5 starsI am at a loss for words.upon finishing this memoir, I am so full of intense emotion yet I feel empty at the same timeThis is a DEEPLY moving and powerful book about the author s experience in concentration camps and the atrocities that happened during the Holocaust Words cannot describe how I truly feel about what I read on these pages It is impossible for us, as readers, to truly fathom this piece of history, unless we lived it I hope everyone takes the time to read this 120 page memoir at some point in their lives The author was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 calling him a messenger to mankind for his written works We simply cannot risk forgetting. This book is a hard, righteous slap in the conscience to everyone of good will in the world and should stand as a stark reminder of both 1 the almost unimaginable brutality that we, as a species, are capable of and 2 that when it comes to preventing or stopping similar kinds of atrocities or punishing those that seek to perpetrate such crimes, WE ARE OUR BROTHERS KEEPERS and must take responsibility for what occurs on our watch This remarkable story is the powerful and deeply moving account of Ellie Wiesel s personal experiences as a Hungarian Jew who is sent with his entire family to the infamous Nazi concentration camps of Auschwitz and later Buchenwald The most chilling aspect of the narrative for me was the calm, casual way that so many of the nightmarish events that Elie witnesses were performed For example, early on in the account, Elie is separated from his Mother and sisters never to see them again This life altering, traumatically painful action is done so quickly and in such an off handed, bureaucratic manner by the Nazis that trying to grasp the reality of it made me physically sick That was only the beginning Elie goes on to chronicle his subsequent attempts not to be separated from his father and the horrors he was forced to witness and endure Along the road of this terrifying journey, we hear in Elie s own words of the growing disgust of his 13 year old self for both mankind and for God and how he eventually lost completely his own humanity in his resolve to do whatever he had to in order to stay alive Written in a simple, unsentimental style which makes the horrors described seem somehow shocking , this is one of those important life changing books that I believe everyone should read HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION Born In The Town Of Sighet, Transylvania, Elie Wiesel Was A Teenager When He And His Family Were Taken From Their Home In To Auschwitz Concentration Camp, And Then To Buchenwald Night Is The Terrifying Record Of Elie Wiesel S Memories Of The Death Of His Family, The Death Of His Own Innocence, And His Despair As A Deeply Observant Jew Confronting The Absolute Evil Of Man This New Translation By His Wife And Most Frequent Translator, Marion Wiesel, Corrects Important Details And Presents The Most Accurate Rendering In English Of Elie Wiesel S Testimony To What Happened In The Camps And Of His Unforgettable Message That This Horror Must Never Be Allowed To Happen Again Upon completion of this book, my mind is as numb as if I had experienced this suffering myself So much pain and suffering are thrown at you from the pages that one cannot comprehend it all in the right perspective One can only move forward as the victims in this book did Step by step, page by page Initially, numbness is the only way to deal with such anguish Otherwise one becomes quickly overwhelmed by the images that evoke questions that cannot be answered And yet, I read this book from the comfort of a warm home and a full stomach Imagine the impact if it were otherwise Imagine being forced from your home to live in barracks, living off soup and bread, forced to go outside in the winter without a jacket, and perform manual labor from dawn to dusk with the smell of a crematorium in your backyard.How many of us could endure this for just one day, let alone, for years What would this do to us physically and important, what would this do to us mentally Yet, we witness in this book the miracle of the prisoner s survival The strength and raw endurance of the human spirit We must be reminded of this this glorious strength, but also reminded that it was the weakness of the human spirit that inflicted these crimes on others Humanity has the capability of extreme strength, but also of extreme weakness which often hides under the guise of self righteousness and need for power over others This book is necessary in order to remind us of this These things must not be forgotten Read this book even if you think you have read enough of the Holocaust and of pain and suffering Every book that I have read about the Holocaust offers something new including this one Read it as a memorial and a tribute Read it as a reminder of how fortunate we are to have a free society and how we must preserve this freedom at all costs There are those who would like to take it away Fascism is alive and well I started reading Holocaust novels after reading Edelweiss Pirates Operation Einstein Edelweiss Pirates 1 bookcover Edelweiss Pirates 1 Operation Einstein they are must reads in this genre are of course Number the Stars Number the stars I enjoyed that authors other works That novel was The Book that turned me onto YA WW2 novels They allow us to reflect on our own lives, learn history and become better people in general. Every time I read books like this I m beyond heartbroken Just read it. The first time I read Night by Eli Wiesel I was in an eighth grade religious school class At that time it had recently become a law in my state to teach the Holocaust as part of the general curriculum, and, as a result, my classmates and I were the torchbearers to tell people to never forget and were inundated with quality Holocaust literature Yet even though middle school students can comprehend Night, the subject matter at times is still way over their heads The book itself although a prize winner blended into the religious school class and receded to the back of my memory bank These years later I have been enjoying a religious lifestyle for my adult life Upon hearing that Nobel Laureate Eli Wiesel passed away recently I thought now was as good of a time as any to reread his award winning account of surviving the Holocaust Although only 120 pages in length, Wiesel s memoir of life in the concentration camps is one of the most powerful pieces of literature that most people will ever read Wiesel discusses his relationship with G D and talks about his conflicting feelings in regards to taking care of his father while in Buna and Birkenau camps It was not easy to digest Wiesel also writes in length about observing Rosh Hashanah while in the concentration camps Why praise the Almighty for one s deliverance if one s existence is spent as a prisoner living on crusts of bread It was easy to forget G D or denounce His existence, even for the most religious Jews These passages brought me close to tears On this eve of Rosh Hashanah I can thank the Blessed Creator that I enjoy a comfortable lifestyle Even though the world is far from perfect, my family lives in a land of freedom and are free to worship as we choose Eli Wiesel brought Holocaust awareness to many people and earned the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 His passing is indicative that few survivors are still with us and we should hear their stories while we still can Night is a painful yet necessary read, and by reading it I can go into the new year thanking G D for my right to live in relative peace and prosperity. I was the accuser, God the accused My eyes had opened and I was alone, terribly alone in a world without God, without man Without love or mercy These words and this book just tore at my heart I have seen Night, have heard of Night for many years now I waited to read it, unsure what I could possibly gain from reading another account of the evil existing among our fellow human beings I will become enraged and depressed I can t change history I will be forced to examine my own faith and I don t want to do that But then I discovered that my son was assigned this book as part of his summer reading for a high school English class What do I want him to learn from this book, from this dark piece of our not too distant past Should he pass it by so that he doesn t have to experience the horrifying details, feel the terrible injustice in this world No I do not want him to be a passive bystander I want him to understand that narrow mindedness, hatred and bigotry exist despite his fortunate and protected upbringing Other human beings are right now suffering unimaginable sorrow, are being cruelly maltreated History does repeat itself, perhaps with varying backgrounds, different groups of individuals We can t let this happen My son needs to read this book His children need to read this book someday I need to read this book I did I read this book and I cried I was angry I was disgusted with humanity I understood Elie s words above, why he felt such despair Everyone should read this book at least once This is a slim book with a tremendous messageNeutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented Sometimes we must interfere This book has garnered so many five star reviews and deals with such important subject matter that it almost feels like an act of heresy to give it a mere four stars Yet that is exactly what I m going to do, for while Night is a chilling account of the Holocaust and the dehumanisation and brutalisation of the human spirit under extreme circumstances, the fact remains that I ve read better ones Better written ones, and insightful ones, too Night is Elie Wiesel s somewhat fictionalised account of the year he spent at Auschwitz and Buchenwald It s a chilling story about his experiences in and between concentration camps, his gradual loss of faith he was a very observant Jew who obviously wondered where God was while his people were being exterminated , and his feelings of guilt when he realised that his struggle for survival was making him insensitive towards his dying father It s gruesome, chilling material, and I felt very quiet after having read it Yet I also felt vaguely unsatisfied with the book I wanted detail I wanted fleshed out writing rather than a succession of meaningful one line paragraphs I wanted less heavy handed symbolism the book very much centres on troubled father and son relationships, to echo the one central Father and Son one and actual feeling I wanted a writer and a translator who knew better than to call an SS officer an SS And most of all, I wanted a less abrupt ending I wanted to ask Wiesel what happened in the immediate aftermath of the liberation of Buchenwald I wanted to ask him what happened to his leg, on which he marched for several gruesome days just days after having undergone an operation, and how he picked up the pieces afterwards, and why on earth his two eldest sisters, who died in Auschwitz as well as his mother and younger sister, never warranted than a single mention The latter was an example of seriously shoddy writing, I thought.Perhaps my questions were answered in the original version of Night, which never got published In his introduction to the new English translation of Night, Wiesel mentions that the book as it is today is a severely abridged version of a much longer Yiddish original called And the World Remained Silent I think I can see why the original wasn t published quite apart from the fact that the world wasn t ready yet for concentration camp literature, the few quotes provided in the introduction make for heavy reading The abridged version definitely seems readable than the full length one, and does an admirable job getting the facts across Even so, I think the publishers might have gone a step too far in abridging the book to the extent that they did No doubt the very brevity of Night is one of the reasons why it s so popular today, but personally, I would have liked to see a middle road between the original detailed manuscript and the incredibly spare barebones version sold now Don t get me wrong, the abridged version is effective, but as far as I m concerned, it s the Holocaust for people with short attention spans I prefer Primo Levi and Ella Lingens Reiner s complete accounts of life in the camps myself, not to mention several Dutch books which sadly never got translated into other languages But still Night is an important book, and one that deserves to be widely read In fact, one that should be widely read, by people of all ages and nationalities, to prevent nightmare like this ever happening again. Our lives no longer belong to us alone they belong to all those who need us desperately Elie Wiesel There is little that freaks me out than the Holocaust And I m not belittling it at all with the phrase freaks me out Growing up in the 1970s and 80s, I felt sufficiently desensitized enough by television violence to be able to gauge how often I need to shake the jiffy pop and run to the bathroom before the program violence resumes.Elie Wiesel s Night brings me back to my senses, makes me hate the cold hearted bitch I ve learned to be And not by some overtly dramatic rendition of the horrors of life in a concentration camp but of the LACK of it The down to the nitty gritty telling of what happened during the year that he was imprisoned It wasn t going for the kick to the gut reaction, of a confused, inconceivable retelling of day to day events, and this this is what really makes me shudder and be at a loss for words Hell, words Who am I kidding Try coherent thoughtI would pause at every sentence, and start over and over again I would conjure up other verbs, other images, other silent cries It still was not right But what exactly was It It was something elusive, darkly shrouded for fear of being usurped, profaned All the dictionary had to offer seemed meager, pale lifeless His description of his last encounter with his mother and little sisterAn SS came towards us wielding a club He commanded Men to the left Women to the right Eight words spoken quietly, indifferently, without emotion Eight simple, short words Yet that was the moment when I left my mother Words The power they can hold is devastating Yes, not a new thought, not an original one, yet fucking true nonetheless Buna Buchenwald Mengele Auschwitz Words, but ones that incite something within Creepy crawlies or nausea Fear I have met only one Holocaust survivor, that I m aware of And met is too strong a word I was working in a store during college and was collecting payment from a customer who handed me the money and flashed his tattoo I paled My eyes darted from the faded black green numbers that served as this man s identity to his face and knew that I was just another gawker That in that one moment I had created a history for this man No he WAS history Certainly makes you rethink being pissed off that Sbarro s had left the food court I think that my kids will most likely never meet a survivor That books like Night and Anne Frank will have to serve as an education, a reminder that THIS, in fact, DID happen and that it is cruel and moronic and downright irresponsible to believe otherwise I could say that I did have some sense of relief that at least I wasn t alive during this That I didn t sit back and have some vague understanding of this going on But, that s not really the case, right We have Rwanda and Darfur and god knows what other insane situations happening out there and we re outraged over the price of an iPhoneFor in the end, it is all about memory, its sources and its magnitude, and, of course, its consequences So, Elie Wiesel s account, at 112 pages, serves as a powerful, undeniable, testament As simply stated as that Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed.Never shall I forget that smoke.Never shall I forget the small faces of the children whose bodies I saw transformed into smoke under a silent sky.Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith forever.Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence that deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and tuned my dreams to ashes.Never shall I forget those things, even were I condemned to live as long as God Himself Never And in the Preface to the New Translation, he saysAnd yet still I wonder Have I used the right words For me, yes Most definitely, yes.
Eliezer Wiesel was a Romania born American novelist, political activist, and Holocaust survivor of Hungarian Jewish descent He was the author of over 40 books, the best known of which is Night, a memoir that describes his experiences during the Holocaust and his imprisonment in several concentration camps.Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 The Norwegian Nobel Committee called him a
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