Elie Wiesel is one of the greatest literary heroes of all time. The stories of his experiences in the Nazi concentration camps have changed the world. His writing is powerful and leaves an imprint of shock and the terror of the camps in the mind of his readers. One terror that left an imprint on me is how Wiesel lost faith in God while at the camps.
Wiesel speaks of many horrors while at the camp. One that stuck out at me was the fact that he lost his faith in God while there. Religion is quite important to most people. Wiesel was spiritually affected in the wake of human suffering at the camps. In his stories, Wiesel portrays the fact that Jews were stripped of all their belongings during the Holocaust, including dignity and self-worth. Religion was very possibly the only factor keeping Jews at the camp sane. Praying to God and having something to believe in gave them hope and reminded them who they were. But faith was a main conflict for Wiesel at the camps.
Before the Holocaust, Wiesel devoted much of his time to his faith and studies. Upon arriving at the camps, Wiesel would never view his faith the same. He did not understand why his God who he had devoted so much time to would leave him behind along with the whole Jewish race. He did not think his God would have allowed these camps to be created and let innocent Jews be tortured and killed.
Wiesel losing faith in his God made me think. Religion is a very beautiful concept. It intertwines billions of people across the world. Even though I’m not religious, I know many people who are, including my grandmother, and I can understand how easy it is to love your God in times of peace. But how many people would stay faithful to their God if they were put through an experience like Wiesel’s? His writing shows that the Holocaust did not only affect Jews physically, emotionally, and mentally, but also spiritually. Even if I was religious, I still do not think I would blame Wiesel for losing faith. To experience the Holocaust and still be strongly rooted in religion seems impossible to me. I too would probably lose faith if I was put through the torture and pandemonium of the concentration camps.