*Image from papercuts.tscpl.org
Author: Elie Wiesel
Date Read: January 2007
I’m not sure what happened between the years that I was in high school and when my sisters went, but I wasn’t assigned this book. So, like usual, I took my sisters’ handmedown for this one (pretty sure they probably haven’t read any of those books I “borrowed”).
What a powerful little book. I read Night in a few hours (although maybe stretched over two days…?). Wiesel’s memoir begins in a sleepy town in Transylvania–seemingly far away from the dangers of the Nazi’s. It comes to pass however, that the SS does invade the town and Wiesel’s family is sent first to Auschwitz where he is separated from his mother and sisters, but sticks by his father’s side. The rest of the novel recounts the horrid details of the Holocaust and Wiesel’s own fight to survive. The details he
offers are sobering–it is a tough look into humanity at its worst.
While the book in many ways is important for our understanding of the things that happened, things that are too horrible for me sometimes to even comprehend (I would also recommend “The Hiding Place” by Corrie ten Boom and Primo Levi’s accounts for different perspectives), don’t expect to feel uplifted at the end of the novel.
“I wanted to see myself in the mirror hanging on the opposite wall. I had not seen myself since the ghetto. From the depths of the mirror, a corpse gazed back at me. The Look in his eyes, as they stared into mine, has never left me” (109).