Thursday, August 23, 2012

Night by Elie Wiesel

Overview from Barnes and Noble:

Night is Elie Wiesel’s masterpiece, a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. Night offers much more than a litany of the daily terrors, everyday perversions, and rampant sadism at Auschwitz and Buchenwald; it also eloquently addresses many of the philosophical as well as personal questions implicit in any serious consideration of what the Holocaust was, what it meant, and what its legacy is and will be.
An autobiographical narrative in which the author describes his experiences in Nazi concentration camps, watching family and friends die, and how they led him to believe that God is dead.

My thoughts:
This is a book I felt like I should read.  It has been on my shelf for ages, but somehow I never managed to get it started.  Last week I decided to listen to the audio book and even that was hard for me.  Listening to Wiesel describe how things were leading up to the time his family was sent to the concentration camp, how it was on the trains that took them to the camps, what conditions were like and how things were inside the camps was hard.  One of the things that really struck me was how he described a man he knew, who was deported from their neighborhood for being a foreigner.  When he comes back and tells them of the awful things that were done to the people who were taken away, who were rumored to have been taken somewhere nice where there was more work, no one wants to listen to him.  No one wants to believe that he is telling the truth.  He keeps telling them how he came back to warn them all, but it does no good.  I'm not sure what being forewarned would have done, but perhaps some of them would have been able to leave before they were confined to ghettos or taken away on trains to concentration camps.

It is hard to wrap my mind around just how awful it was.  I've seen pictures, read books and viewed movies and I think there are things that are just so awful that we do not want to believe that they are true and happened.  To believe that they could still be happening in some places, even with all the technology and modernization we have, people are still mistreated and placed in awful conditions.  Then there is the way being in those situations changes people and reverts them back to just surviving.  While it was difficult to listen to, I am not sorry that I decided to read this book.

1 comment:

  1. This has been on my TBR list for a long time too. Thanks for sharing your review.