be constant in the years prior to the second world war.
The idea that a single nation, one that has just fought for unity and equality so recently, could turn its back on what brought it together and single handedly try and wipe out an entire race of people just because they didnt posses the pure blood of their nation would have seemed ludacris; but it happened and it happened in our own back yard. Night depicts an era in which all good things, religious freedoms and equality, that had been built up over generations of suffering had been wiped away bringing an era ofpersecution, Jewish persecution.
Francois Mauriacs statement about his wifes story of the Jewish children being packed into trains can be somewhat disturbing when the actual accounts of that time are placed into the equation. Mauriac stated that this time represented the end of one era and the beginning of another; the end of innocence and the beginning of reality. Night personifies the statement that is brought about by the stories of the Jewish Holocaust. This event marked the end of an era, an era of civilization and parity and the beginning of an era of pure chaos and barbarism.
Leading up to this time many European nations belived their people to be the most powerful and most civilized people in the world, no one believed this more than the Germans. This idea that they were direct descedants from the Aryian tribes of Ancient Roman, tribes that conquered most of western Europe including Rome itself, was placed into their heads by a powerful leader that hoped to bring German back to its days of glory, Adolf Hitler. He placed in their minds that German people were of these tribes blood and that their blood was pure unlike the other western powers who allowed the mixing of different races.
This fact made them a stronger race and the only thing hampering their race was the Jewish plague that poisioned their pure blood. The only way to relieve the German people from this racial disease was thought to just deport all Jews, but then it was apparent that that wasnt enough and all out extermination of the German Jewish population took place. This is where Wiesel picks up his story, at the beginning of the relocation of Jews to concentration camps for labor and execution. Many of the Jewish people thought nothing of the German soldiers, to a certain extent.