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Night by Elie Wiesel Chapter 9 Summary

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In the final chapter of 'Night' by Elie Wiesel, Eliezer no longer cares about anything after the loss of his father. In this lesson, we will learn what happens to Eliezer in Chapter Nine.

Loss of Will

When Eliezer's father became ill with dysentery, an infection of the intestines, Eliezer's purpose in life was taking care of him as others in the concentration camp steal his father's food and water. Eliezer has been giving up part of his rations to keep him alive. When his father dies, Eliezer feels a moment of relief followed by the greyness of losing his purpose. In this lesson, we will learn what happens to Eliezer after the death of his father in Chapter Nine of Night by Elie Wiesel.

Elie Wiesel with Colin Powell at Presidential Inauguration in 2009
Elie Wiesel with Colin Powell at Presidential Inauguration in 2009

Evacuation of Buchenwald

'After my father's death, nothing could touch me anymore.' Eliezer is moved to the children's block but doesn't say much about the last few months he stays in camp after his father died. Nothing much matters anymore, so he simply exists.

As US troops begin to close on Buchenwald, the decision is made to evacuate the camp and burn it before their arrival. As Eliezer's block is being evacuated, 'the camp resistance organization had decided not to abandon the Jews and was going to prevent their being liquidated.' Air raid sirens go off, and the children are ordered back to their block. The Buchenwald camp resistance organization is a group of political prisoners who hold clerical positions within the camp that enable them to sabotage the Nazi evacuation plan.

Freedom

The following day, US troops arrive to free the prisoners at Buchenwald. 'Our first act as free men was to throw ourselves onto the provisions. That's all we thought about. No thought of revenge, or of parents. Only of bread. And even when we were no longer hungry, not one of us thought of revenge. The next day, a few of the young men ran into Weimar to bring back some potatoes and clothes--and to sleep with girls. But still no trace of revenge.' Eliezer and the other prisoners had gone for so long without having their basic needs met that when given the opportunity, filling their essential requirements is the only thing that matters.

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