Born into a Jewish ghetto in Hungary, as a child, Elie Wiesel was sent to the Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald. This is his account of that atrocity: the ever-increasing horrors he endured, the loss of his family and his struggle to survive in a world that stripped him of humanity, dignity and faith. Describing in simple terms the tragic murder of a people from a survivor’s perspective, Night is among the most personal, intimate and poignant of all accounts of the Holocaust. A compelling consideration of the darkest side of human nature and the enduring power of hope, it remains one of the most important works of the twentieth century.
I can’t believe I made it through school without reading this book. I am incredibly grateful I picked up this very moving, raw, and insightful book.
This book may be short in length, but don’t let that fool you. It is a book that I will not soon forget and I admire Elie Wiesel for having the courage to write and share his story with us. Elie shares what he remembers and how he felt starting about a year prior to being confined in concentration camps until the end of the war.
As I sit here trying to review this book I am at a loss for words. What he and the countless number of men, women, and children went though is unimaginable. I can’t think of a better way to review this book than in his own words. Here are just a handful of passages that touched me. Rest assured that I have been careful not to reveal too much of the story in case you have not read it yet.
Most people thought that we would remain in the ghetto until the end of the war, until the arrival of the Red Army. Afterward everything would be as before. The ghetto was ruled by neither German nor Jew; it was ruled by delusion.
Night. No one was praying for the night to pass quickly. The night stars were but sparks of the immense conflagration that was consuming us. Were this conflagration to be extinguished one day, nothing would be left in the sky but extinct stars and unseeing eyes.
I shall never forget Juliek. How could I forget this concert given before an audience of the dead and dying? Even today, when I hear that particular piece by Beethoven, my eyes close and out of the darkness emerges the pale and melancholy face of my Polish comrade bidding farewell to an audience of dying men.
“Listen to me, kid. Don’t forget that you are in a concentration camp. In this place, it is every man for himself, and you cannot think of others. Not even your father. In this place, there is no such thing as father, brother, friend. Each of us lives and dies alone.”
At first I was disappointed by the ending of this book, I was left with wanting more. I wanted to know what happened after the war ended, where did he go, what did he do. But after much thought I have changed my mind, I now believe it was the perfect ending, the perfect way for Elie to wrap up his story.
My Rating: 5/5
Series: The Night Trilogy, #1
Pages: 120 (Paperback)
*Book 3/20 in the #20booksofsummer reading challenge.
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