Night Reaction Paper
“Yet another last night. The last night at home, the last night in the ghetto, the last night in the train, and, now, the last night in Buna. How much longer were our lives to be dragged out from one ‘last night’ to another?”
Excerpt from Night by Elie Wiesel
While reading the memoir, I felt little to no emotion. Considering the content of the book I know I should have had strong emotional reactions. I should be feeling sympathetic, heartbroken, and at points, sick to my stomach. I can only ask myself why I did not have any emotional reactions.
The non-existent sensations of despair and emptiness may be the result of the illusions cast by my depression. I already have a dark cloud looming above my head and I tend to shut down to avoid strong emotions. When you are in a low place, it takes a great deal of effort to add onto pre-existing feelings of unhappiness.
In our education we have read about it so much in a way that did not evoke emotions. We read it just as another chapter in our textbook. When I think about the earliest time we were taught about the Holocaust, I picture a second grade class full of innocent children that most have not yet heard of genocide. Their eyes are opened to see what a cruel world it is at such a young age. And so begins this desensitization. “Today we will be reading about the Holocaust. Does anyone know what that is?” the teacher would ask. One student would say, “Wasn’t that the time when the bad guys killed all those people?” “Yes, Susan, you’re right. Does anyone know what the ‘bad guys’ were called?” the teacher would respond. The child who was in the front and center of the classroom would raise his hand and bounce in his seat and cry out “NAZIS! IT WAS THE NAZIS. I saw a show on the history channel about them!” “Very good Billy. And the people who were killed were…?” Billy again answered by shouting. “THE JEWS! The Jews were killed by the Nazis!” “Good job. Here is a sticker.” The class would...