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Word Count: 1,952
How Could This Have Happened Elie Wiesel a survivor of the Jewish massacre during World War II opens his classic autobiography Night in his hometown of Sighet Transylvania now Romania In this short but powerful book Wiesel speaks of the incredible events that take place in his life from age twelve to age sixteen his carefree childhood the brutal torture of Wiesel and his fellow Jews at the hands of German soldiers in the concentration camps and the day of his liberation in the spring of 1945 Although World War II began in 1939 when Hitler and his troops invaded Poland and set up concentration camps Sighet remains under Hungarian control The year is 1941 Wiesel is twelve years old and is a bright religious Jewish boy who studies the Talmud the collection of writings constituting the Jewish civil and religious law However he wants to go deeper into Judaism by studying the cabbala an occult mysterious form of Jewish philosophy developed by certain Jewish rabbis based on a mystical interpretation of the Scriptures His father refuses to help him with the cabbala so Wiesel begins to talk with Moche the Beadle a poor humble somewhat strange individual who works at the synagogue Moche teaches Wiesel that it is not the right answers that one should seek from God but rather to know the right questions to ask God Wiesels father an important man of the community his mother and three sisters lead a normal life making plans and socializing with friends and relatives believing that they will be untouched by the horrors of the war despite a warning from Moche the Beadle and rumors from other areas of the war front It is in the spring of 1944 that the day of reckoning arrives in Sighet German soldiers enter the town and set up ghettoes surrounded by barbed wire From that day forward Wiesels life will never be the same Darkness begins to fill
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