Throughout the book Night and in the article Commanding a Concentration Camp by Rudolf Hosts, the traders of the camp would act out against the prisoners, causing a negative effect on them and how they treat each other. The beatings and punishments would have a negative affect on both the prisoners and the guards. The events and treatments of Ell and his father caused a change in their relationship throughout their time In the camps. In the beginning of the story, Ell and his father are not close.
Else's father Is involved In the community more than In his own family: "more Involved with the welfare of others than with his own Lie does not have a close relationship with his father because he is too caught up in the community issues. His "cultured" father comes off cold and distant to his family. He has not had to rely on his family for support because he has been the one to make decisions since everything had been going well. The first camp the Jews arrive at is Bureau. When they arrive the men and women are separated.
Ell does not see his mother or sister ever again: " I kept walking, my father holding my hand"(29). This is the second time his father has let down his "cultured" behavior by showing weakness, the first time being when he cried In front of his family: " My father was crying. It was the first time I saw him Ell allows his father to be dependent on him by holding his hand. The camp causes Lie to grow up quickly and take on the responsibility of taking care of his father. While working in Bunya, Elli and his father are supervised by an unstable man named Ides.
One day Ides starts beating Else's father: "he seemed to break in two like an old tree struck by Lie watched him get beaten, but he does not do anything: "l had watched it all happening without moving. I kept Ell does not think of defending his father like he had before when in Bureau: "only yesterday, I would have dug my nails into this criminal's flesh"(39). Instead of wanting to defend him, Ell gets angry that his father would not try harder to avoid Ides: "if I felt anger at that moment, It was not directed at the Kapok but at my father"(54).
The camp has made Ell realize he must watch out for himself and that his father deserves what happens; he must also learn to avoid It. Bunya is going to be attacked by the Russians and the prisoners are given the my mind to accompany my father wherever he went"(82). Although Else's father may slow him down he still cares enough for him to want to stay with him. Lie and his father choose to evacuate with the others and end up in Buchwald. When they arrive they are told once again to line up: " I tightened my grip on my fathers hand"(104).
Just like his father had grabbed his hand in the first camp Lie is now reaching for his fathers hand. Although the camps have been harsh and have broken down the prisoners, Lie still has the need to be with his father: "The old familiar fear: not to lose him"(104). Else's father is very tired and weak but Lie stays with him anyway and tries to keep him alive. Else's father is very sick and weak after the long Journey to Buchwald. He is dying. Lie stays with him in the sick room whenever he has the chance.
Lie "grudgingly' gives his father his soup because his father is so close to death that feeding him is considered a waste of food. Else's father even runs by him and for a moment does not recognize his own son who has been caring for him. His father becomes delusional and one night he screams out, making too much noise. An officer comes over to his bed and beats him while Ell, again, watches his father be beaten: "my body was afraid, of another blow, this time to my head"(111). When Lie awakens the next morning he finds that his father is gone: "Free at last! "(1 12).
Lie does not cry, f anything he is relieved from the burden of his father. The camps made Lie cold and passive towards the fact that his father had died. Lie and his father's relationship changed throughout their time together in the concentration camps. At first Else's father was cold and distant but he became dependent on Lie throughout the time in camp. Ell, who had originally respected and depended on his father, ends up taking care of his father and realizes that, although he is a burden, Lie cannot leave him behind. Once Else's father dies Lie moves on from the death and learns to function without his father.
Instead of being saddened by his fathers death Lie is cold and even relieved. Just like the workers of the camp became cold to the fact that many men were being killed around them: "it was psychologically essential that I myself appear convinced of the necessity for this gruesomely harsh order", Lie is the one who becomes cold to his fathers death. Else's father begins the book being a cold and distant father, but after his death Lie becomes cold to his death. The camps caused both workers and prisoners to block out the tragedies that went on within the walls.