Author: Elie Wiesel
Genre & Age Group: Historical, memoir, young adult, adult
Born in the town of Sighet, Transylvania, Elie Wiesel was a teenager when he and his family were taken from their home in 1944 to Auschwitz concentration camp, and then to Buchenwald. Night is the terrifying record of Elie Wiesel’s memories of the death of his family, the death of his own innocence, and his despair as a deeply observant Jew confronting the absolute evil of man. This new translation by his wife and most frequent translator, Marion Wiesel, corrects important details and presents the most accurate rendering in English of Elie Wiesel’s testimony to what happened in the camps and of his unforgettable message that this horror must never be allowed to happen again.
Source: Read for school
Night is not a book that should have ever had to be written. The dehumanization of the Jewish people, along with other minority groups during the Holocaust was terrifyingly brutal, causing faith to be permanently lost in humanity. After these events spanned, the world made a conclusion that humans can, unfortunately, be so cruel to the extent that full communities of people were destroyed.
As I myself am Jewish, I feel so lucky to be where I am today, safely living in Canada in a warm and loving community. If the Holocaust went any further than it did, my ancestors may not have survived, and I would not be here today. Reading a story like Night makes me feel so grateful for my place in this world, and it causes me to view my life in a whole new lens.
Elie Wiesel is an incredibly strong role model and inspiration for many generations of people. Though he underwent much physical detriment while in Auschwitz and other concentration camps, he never fully lost hope, and as a result, survived to pass on his story. Living in a predominantly Jewish community, I have heard many poignant and touching stories from Holocaust survivors, but Elie’s especially sticks out to me as a spectacularly raw and authentic perspective. Elie does not miss any important detail and his writing serves the ability to evoke emotion in even the most cold-hearted of people; pulling on heartstrings and causing readers to really ponder about how they can improve our world.
Throughout the story, Elie also touches upon the importance of family and having something to hold onto for survival. He spends the majority of the story with his father, who is growing weaker and weaker. Elie has his father to hold onto during the span of events he chronicles, and despite the burden his father puts on him, this evergrowing bond makes Elie’s own survival more attainable. The raw courage and strength that Elie holds onto is one thing I know that all readers of the novel will greatly appreciate and be inspired by.
Though at times we try to deny it, our society can be extremely cruel and cold, with this all being fuelled by inborn prejudices and selfishness. The circumstances surrounding the premise of Night are inhumane, but through Elie’s heartbreaking story, readers’ eyes are opened about the consequences of being cruel to others and about being thankful for the lives we live and the many privileges we have.