It is also helpful to refer to analysis of the works by each of these authors to help determine how they affected society and how they changed it. Through analysis of several works, elements such as characterization, plot, setting, theme and structure will be studied.
The Holocaust coincides with World War II, and was started with Hitler's invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939 (Saldinger, 6). The original problem, though, began several years earlier. In January of 1933, Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany, which had a Jewish population of 566,000. Soon after, in March, Hitler was given dictatorial powers. Concentration camps were slowly evolving from the ghettos which they once were, and Jews were gradually being prohibited from a variety of things, including owning land and being newspaper editors. Hitler continued to make alliances with other nations, which eventually helped him to be able to persecute many other people besides those in the lands he ruled (Holocaust Timeline).
Several days after the Nazis invade Poland, England and France declare war on Germany, as they wisely chose not to ally with Hitler. February 12, 1940 marked the first deportation of German Jews into Poland, which was already occupied. Two short months later, Denmark and Norway were invaded. Other lands continue to be invaded by Hitler and his Nazi regime, with many Jews being sent to concentration camps to live the last few months of their lives. On April 30, 1945, Hitler committed suicide. On the same day, Americans freed 33,000 people from camps, marking the beginning of the end of the Holocaust (Holocaust Timeline).
Memories of the horror of seeing people die every day have remained with all three of the previously mentioned authors. In their writing, they have used a variety of elements to successfully recall these experiences. Elie Wiesel, in particular, is widely known because of his amazing sense of honesty that is displayed through his Night Trilogy. Wiesel did not try to cover the brutality of events that occurred, but rather gave a detailed description so as to leave an acting impression on the reader. However, this impact was not meant to be one of guilt. Instead it was to ensure that readers would not let an event anything like the Holocaust occur again. He used images of young, dying children and adults being burned to death to convey his themes.
The novel itself is actually an autobiography, though there are elements of fiction present throughout. After his experiences, Wiesel "dedicated his life to preserving the memory of the Holocaust victims," which proves to be the basis for all of his writing ("Wiesel's Night Recalls the Holocaust, 1956"). Born in Transylvania in 1928, Wiesel received a thorough Jewish education and it was thought by his parents that he would later be a proficient rabbi. In 1944, Nazis invaded his hometown and he was taken to Auschwitz, which is where his gruesome story really began. In the end, Elie and two sisters survived but, along with two hundred thousand other Jews, the rest of his family died.
The original version of Wiesel's novel And the World Remained Silent appeared in Yiddish in 1956. Two years later, he translated the book to French and changed the title to Night. Eventually, it was expanded to include two of his other works and became known as the Night Trilogy. In 1960, it was published in English, adding to the eventual list of