End of Chapter 4. Are they less shocked?
Answers 1Add Yours
The hanging of the young boy greatly affects all inhabitants of the concentration camps. It arouses feelings of pity and sorrow that are a rarity in the jaded atmosphere of the death camp. The Nazis intend the public hangings to be an unspoken threat to the prisoners to keep them in line. However, they seem to cross the line when they hang the child. Even though they kill thousands in the crematory on a daily basis, the hanging of the child becomes an act of unspeakable and horrid cruelty. The prisoners all weep, and Eliezer feels like the Nazis have succeeded in killing God himself: "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 isHe is hanging here on this gallows.'" In killing the child, the Nazis come dangerously close to destroying Eliezer's faith in God. Wiesel writes, "That night the soup tasted of corpses." After witnessing the execution, Eliezer feels like death is everywhere, and he is unable to enjoy his soup because all goodness has been destroyed.