The most common example of demutualization in the book was what they were called. The Jews were addressed to as no more than filth or an animal. When the Hungarian police ordered them out of their houses into the streets yelling “Faster! Faster! Move you lazy good-for-nothings! ” (Wishes 24) the Jews began to suffer the first steps to feeling worthless. They were ordered around, given no food or water, hit, stuffed into train cars, and mistreated. Any value or respect held for them was taken away, exemplifying degradation ND demutualization.
The Jews were no longer spoke to by their names. Instead, they were given and assigned numbers that were their so-called “names” for the next months. Any historical or important surnames were quickly abolished. “l became A-771 3,” Lie explained, “From then on, I had no other name. ” (Wishes 42) Their humanity was taken away and all they were left with was a broken, filthy body and a number. As the year passed, the Jews became so accustomed to this treatment that they succumbed to not being anything more than a number, a face, and an enemy.
Adding to what they ere told they were, they also had their dignity and honor stripped from them in the disgraceful ways they were treated. The Jewish people went through many months of being humiliated and debased by the Nazis. Free will, or any decision to do anything on his or her own was not even a question, for it wasn’t an option. They were horribly regarded, as if they had done atrocious crimes. In the book, Lie gives a vivid description of the pain they suffered and watched, “Not far from us, flames, huge flames were rising from a ditch. Something was being burned there.
A truck drew close and unloaded its hold. Small children. Babies! ” (Wishes 32). It was impossible for the Jews to see family members and friends go through this treatment, nobody had believed that the world could let this happen until they saw it with their own eyes. “How was it possible that men, women, and children were being burned,” Lie thought, “and that the world kept silent? ‘ (Wishes 33). The Nazis had no restraint when it came to mistreating their victims; in fact, it was their main goal. Either teethes were burned, died from hard work, or hot in a heartbeat for doing or saying something “wrong. The cruelness, unrelenting fury and violence the Nazis bestowed upon the Jews were no way a human should treat another human- nevertheless for their beliefs. Lie recalls in his book, Night, that, “One day when Ides was venting his fury, I happened to cross his path. He threw himself on me like a wild beast, beating me on my chest, on my head, throwing me to the ground… ” (Wishes 53). Even when the Jews did not say anything or do anything to upset the Germans, they were still treated as animals or items to release anger and hatred on.
The amount of undying agony and insults they received gave them nothing but shattered hope to cling on for the future. Their sense of equality to those around them was gradually deprived, tearing down the Jews yet continually renovating the Nazis’ strength. Lastly, in the book Night, demutualization took place in what they were given to eat, wear, and to live in. The Jews were kept in barracks that were hardly suitable for men to stay in. Wishes gives a brief example of their living conditions, sharing his personal thoughts, “The barrack we Were assigned to Was very long… N the roof, a few blush skylights.
I thought: this is what the antechamber of hell must look like. ” (Wishes 34) The meals they were given each day were no more than a slice of bread and a small bowl of thin soup. For men who slaved all day, this was definitely not enough to keep their mental and physical health strong. “As we ran, they threw clothes at us: pants, jackets, shirts,” Lie goes on to say that, “in a few seconds we had ceased to be men. Had the situation not been so tragic, we might have laughed. ” (Wishes 37) The victims began to realize that reentry would no longer be apparent, but depressing and tragic times.
The Jews were not only given horrible food and living conditions, but were also toyed with like objects that did not know what was happening. They lived in complete shame and the ultimate aura of death. Waking up each morning for the Jews was beginning to be a curse, for death was slowly winning favor in the battle between life. For the Nazis, demutualization meant to show their enemy that they were beyond trash, and that they meant nothing in this world. It meant to take away what the Jews loved; what they cared about, and vive them nothing in return.