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by Elie Wiesel

Analysis: Allusions

When authors refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Historical Figures

  • Adolf Hitler (throughout)
  • Dr. Josef Mengele (5.55-59)—Dr. Mengele has come to represent the horrors and evils of Nazi medicine and experimentation in the concentration camps. It was his job to "select" prisoners for death or for labor. He was the chief doctor at Birkenau, part of Auschwitz, and seemed to have authority beyond that. He may have been the doctor who sent the largest number of people to the gas chambers and the crematorium ovens. He is known especially for his study of and experimentation on twins. You can read more about him here.

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