T: Night A: Eliezer Wiesel N: Romanian Jew G: Memoir


Prejudice: an attitude of closed mindedness which allows a person to prejudge another negatively without any knowledge of that person.

Racism: the hatred of all the members of a particular race or ethnic group because of the stereotyped characteristics associated with that race or group.

Stereotype: a generally accepted opinion or fixed notion of a person that is believed without investigation.

Anti-Semitism: the hatred against any person of Jewish descent.

Scapegoat: a person or group who is unjustly blamed for the general problems affecting their society. (On the Day of Atonement a live goat was chosen to have hands laid on it and have all the inequities of the Hebrews transferred to the beast. It was then let go into the wilderness.)

Genocide: (This term was coined after WWII.)

The total annihilation of a race or ethnic group.

Holocaust: (Greek root meaning burnt whole) the destruction of six million European Jews and almost six million non-Jews from 1933-


Ghetto: a fenced in area where Jews were forced to live

Refuge: a place of safe retreat

Gestapo: Nazi police (secret service)

Fascist: a dictatorship type of government

Truncheons: sticks used for beating


Exterminate: eliminate; to completely destroy

Deportation: removal from one country to another

List stereotypes of the following groups:




Honors students

Homecoming queen


Students who dress in all black

Can you think of other groups who are stereotyped?








Never again should we allow…


I have never been more frightened than the time…

The hardest thing I ever had to do…

People don’t want to believe the truth when…

A good son or daughter…

It is okay to fight back when…

Read the following situations and determine what you think is right. Tell what you would do and give a brief (3-4 sentence) explanation.

1. During wartime, your town is captured by enemy troops. They gather the townspeople together and ask that someone identify the town mayor. Everyone knows that the mayor, once identified, will be shot and killed by the enemy. After no one volunteers a response, the enemy’s chief officer announces that he will shoot and kill someone picked at random if the mayor is not identified immediately. Would you identify the mayor?

Explain your answer.


. You are lost in the desert with your best friend. Your friend has run out of water and is literally dying of thirst. You have water left in your canteen, but if you share it with your best friend, you will both die. On the other hand, if you keep all the water for yourself, you will likely survive. If you give all the water to your friend, he or she will likely live, but you will die. What would you do? Explain your answer.


In school, you saw another student commit an act of vandalism. The principal has asked that anyone with information about the vandal come forward and identify the person; otherwise, the principal will punish the entire school by taking away privileges such as drink machines, pep rallies, and extracurricular activities. You are afraid to report the vandal for fear that the vandal’s friends will discover you got him or her into trouble, which may cause trouble for you. On the other hand, you don’t wish to have student privileges— including your own—withheld. What do you do? Explain your answer.

After the First World War, Germany was in chaos, and Hitler was a strong leader who promised a better life for Germany.

European fascism merged with anti semitism.

Of the 60 million World War II deaths, 11 million people died in German death camps including 3.5 million Russians, and 6 million Jews (2/3rds of all

European Jews)

There have been many massacres during the course of world history. And the Nazis murdered many non-Jews in concentration camps.

What is unique about Hitler’s “Final

Solution of the Jewish Problem,” was the

Nazi’s determination to murder without exception every single Jew who came within grasp, and the fanaticism, ingenuity, and cruelty with which they pursued their goal.

During the Holocaust, 11 million people died in concentration camps in Germany and


Hitler’s ideology called for the imprisonment of Jews, gypsies, political dissenters, the mentally ill, and homosexuals.

The western world was unaware of the true extent of Germany’s persecution of Jews and others.

Deprived German Jews of their rights of citizenship, giving them the status of "subjects" in Hitler's Reich.

The laws also made it forbidden for Jews to marry or have sexual relations with Aryans.

The Nuremberg Laws had the unexpected result of causing confusion and heated debate over who was a

"full Jew."

The Nazis settled on defining a "full Jew" as a person with three

Jewish grandparents. Those with less were designated as


After the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, a dozen supplemental Nazi decrees were issued that eventually outlawed the Jews completely, depriving them of their rights as human beings.

This took place around the time when Elie

Wiesel arrived at


"Why didn’t Jewish people flee

Germany when the Nazis took power?"

The Voyage of the Damned…

In 1939, Germany's Hamburg-America Line announced a special voyage to Havana on the



Ship, departing May 13. The 937 tickets were quickly sold out, with more than 900 of them purchased by Jews.


St. Louis arrived in Havana harbor on May 27, but Cuban officials denied entry to all but 28 passengers. For a week, while the ship sat at anchor in sweltering heat, representatives of the American

Jewish Committee (JDC) negotiated with Cuban president. The Cuban government rejected their proposals and forced the ship to leave the harbor.

The ship's captain piloted the St. Louis to the Florida coast in hopes that the U.S. would accept the passengers. The State Department, however, refused to intervene in Cuban affairs, and the Coast Guard denied the ship entrance into American waters. The

St. Louis turned back to Europe.

Fearful of returning to Germany, the passengers pleaded with world leaders to offer them refuge.

Through the efforts of the JDC and other agencies, the governments of France, Great Britain, the

Netherlands, and Belgium granted the refugees temporary haven. After being at sea for over a month, the St. Louis docked in Antwerp on June 17,


After the ship left the Havana harbor, it sailed so close to the Florida coast that the passengers could see the lights of Miami. The captain appealed for help, but in vain. U.S. Coast Guard ships patrolled the waters to make sure that no one jumped to freedom and did not allow the ship to dock in the

U.S. The St. Louis turned back to Europe. Belgium, the Netherlands, England, and France admitted the passengers. But within months, the Germans overran western Europe. Hundreds of passengers who disembarked in Belgium, the Netherlands, and

France eventually fell victim to the Nazi "Final


One of the most famous photos taken during the

Holocaust shows Jewish families arrested by Nazis during the destruction of the

Warsaw Ghetto in Poland, and sent to be gassed at

Treblinka extermination camp.