Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Night by Elie Wiesel

Night by Elie Wiesel

There is not a lot I can say about this book. It's a holocaust survivor story from a man who was 16 when he was liberated from the camps.

It's horrific. It's terrifying. It's simply stated.

The fact that any man, woman or child had to endure such atrocities is beyond comprehension and probably explains more than anything why the book was written.

It's required reading in many high schools now and I highly recommend it. It seems more pertinent in today's world than ever. Where there is so much hatred toward groups of people, it's so very frightening to see what can happen.

This story differs somewhat from others I have read in that Wiesel expresses more hopeful thinking toward the beginning of his town's eventual evacuation of Jews. If it was reality or his youthful opinion, at each step of narrowing down their world, from complete freedom to living in ghettos, he talks about the Jews thinking things weren't so bad. They had heard and had been warned, but in the beginning they more or less accepted the German invasion and their moves as signs of protection.

There are a few places in the story where Wiesel and his family or father can make some choices. It's particularly heartbreaking when the realization hits of how differently things could have turned out if only the other choice had been made.

The book ends with Wiesel's liberation, leaving me with questions about the females of his family, if his mother or sisters made it through the camps or if he ever heard of their fate.


  1. Perusing your FB bookshelf, I followed your link for this book and came to this. To answer you questions about his mother & sisters, if you haven't found the information already yourself, his mother and youngest sister are believed to have died at Auschwitz, while his two other sisters survived.

  2. Thanks Caiti, I hadn't pursued that thought after writing it.