"How could it be possible for them to burn people, children, and for the world to keep silent?" (Wiesel 41). This quote best explains Wiesel's main theme, the theme being that we live in a very cruel, harsh world. Seeing the children being thrown into the flames was Elie's first traumatic sighting. It was the first horrific thing that started his realization of how crude the world can be. Later, he sees people being hanged, even a little boy-child. People get sick. People get badly beaten and whipped - including him - and people die. Starvation is a big issue since the Jews are barely getting enough food to live. Elie lives with this for 11 months in concentration camps. 11 months is almost a year. No one comes to help or save them in all that time. The world can be very mean, unfair, and horrific at times.
Elie starts off the books as a very religious Jew, extremely devoted to God. He even wants to study and learn the Cabbala. When he first arrives at the concentration camp, he can't believe his eyes. In that first night at Birkenau, he starts to loose his faith. "Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust" (Wiesel 43). He had witnessed traumatizing events, such as the burning of babies and children. Officers shot old men, along with anyone else they wanted/were told to. Strong Jewish men were forced to put people - living people - in a crematory, even their fathers, like Bela Katz had. At Buna, things just got worse. People were hanged and beaten. They barely got enough food to live. People were always dying. Elie's faith in God continued to shrink and disappear. With the terrible things he was seeing, who could blame him?
It is possible for one person, just one person, of integrity to make a difference. That difference can sometimes be a difference of life or death. If someone sincere, that has good morals and is honest, they can pass on that sincerity to someone else, who will also pass it on. Like one drop of water into the ocean can create a ripple, where that ripple them becomes a wave, if one person is sincere, they can soon create a tidal wave of sincere people. Sincere people don't kill people, so it would save lives. Honesty would also spread, like a wildfire. The truth would be out so people can take action to save others. People of integrity can make a difference and all change starts with a person.