Night

The narrator of Night, Eliezer is based closely on the author Elie Wiesel and his own experiences before and during the Holocaust. (Night is usually classified as a memoir.) Eliezer is a deeply religious teenager from the Hungarian town of Sighet. During his time in Nazi concentration camps, he witnesses unimaginable acts of brutality that challenge and ultimately destroy his religious faith. It becomes his duty to look after his father, Chlomo, as the older man weakens and finally dies in the camps.

Eliezer Quotes in Night

The Night quotes below are all either spoken by Eliezer or refer to Eliezer. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Having and Losing Faith in God Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Bantam Books edition of Night published in 1982.
Chapter 1 Quotes
I was twelve. I believed profoundly. During the day I studied the Talmud, and at night I ran to the synagogue to weep over the destruction of the Temple.
Related Characters: Eliezer (speaker)
Page Number: 1
Explanation and Analysis:

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Night. No one prayed, so that the night would pass quickly. The stars were only sparks of the fire which devoured us. Should that fire die out one day, there would be nothing left in the sky but dead stars, dead eyes.
Related Characters: Eliezer (speaker)
Related Symbols: Fire, Night
Page Number: 18
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 3 Quotes
Humanity? Humanity is not concerned with us. Today anything is allowed. Anything is possible, even these crematories.
Related Characters: Eliezer, Chlomo
Related Symbols: Fire
Page Number: 30
Explanation and Analysis:

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Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky. Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever.
Related Characters: Eliezer (speaker)
Related Symbols: Fire, Night
Page Number: 32
Explanation and Analysis:

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Some talked of God, of his mysterious ways, of the sins of the Jewish people, and of their future deliverance. But I had ceased to pray. How I sympathized with Job! I did not deny God's existence, but I doubted his absolute justice.
Related Characters: Eliezer (speaker)
Page Number: 42
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 4 Quotes
Behind me, I heard the same man asking:
"Where is God now?"
And I heard a voice within me answer him:
"Where is He? Here He is—He is hanging here on this gallows. . . . "
Related Characters: Eliezer (speaker)
Page Number: 62
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 5 Quotes
"Yes, man is very strong, greater than God. When You were deceived by Adam and Eve, You drove them out of Paradise. When Noah's generation displeased You, You brought down the Flood… But these men here, whom You have betrayed, whom You have allowed to be tortured, slaughtered, gassed, burned, what do they do? They pray before You! They praise your name!"
Related Characters: Eliezer (speaker)
Page Number: 64
Explanation and Analysis:

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That day I had ceased to plead. I was no longer capable of lamentation. On the contrary, I felt very strong. I was the accuser, God the accused. My eyes were open and I was alone, terribly alone in a world without God and without man. Without love or mercy. I had ceased to be anything but ashes, yet I felt myself to be stronger than the Almighty, to whom my life had been tied for so long. I stood amid that praying congregation, observing it like a stranger.
Related Characters: Eliezer (speaker)
Page Number: 65
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 6 Quotes
Pitch darkness. Every now and then, an explosion in the night. They had orders to fire on any who could not keep up. Their fingers on the triggers, they did not deprive themselves of this pleasure. If one of us stopped for a second, a sharp shot finished off another filthy son of a bitch.
Related Characters: Eliezer (speaker)
Related Symbols: Night
Page Number: 81
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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We were masters of nature, masters of the world. We had forgotten everything—death, fatigue, our natural needs. Stronger than cold or hunger, stronger than the shots and the desire to die, condemned and wandering, mere numbers, we were the only men on earth.
Related Characters: Eliezer (speaker)
Page Number: 83
Explanation and Analysis:

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He played a fragment from Beethoven's concerto. I had never heard sounds so pure. In such silence.
Related Characters: Eliezer (speaker), Juliek
Page Number: 90
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 7 Quotes
Twenty bodies were thrown out of our wagon. Then the train resumed its journey, leaving behind it a few hundred naked dead, deprived of burial, in the deep snow of a field in Poland.
Related Characters: Eliezer (speaker)
Page Number: 94
Explanation and Analysis:

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We were given no food. We lived on snow; it took the place of bread. The days were like nights, and the nights left the dregs of their darkness in our souls.
Related Characters: Eliezer (speaker)
Related Symbols: Night
Page Number: 94
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Hundreds of cries rose up simultaneously. Not knowing against whom we cried. Not knowing why. The death rattle of a whole convoy who felt the end upon them. We were all going to die here. All limits had been passed. No one had any strength left. And again the night would be long.
Related Characters: Eliezer (speaker)
Page Number: 97
Explanation and Analysis:

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The last day had been the most murderous. A hundred of us had got into the wagon. A dozen of us got out—among them, my father and I.
Related Characters: Eliezer (speaker), Chlomo
Page Number: 98
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 8 Quotes
"Don't let me find him! If only I could get rid of this dead weight, so that I could use all my strength to struggle for my own survival, and only worry about myself." Immediately I felt ashamed of myself, ashamed forever.
Related Characters: Eliezer (speaker), Chlomo
Page Number: 101
Explanation and Analysis:

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Oh, to strangle the doctor and the others! To burn the whole world! My father's murderers! But the cry stayed in my throat.
Related Characters: Eliezer (speaker), Dr. Mengele
Related Symbols: Fire
Page Number: 103
Explanation and Analysis:

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Bending over him, I stayed gazing at him for over an hour, engraving into myself the picture of his blood-stained face, his shattered skull.
Related Characters: Eliezer (speaker), Chlomo
Page Number: 106
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 9 Quotes
Our first act as free men was to throw ourselves onto the provisions. We thought only of that. Not of revenge, not of our families. Nothing but bread.
Related Characters: Eliezer (speaker)
Page Number: 109
Explanation and Analysis:

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One day I was able to get up, after gathering all my strength. I wanted to see myself in the mirror on the opposite wall. I had not seen myself since the ghetto. From the depths of the mirror, a corpse gazed back at me. The look in his eyes, as they stared into mine, has never left me.
Related Characters: Eliezer (speaker)
Page Number: 109
Explanation and Analysis:

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Eliezer Character Timeline in Night

The timeline below shows where the character Eliezer appears in Night. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Having and Losing Faith in God Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Eliezer is twelve in 1941. He lives in a town called Sighet, in territory then controlled... (full context)
Having and Losing Faith in God Theme Icon
Inhumanity Theme Icon
...the town. Poor and physically awkward, he has a dreamlike and spiritual quality about him. Eliezer and he discuss religion and begin to study cabbala together. Soon, though, all of the... (full context)
Having and Losing Faith in God Theme Icon
Guilt and Inaction Theme Icon
The people of Sighet do not believe Moché's story. Even Eliezer does not believe him, although he notices that Moché has changed, and no longer speaks... (full context)
...encouraged by radio reports of the bombardment of Germany and the progress of the war. Eliezer continues his religious studies and the family thinks about Hilda's marriage prospects. (full context)
Inhumanity Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Guilt and Inaction Theme Icon
...in 1944, although the Jews in Sighet still doubt that Hitler wants to exterminate them. Eliezer wants his father to sell the business and move to Palestine but his father says... (full context)
Guilt and Inaction Theme Icon
...houses of local citizens—sometimes Jews. One officer stays in a house across the street from Eliezer's. The soldiers are polite, and the Jews hope things will be fine. They keep a... (full context)
Inhumanity Theme Icon
Jews are forced to move into one of two ghettoes in Sighet. Eliezer's house is already in one of the designated areas, so his family doesn't have to... (full context)
Inhumanity Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
One night, Eliezer's father is hurriedly summoned to a meeting of the Jewish council. Neighbors gather at the... (full context)
Inhumanity Theme Icon
Eliezer watches the people of his town—friends, teachers, the rabbi—pass by with a small bundle of... (full context)
Inhumanity Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Eliezer's family isn't part of the first deportation. Instead they are going to be sent to... (full context)
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Guilt and Inaction Theme Icon
...servant comes to see them and begs them to come to her village and hide. Eliezer's father says that Eliezer and his two older sisters can go if they want to,... (full context)
Guilt and Inaction Theme Icon
That night, according to Eliezer, no one prays. The next day, people try to feel hopeful. They suggest that they... (full context)
Chapter 3
Inhumanity Theme Icon
...they are surrounded by the SS with machine guns. Men are separated from the women. Eliezer watches his sisters and his mother move away. He sees his mother and his youngest... (full context)
Inhumanity Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
The SS order them into groups. Eliezer manages to stay with his father. One veteran prisoner tells him to say that he... (full context)
Inhumanity Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
...them questions, and then pointing to the right or to the left with his baton. Eliezer lies and says he is eighteen and a farmer. Dr. Mengele gestures to the left,... (full context)
Inhumanity Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
They are marched towards a ditch from which Eliezer sees flames leaping up. He watches a truck pull up to the ditch and sees... (full context)
Inhumanity Theme Icon
Fathers and Sons Theme Icon
Guilt and Inaction Theme Icon
Eliezer tells his father he will run towards the electric fence instead of dying in the... (full context)
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...the new arrivals are beaten by veteran prisoners. The SS officers look for strong men (Eliezer and his father decide not to draw attention to themselves). Next, the new arrivals are... (full context)
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Certain skilled workers are weeded out and the rest are sent to another barracks. Eliezer's father asks the gypsy deportee in charge of the barracks if he can use the... (full context)
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Under SS guard, Eliezer, his father, and their group of prisoners are marched out of Birkenau to another camp:... (full context)
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The next day the prisoners are tattooed on their left arms. Eliezer becomes A-7713. In the evening, tens of thousands of prisoners stand for roll call as... (full context)
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A relative—Eliezer's great-uncle from Antwerp—finds Eliezer's father and asks if anyone has heard news of his wife... (full context)
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...Auschwitz. The relative from Antwerp visits and brings half a ration of bread. He advises Eliezer's father to take care of his son. Then a new transport comes from Antwerp, presumably... (full context)
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...listen to a man named Akiba Drumer sing religious songs. Some people talk about God. Eliezer no longer prays, is no longer sure that God is just. His thoughts turn to... (full context)
Chapter 4
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...that food be brought to the ten and twelve-year-old prisoners. The German in charge of Eliezer's tent also takes a special interest in the welfare of the children, although his interest... (full context)
One of his assistants in charge of the tent tries to get Eliezer's shoes in exchange for a good work unit assignment and keeping Eliezer and his father... (full context)
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...quarantine, with medical and dental inspection. Then the Kapos arrive and select their work units. Eliezer's unit is joined by prisoners from a musicians' unit, including Juliek, a violinist. They are... (full context)
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In the warehouse there are also Poles and French women. Franek, the foreman, lets Eliezer work next to his father. Eliezer befriends two Czech brothers, Yossi and Tibi, whose parents... (full context)
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Eliezer is ordered to go to the dentist to have his gold crown removed. Eliezer fakes... (full context)
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At the warehouse Eliezer works near a French girl. They don't speak to each other, and Eliezer presumes they... (full context)
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Years later, after the war, Eliezer sees a beautiful woman on the Metro in Paris. They recognize each other from the... (full context)
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On another occasion, Eliezer can only watch as Idek beats his father with an iron bar. Eliezer's instinct is... (full context)
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The foreman, Franek, demands the gold crown in Eliezer's mouth. Eliezer refuses. But his father isn't good at marching, so Franek starts to beat... (full context)
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...brings the entire unit to the warehouse even though there is no work that day. Eliezer wanders around and accidentally sees Idek having sex with a Polish girl. Later, Idek gives... (full context)
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...chair is pulled away and he dies. The prisoners think about their delayed supper, and Eliezer later enjoys his soup. (full context)
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Although he is forced to watch other hangings, one in particular stays in Eliezer's mind. The young assistant of a Kapo is arrested along with the Kapo and two... (full context)
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A man in the crowd behind Eliezer asks, "Where is God now?" The three are hanged, and the prisoners are forced to... (full context)
Chapter 5
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...of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) the Jews in Buna gather for a prayer. Eliezer, who once lived for prayer and religious study, rebels against this. He feels that humans... (full context)
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Eliezer shares a silent, powerful moment of sadness and understanding with his father. For Yom Kippur,... (full context)
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...number of one of them. A few of the feebler ones are written down, but Eliezer is not. However, no one is immediately taken away. (full context)
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...of the block reads off the numbers of those who have been selected to die. Eliezer's father is among them, as is Akiba Drumer, the singer. His father hurriedly gives Eliezer... (full context)
...to know what it is to be cold. Christmas and New Year's pass. In January, Eliezer's foot swells. He goes to see a doctor—a Jew and a fellow prisoner. The doctor... (full context)
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The surgery is successful, and two days later Eliezer hears a rumor that the Red Army is only hours away and that the camp... (full context)
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After the war, Eliezer learns that those who stayed in the hospital were liberated by the Russian Army two... (full context)
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Eliezer spends the night back in his block. The prisoners are given bread and margarine for... (full context)
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...snow falling heavily, the prisoners march out of the camp block by block. At last, Eliezer's block—Block 57—marches out into the darkness. (full context)
Chapter 6
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Eliezer tries not to think, tries to keep himself moving mindlessly forward. A Polish youth who'd... (full context)
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Each step with Eliezer's injured foot hurts him terribly. His father, running beside him, keeps him going. It's impossible... (full context)
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...They pass through a deserted village and finally are allowed to rest in the snow. Eliezer follows his father into a half-collapsed shed. People are sleeping and those sleeping begin to... (full context)
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...son on the road, when the rabbi had fallen behind and his son didn't notice. Eliezer says he hasn't seen the rabbi's son. (full context)
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Eliezer then remembers that he has seen the son deliberately abandon his father the rabbi. The... (full context)
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...barracks, where they collapse, treading on and crushing each other. Below him in the pile, Eliezer hears the voice of Juliek, the violinist from Buna, crying for mercy. Juliek is worried... (full context)
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...they hear the sound of a violin. Someone is playing part of a Beethoven concerto. Eliezer believes it is Juliek, who must somehow have managed to free himself from underneath the... (full context)
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The next morning, Eliezer sees Juliek near him, dead, his violin trampled. (full context)
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...On the third day the weak are divided from those who can still walk okay. Eliezer's father is selected for the weak. Eliezer runs after him, the SS grab Eliezer, and... (full context)
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Eliezer's group is marched out of the camp to a railway, herded onto a long train... (full context)
Chapter 7
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The train goes on through the night. When light comes, Eliezer is unable to tell who is alive and who is dead in the car, including... (full context)
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...take their clothes and push them out. When two men try to take his father, Eliezer snaps out of his daze and slaps his father until his father's eyelids begin to... (full context)
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...observe the starving prisoners fight for them. When a piece is dropped in his car Eliezer doesn't fight for it, but sees a younger man beat up his own father for... (full context)
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A man named Meir Katz saves Eliezer's life when someone tries to strangle him. One of the most vigorous men left, Meir... (full context)
Chapter 8
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At Buchenwald, Eliezer tries to stay close to his father. Waiting for the showers, people sit and lie... (full context)
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Sirens go off and the guards move the prisoners to the blocks. They sleep. When Eliezer wakes, he realizes he went into the blocks without his father. For a moment he... (full context)
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Eliezer spends hours looking for his father and finally finds him, sick with fever. His father... (full context)
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Another doctor comes, but this one shouts at the sick and calls them lazy. Eliezer feels the desire to kill this doctor, but has neither the strength or the courage... (full context)
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A week goes by. The head of the block advises Eliezer not to give his rations to his father. The man tells Eliezer that he can't... (full context)
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...at him to be quiet. The officer hits him on the head with a truncheon. Eliezer does not move. His father says his name, "Eliezer," and begins to have trouble breathing.... (full context)
Chapter 9
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Eliezer spends another two and a half months at Buchenwald. He is transferred to the children's... (full context)
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At first, after the liberation, Eliezer thinks only of eating. Three days later he gets food poisoning and nearly dies. He... (full context)