“Those who kept silent yesterday will remain silent tomorrow.”
My first reading of Elie Wiesel’s Night occurred during this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day.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. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie’s wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author’s original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man’s capacity for inhumanity to man.
Words cannot begin to comprehend the plight of suffering and cruelty revealed in this book that had me on the verge of breaking into sobs page after page, so I’ll let the writing speak for itself by sharing moments and passages that cannot be forgotten in time:
This here is exactly why I refuse to participate with anything regarding Germany; the world is complicit in its indifference. “…my hatred remains our only link today.”
It pained me beyond words to see my people fall under the “this surely won’t happen to me” spell.
And the effect spreads like a snowball, gathering more and more edicts as the days go by.
Nothing gets my blood boiling quite like seeing the numerous acts of silence committed by these citizens. People love to victim-blame the Jews by asking the distasteful question of why they didn’t stand up to the oppressor… But a more pressing notion, for me, is why those German citizens, watching idly by in the face of atrocity, didn’t stand up to their fellow Nazis… ￼￼
I was appalled from start to finish with the above. Not only do they watch idly by from a short distance away, but to then FLIRT with them…
You think you’ve reached the peak of cruelty, but then you read on:
Experiencing numbness in order to remain sane at the sight of tragedy.
This French girl’s wisdom has stayed in mind, in particular, because the next paragraph describes an out-of-this-world experience wherein Elie Wiesel stumbles upon her eons later:
But the most painful of all remains to be the relationship portrayed between father and son that keeps both alive in the face of inhumanity.
Many more sorrowful revelations are shared within the pages of this must-read. Elie Wiesel’s raw written voice commemorates all that must never be forgotten.
My arms gathered with goosebumps at that because the date I was reading this book was April 11th.
I’ll end this review by sharing my favorite Elie Wiesel quote:
“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”