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Luck is on Wiesel’s Side”I am too old, my son,” he responded to. “Too old to start a new life. Too old to start from scratch in some distant land …” (9 )This scene where Elie’s dad rejects his boy’s demand to liquidate whatever and leave from the location where the extermination of Jews might occur, advises me of a vibrant discussion I once participated in, with my 2 previous North Korean grandparents.
The Korean War (1950-53) and the Holocaust (1938-45) remain in many elements various, however, there is a heartbreaking similarity existing between the two occurrences.
That is, the discomfort of the victims got from the separation of the family.
While reading this unique Night, for a number of times we questioned the reason that the Jews, despite hearing the Nazi plans of wiping out the entire population dispersed throughout countries, didn’t take possibility to run away from the town. As we went over in class, mostly, the Jews were skeptical that such inhumane event would happen on the planet, until they went through the incredible pains both physically and psychologically.
Second of all, the Jews merely were not able to discover some place to leave for. Sure enough, they hesitated to end up being homeless even under negative conditions of life under the hands of the SS officers. (which they didn’t anticipate to be the holocaust)The first factor pointed above likewise uses to the families throughout the Korean War. Subsequent to the outbreak of war, young, strong males were forced to sign up with the army in North Korea.
This indicated to my North Korean grandpa in his 30s, battling against the South Koreans was a patriotic responsibility. Nevertheless, he declined to combat, or support the government, and along the group of crowd he recognized that the only method of leaving from the ordeal was to desert his home and flee to the South. Naturally, he strongly urged his parents to come in addition to him. However, they reacted him by highlighting him of their aging and their strong will to ensure the safety of your house up until the war ends. In spite of my grandpa’s further persuasion, they stayed persistent, and he could do absolutely nothing but to leave his parents behind and depart to a remote land.
In the novel, I was indeed glad when the Wiesel family encounters their former maid Maria in Uncle Mendel’s house, Elie refuses her offer of safe shelter in her village. Sure enough, if Elie and his brother went off with her, they might have avoided the terrifying labor camps where their livelihoods were jeopardized. However, I feel that wouldn’t be worse than the guilt of deserting one’s own blood and flesh. Although we must take in consideration of Wiesel witnessing his father’s death, he is aware that keeping silence is the optimal choice that wouldn’t exacerbate the situation, whereas my grandparents made the decision by themselves, to abandon their parents and friends with their own two feet. (though they weren’t aware that North and South would be completely divided)My grandparents have always regretted the decision they’ve made. They felt deep remorse in leaving their parents for their own good. My grandfather, for years, took alcohol as a catharsis to his mental pains, and my grandmother would frequently break into tears by the tragic separation and the gnawing guilt at her premature decision.
For the several decades of their life, they have been hoping to see their loved ones again through the many channels of communication including telephone, letters, the media or family visits that existed in the recent years. Unfortunately, they never reached in contact with them. Bearing in mind the threatens of the authority of its propaganda, the government in Pyongyang is preventing personal exchanges as much as it can, for they are unwilling to permit individuals from the estranged parts of the country to meet in person. For fifty years, they lived a life without hearing from their parents and relatives. My grandfather unfortunately passed away two years ago due to cancer, and his cemetery is located in the closest area to the border between North and South Korea.
Luck is on Wiesel’s side for he can stay with his father in the labor camps, which definitely gives him a meaning to his life and thus he gains the hope, support and the reason to survive. If I were put in his shoes at the start of the novel, and had to make a choice between labor camps and abandoning parents, I would have chosen the former categorically.
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