By Richard E. Noble
Elie Wiesel was a victim of the attempted extermination of the “Jewish Race” by the Nazi German State under the leadership of Adolf Hitler.
Adolf Hitler actually had a bigger plan than the extinction of the “Jewish Race”. His larger goal was to eventually rid the world of all inferior breeds and types of people - weather they were members of races or not. He was going to purify humankind of all of its miscreants. The Jews were simply first. He explains these goals in his book Mein Kampf.
It always amazes me that here in the United States there has only been one political party that has ever been outlawed - the Communist Party. As far as I know even today, you can be a member of the Nazi Party but not a member of a Communist Party.
In principle and theory the Nazi Party advocates the extermination of all inferior peoples for the eventual goal of the purification of the species.
The Communist Party in principle and theory (despite the leadership of many misguided brutes and dictators and murderers) has advocated fair treatment for the poor and working class.
In the United States we have outlawed the Communist Party but not the Nazi Party.
Harry Truman in one of his memoirs states that in his opinion Communism was a worse philosophy than Nazism.
To say the least I’m confused.
But “Night” by Elie Wiesel is not a book about Nazism or Communism. It is a book about people and the human race.
The copy of “Night” that I have was previously owned. And the original owner has written several of his comments or questions in the margins.
On page four he writes; Why would you allow yourself to be shipped off? On page seven he writes: Total denial of worsening conditions by the Jews. On page 27 he writes; So many Jews and so few SS. Why don’t the Jews just take over? On page 37 he writes: A psychological feeling of depression controlled the Jews. He has other comments but they get fewer and fewer as the book goes on.
What do you think about these questions?
I wonder why this last reader is questioning the behavior of the Jews and not the behavior of the Germans.
There is not one question written in the margins of this little book asking how the German people could do such a thing to any group of people.
Like the battered housewife, everyone asks; Why did you stay with him? Why did you allow him to treat you so?
No one asks: What was wrong with this man?
Is it because we as human beings are so conditioned to abuse and torture and mistreatment in this life that we see nothing unusual about the abuser?
And this brings us to Mr. Elie Wiesel’s constant refrain throughout this book; ‘Where is God? Where is He? Where can He be now?
As a philosophical student of the classical problem of the existence or non-existence of God, I find this argument basic. This is the moral argument against the existence of God - How can a moral God create an immoral world?
Liebnitz said that because God is good and moral - this is the best of all possible worlds. It must be. God can not make mistakes.
Voltaire wrote Candide as the disbelievers’ response to Liebnitz.
The believer will say that the evil of the Holocaust was not God’s evil but the evil of man - it was created by the German people. This was human evil not Divine evil - as if human nature could somehow be separated from a Divine creation.
Once again we see the victim getting the blame while the abuser is exonerated.
This seems to be the human condition.
To continue with this philosophy of “beating up on the victim”, I suppose that the non-believer could say to the believer: Why my friend do you chose to believe in an abusive God?