Night by Elie Wiesel

Night by Eli WieselNight has been on my “To Be Read” list for a long time. Part of the reason it has taken me this long to read is the subject matter. The cruelty of the Holocaust is not easy to digest.

Elie Wiesel recounts his experience and survival of the Holocaust in such a way that it provides the reader with a glimpse of the horrors that the Jews endured in the concentration camps. He opens up his heart and soul, or what is left of it, to the reader. His emotions are raw and the reader can see the author’s transformation from a boy full of faith to a man concerned with his survival and disillusioned by God. The relationship that he had with his father was moving and his desire and struggle to help his father survive was genuine. The sincerity with which he narrates his story captivated me because it showed his will to survive. It was also disheartening to see how he lost his faith and hope, but under such circumstances it would be difficult not to.

Reading about the capacity humans have for inflicting other humans with such cruelty is depressing. It is one thing to read about it in history books and another to see it through the eyes of a survivor. Elie wants us to remember what happened to the Jews in the hopes of preventing another Holocaust. The lesson that we should have learned regarding the dangers of indifference and ignoring torture and genocide in other countries has unfortunately been forgotten; just think of East Timor, Rwanda, and Darfur. Night is a book everyone should read so that we can remember and learn from history.