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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 simply never be allowed to happen again.

115 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1956

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About the author

Elie Wiesel

260 books4,005 followers
Eliezer Wiesel was a Romania-born American novelist, political activist, and Holocaust survivor of Hungarian Jewish descent. He was the author of over 40 books, the best known of which is Night, a memoir that describes his experiences during the Holocaust and his imprisonment in several concentration camps.

Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. The Norwegian Nobel Committee called him a "messenger to mankind," noting that through his struggle to come to terms with "his own personal experience of total humiliation and of the utter contempt for humanity shown in Hitler's death camps," as well as his "practical work in the cause of peace," Wiesel has delivered a powerful message "of peace, atonement and human dignity" to humanity.

On November 30, 2006 Wiesel received an honorary knighthood in London, England in recognition of his work toward raising Holocaust education in the United Kingdom.

http://us.macmillan.com/author/eliewi...

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Profile Image for Navessa.
Author 10 books7,464 followers
April 15, 2018


The author, who is actually in the above picture, said it best in the forward; “Only those who experienced Auschwitz know what it was.” I think we can all agree with that. But can we, the reader, even understand what happened there? Can modern men and women comprehend that cursed universe?

I’m not entirely sure.

I first read this in my eighth grade History class. I was 13. It changed my life. Before this book my world was sunshine and rainbows. My biggest concern was whether or not a boy named Jason liked me back. I got mad at my mom when she made me go to bed on time, I complained if I didn’t like what we were having for dinner and I argued about what I was and wasn’t allowed to watch on TV.

I thought I knew about WWII. Both of my grandfathers served in it and so my parents wanted to make sure that we understood the sacrifices they made, the things they saw. I watched documentaries about it with my father, the history nerd, listened to the few stories that my grandfathers would tell, but up until that point I had been intentionally sheltered from the horrors of the holocaust. I had only been told in the vaguest terms what had happened, that so many millions of people had been killed, that Hitler and his men had sought to exterminate the Jewish people. My parents wanted to spare me from what exactly that meant until they thought I was mature enough to be able to absorb it.

But then I read this.

And for the first time in my life I was completely self-aware. I felt like a child, like a complete and utter fool. For what were my “problems” compared to those of this narrator? How “hard” was my life compared to what he endured? What millions of people similarly endured? I now understood my own insignificance in the grand scheme of things and suddenly the reality of the world was a crushing weight. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It was dark. It was ugly and unforgiveable.

I remember getting really angry when I finished this. Mostly I was angry at the world and at humanity as a whole but I unfairly turned some of that on my father. After all, he hadn’t prepared me for what I found in this book. At one point I even demanded that he explain this…thing to me.

He couldn’t.

Fifteen years later, my second read of this book has impacted me just as much as the first. There’s this question I kept asking myself while reading. That question, was ‘How?’. I’m sure that ‘Why?’ might seem the more obvious choice here but I couldn’t let myself wander down the rabbit warren that is that question. Madness lies at the end of it. So I’m left with ‘How?’. How did this happen? How did so many average human beings contribute to this?

How did the SS working in the camps reach the point that they were physically and mentally able to toss live infants into flames?

How were the German girls that lived within smelling distance of Auschwitz able to pass love notes to the soldiers that marched their skeletal prisoners past?

How did these same starving prisoners manage to run 20 kilometers in the freezing snow?

How could the SS officers that shot them if they stopped on the first day of their death march then shout encouragements to them the next?

How could the German citizens near the train tracks throw bread into the prisoners’ cattle cars just to watch them murder each other for it?

How could human beings do these things to each other?

How?

HOW?

HOW???

Like my father, I have no answers.

And that, I believe, is why many modern humans will never really be able to comprehend the things that happen in this book. Absorb it, yes. Bear witness to it, yes. Understand it? Hopefully never.

I finished this at lunch today. And now I’m sitting in my cubicle, glancing at my neighbors and wondering if they’re capable of this kind of depravity. Am I? What would I do to survive? Would I beat my own father to death for the bread in his hand? I hope to God that none of us will ever have to find out the answers to these questions.

If you read a single book in your life, this should be it.

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Profile Image for Kim.
286 reviews777 followers
February 17, 2013
There is little that freaks me out more than the Holocaust. And I'm not belittling it at all with the phrase 'freaks me out.' Growing up in the 1970s and 80s, I felt sufficiently desensitized enough by television violence to be able to gauge how often I need to shake the jiffy pop and run to the bathroom before the program/violence resumes.

Elie Wiesel's Night brings me back to my senses, makes me hate the cold hearted bitch I've learned to be. And not by some overtly dramatic rendition of the horrors of life in a concentration camp but more of the LACK of it. The down to the nitty gritty telling of what happened during the year that he was imprisoned. It wasn't going for the kick to the gut reaction, more of a confused, inconceivable retelling of day to day events, and this---this--- is what really makes me shudder and be at a loss for words. Hell, words? Who am I kidding? Try coherent thought.


“I would pause at every sentence, and start over and over again. I would conjure up other verbs, other images, other silent cries. It still was not right. But what exactly was “It”? “It” was something elusive, darkly shrouded for fear of being usurped, profaned. All the dictionary had to offer seemed meager, pale lifeless.”



His description of his last encounter with his mother and little sister:

“An SS came towards us wielding a club. He commanded: “Men to the left! Women to the right!” Eight words spoken quietly, indifferently, without emotion. Eight simple, short words. Yet that was the moment when I left my mother.”


Words. The power they can hold is devastating. Yes, not a new thought, not an original one, yet fucking true nonetheless. Buna. Buchenwald. Mengele. Auschwitz. Words, but ones that incite something within. Creepy crawlies or nausea. Fear.


I have met only one Holocaust survivor, that I'm aware of. And 'met' is too strong a word. I was working in a store during college and was collecting payment from a customer who handed me the money and flashed his tattoo. I paled. My eyes darted from the faded black green numbers that served as this man's identity to his face and knew that I was just another gawker. That in that one moment I had created a history for this man. No.. he WAS history.
Certainly makes you rethink being pissed off that Sbarro's had left the food court.

I think that my kids will most likely never meet a survivor. That books like Night and Anne Frank will have to serve as an education, a reminder that THIS, in fact, DID happen and that it is cruel and moronic and downright irresponsible to believe otherwise.

I could say that I did have some sense of relief that at least I wasn't alive during this. That I didn't sit back and have some vague understanding of this going on. But, that's not really the case, right? We have Rwanda and Darfur and god knows what other insane situations happening out there---and we're outraged over the price of an iPhone.


“For in the end, it is all about memory, its sources and its magnitude, and, of course, its consequences.”


So, Elie Wiesel's account, at 112 pages, serves as a powerful, undeniable, testament. As simply stated as that.


Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed.
Never shall I forget that smoke.
Never shall I forget the small faces of the children whose bodies I saw transformed into smoke under a silent sky.
Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith forever.
Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence that deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live.
Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and tuned my dreams to ashes.
Never shall I forget those things, even were I condemned to live as long as God Himself.
Never.


And in the Preface to the New Translation, he says: “And yet still I wonder: Have I used the right words?'

For me, yes. Most definitely, yes.












Profile Image for Sasha Alsberg.
Author 8 books66.9k followers
January 6, 2017
"Our lives no longer belong to us alone; they belong to all those who need us desperately." - Elie Wiesel
Profile Image for Lisa of Troy.
389 reviews3,151 followers
March 8, 2023
This is a true account of Elie Wiesel, a 15-year old Romanian Jew. At the beginning of the book, Wiesel’s religious leader warns him of the danger, but no one listens. The family is confident that everything will be alright. However, the Germans march in without even a fight. Overnight, regulations go into effect including wearing of the yellow star. Eventually, the Jews are forced into a ghetto. Then, they are told to move. Where they were going, no one knew. They were herded into a cattle car, bound for the concentration camps. What will happen to Wiesel and his family?

Night is a case where truth is stranger than fiction. It would be hard to imagine a scenario more gruesome. In the book, you can tell that Wiesel has deep regrets about choices that were made along the way. You can feel the weight, the burden on his shoulders, even though he was only an innocent teenage boy in an impossible situation.

This book was a sucker punch to the solar plexus. Even in the midst of unspeakable atrocities, there was so much hope. When arriving at Auschwitz, there was a discussion about trying to escape, “Let the world learn about the existence of Auschwitz. Let everybody find out about it while they still have a chance to escape.” The sad thing is that there were people who knew and did little to nothing to help.

However, I don’t want to diminish many of the brave people who risked their lives for the greater good. Before the pandemic, I was visiting the Canadian Aviation Museum, and they had a display about Operation Bad Penny/Operation Manna/Operation Chowhound. Operation Bad Penny consisted of a crew of seven men, five from Ontario, Canada, who dropped food into Netherlands to prevent the people from starving. The Germans had not yet agreed to the cease fire for the humanitarian mission so this test flight was to see if they would be shot down. They were not. This began 3,301 food drops. The Dutch people spelled out, “Many Thanks” in tulips. One of the people interrupted the tour. In a small, quavering voice, she said, “That was my grandparents. I’m from The Netherlands. They were dying, and the British, Americans, and Canadians saved them. I wouldn’t be alive except for this flight. That is why anytime, we have visitors from these areas, we were always told to say, ‘Welcome back.’”

2023 Reading Schedule
Jan Alice in Wonderland
Feb Notes from a Small Island
Mar Cloud Atlas
Apr On the Road
May The Color Purple
Jun Bleak House
Jul Bridget Jones’s Diary
Aug Anna Karenina
Sep The Secret History
Oct Brave New World
Nov A Confederacy of Dunces
Dec The Count of Monte Cristo

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Profile Image for Chris Horsefield.
110 reviews120 followers
July 20, 2021
Upon completion of this book, my mind is as numb as if I had experienced this suffering myself. So much pain and suffering are thrown at you from the pages that one cannot comprehend it all in the right perspective. One can only move forward as the victims in this book did. Step by step, page by page. Initially, numbness is the only way to deal with such anguish.
Otherwise one becomes quickly overwhelmed by the images that evoke questions that cannot be answered.
And yet, I read this book from the comfort of a warm home and a full stomach. Imagine the impact if it were otherwise. Imagine being forced from your home to live in barracks, living off soup and bread, forced to go outside in the winter without a jacket, and perform manual labor from dawn to dusk with the smell of a crematorium in your backyard.
How many of us could endure this for just one day, let alone, for years? What would this do to us physically and more important, what would this do to us mentally? Yet, we witness in this book the miracle of the prisoner's survival. The strength and raw endurance of the human spirit. We must be reminded of this this glorious strength, but also reminded that it was the weakness of the human spirit that inflicted these crimes on others.
Humanity has the capability of extreme strength, but also of extreme weakness (which often hides under the guise of self-righteousness and need for power over others). This book is necessary in order to remind us of this. These things must not be forgotten. Read this book even if you think you have read enough of the Holocaust and of pain and suffering. Every book that I have read about the Holocaust offers something new including this one. Read it as a memorial and a tribute. Read it as a reminder of how fortunate we are to have a free society and how we must preserve this freedom at all costs. There are those who would like to take it away. Fascism is alive and well.
I started reading Holocaust novels after reading Edelweiss Pirates ‘Operation Einstein'. (Edelweiss Pirates #1) [bookcover:(Edelweiss Pirates #1) ‘Operation Einstein' The Edelweiss Express (Edelweiss Pirates #2) by Mark A. Cooper they are must reads in this genre are of course Number the Stars Number the Stars by Lois Lowry Number the stars.
I enjoyed that authors other works. That novel was 'The Book' that turned me onto YA WW2 novels. They allow us to reflect on our own lives, learn history and become better people in general.
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,517 reviews10.8k followers
December 4, 2013
This book is a hard, righteous slap in the conscience to everyone of good will in the world and should stand as a stark reminder of both: (1) the almost unimaginable brutality that we, as a species, are capable of; and (2) that when it comes to preventing or stopping similar kinds of atrocities or punishing those that seek to perpetrate such crimes, WE ARE OUR BROTHERS' KEEPERS and must take responsibility for what occurs "on our watch."

This remarkable story is the powerful and deeply moving account of Ellie Wiesel's personal experiences as a Hungarian Jew who is sent with his entire family to the infamous Nazi concentration camps of Auschwitz and later Buchenwald. The most chilling aspect of the narrative for me was the calm, casual way that so many of the nightmarish events that Elie witnesses were performed. For example, early on in the account, Elie is separated from his Mother and sisters (never to see them again). This life-altering, traumatically painful action is done so quickly and in such an off-handed, bureaucratic manner by the Nazis that trying to grasp the reality of it made me physically sick.

That was only the beginning. Elie goes on to chronicle his subsequent attempts not to be separated from his father and the horrors he was forced to witness and endure. Along the road of this terrifying journey, we hear in Elie's own words of the growing disgust of his 13 year old self for both mankind and for God and how he eventually lost completely his own humanity in his resolve to do whatever he had to in order to stay alive.

Written in a simple, unsentimental style (which makes the horrors described seem somehow more shocking), this is one of those important life-changing books that I believe everyone should read.

HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!!
Profile Image for Brina.
887 reviews4 followers
October 2, 2016
The first time I read Night by Eli Wiesel I was in an eighth grade religious school class. At that time it had recently become a law in my state to teach the Holocaust as part of the general curriculum, and, as a result, my classmates and I were the torchbearers to tell people to never forget and were inundated with quality Holocaust literature. Yet even though middle school students can comprehend Night, the subject matter at times is still way over their heads. The book itself although a prize winner blended into the religious school class and receded to the back of my memory bank.

These years later I have been enjoying a religious lifestyle for my adult life. Upon hearing that Nobel Laureate Eli Wiesel passed away recently I thought now was as good of a time as any to reread his award winning account of surviving the Holocaust. Although only 120 pages in length, Wiesel's memoir of life in the concentration camps is one of the most powerful pieces of literature that most people will ever read. Wiesel discusses his relationship with G-D and talks about his conflicting feelings in regards to taking care of his father while in Buna and Birkenau camps. It was not easy to digest.

Wiesel also writes in length about observing Rosh Hashanah while in the concentration camps. Why praise the Almighty for one's deliverance if one's existence is spent as a prisoner living on crusts of bread? It was easy to forget G-D or denounce His existence, even for the most religious Jews. These passages brought me close to tears.

On this eve of Rosh Hashanah I can thank the Blessed Creator that I enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. Even though the world is far from perfect, my family lives in a land of freedom and are free to worship as we choose. Eli Wiesel brought Holocaust awareness to many people and earned the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. His passing is indicative that few survivors are still with us and we should hear their stories while we still can. Night is a painful yet necessary read, and by reading it I can go into the new year thanking G-D for my right to live in relative peace and prosperity.
Profile Image for Candi.
607 reviews4,585 followers
March 27, 2017
"I was the accuser, God the accused. My eyes had opened and I was alone, terribly alone in a world without God, without man. Without love or mercy."

These words and this book just tore at my heart. I have seen Night, have heard of Night for many years now. I waited to read it, unsure what I could possibly gain from reading another account of the evil existing among our fellow human beings – I will become enraged and depressed. I can’t change history. I will be forced to examine my own faith and I don’t want to do that. But then I discovered that my son was assigned this book as part of his summer reading for a high school English class. What do I want him to learn from this book, from this dark piece of our not too distant past? Should he pass it by so that he doesn’t have to experience the horrifying details, feel the terrible injustice in this world? No. I do not want him to be a passive bystander. I want him to understand that narrow-mindedness, hatred and bigotry exist despite his fortunate and protected upbringing. Other human beings are right now suffering unimaginable sorrow, are being cruelly maltreated. History does repeat itself, perhaps with varying backgrounds, different groups of individuals. We can’t let this happen. My son needs to read this book. His children need to read this book someday. I need to read this book. I did. I read this book and I cried. I was angry. I was disgusted with humanity. I understood Elie’s words above, why he felt such despair. Everyone should read this book at least once. This is a slim book with a tremendous message.

"Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere."
Profile Image for Orsodimondo.
2,121 reviews1,620 followers
December 15, 2022
COSA È PIÙ ETERNO DELL’INFERNO?

description

L'uomo è più forte e più grande di dio.
L'uomo è più buono e misericordioso di dio.
Deluso da Adamo ed Eva, dio li scacciò dal paradiso.
Deluso dalla generazione di Noè, s'inventò il diluvio universale.
Deluso da Sodoma, fece piovere dal cielo il fuoco e lo zolfo.
Per non farsi raggiungere dagli uomini che costruivano la torre che doveva raggiungere il cielo e portarli più vicino a lui, confuse le loro lingue e s'inventò Babele.

description

E invece, gli uomini che hanno riempito i campi di concentramento, traditi e abbandonati da dio, che li ha lasciati torturare, morire di fame, bruciare, gassare, sgozzare tra loro, che fanno?
Pregano dio e lodano il suo nome (p. 69).
Un dio che si manifesta per mettere alla prova, vediamo se siete in grado di dominare i cattivi istinti e di uccidere il satana che è in voi, castigando spietatamente gli uomini (p. 49-50).

Dio che si fa battere da Hitler, l'unico che ha veramente mantenuto le sue promesse, tutte le sue promesse col popolo ebraico (p. 81)

description
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56k followers
March 11, 2022
Un di Velt Hot Geshvign = Night (The Night Trilogy #1), Elie Wiesel, Marion Wiesel (Translator), François Mauriac (Foreword)

"We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."

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. Testimony to what happened in the camps and of his unforgettable message that this horror must simply never be allowed to happen again.

تاریخ خوانش روز هشتم ماه مارس سال2018میلادی

عنوان: شب؛ نویسنده: الی ویزل؛ مترجم فریده گوینده؛ تهران، نشر لگا، سال1399؛ در133ص؛ شابک9786008987932؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان رومانیا تبار ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده20م

عنوان: شب؛ نویسنده: الی ویزل؛ مترجم احسان قراخانی؛ تهران، میلکان، سال1400؛ در114ص؛ شابک9786222542948؛

الیزر (الی) ویزل، نویسنده، فعال سیاسی، و برنده ی جایزه صلح «نوبل»، و استاد «یهودی»، و از بازماندگان «هولوکاست» بوده است؛ که از سال1998میلادی تا پایان زندگی‌ خویش، سفیر صلح سازمان ملل، در موضوع حقوق بشر بودند؛ «شب» نامدارترین کتاب «الی ویزل» است؛ نویسنده در این کتاب، یادمانهای سرراست خود، از دوران هولناک اردوگاه‌های «نازی» را، بیان می‌کنند؛ این کتاب را نخستین بار خانم «نینا استوار» به فارسی برگردانده‌ است؛ که به کوشش بنیاد جامعه دانشوران، در «ایالات متحده آمریکا» به چاپ رسیده‌ است؛ نویسنده‌ ی کتاب «شب»، «الی ویزل»، هنگامی که همراه مادر، و خواهر و پدرش، از سوی مأموران «اس.اس» پلیس هیتلری دستگیر، و روانه‌ ی کشتارگاه‌های «یهودیان» شد، پانزده سال بیشتر نداشتند؛ بیشتر آن دیگران در اردوگاه‌های «نازی‌» به قتل رسیدند؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 09/02/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ 19/12/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Martine.
145 reviews657 followers
July 28, 2008
This book has garnered so many five-star reviews and deals with such important subject matter that it almost feels like an act of heresy to give it a mere four stars. Yet that is exactly what I'm going to do, for while Night is a chilling account of the Holocaust and the dehumanisation and brutalisation of the human spirit under extreme circumstances, the fact remains that I've read better ones. Better written ones, and more insightful ones, too.

Night is Elie Wiesel's somewhat fictionalised account of the year he spent at Auschwitz and Buchenwald. It's a chilling story about his experiences in and between concentration camps, his gradual loss of faith (he was a very observant Jew who obviously wondered where God was while his people were being exterminated), and his feelings of guilt when he realised that his struggle for survival was making him insensitive towards his dying father. It's gruesome, chilling material, and I felt very quiet after having read it. Yet I also felt vaguely unsatisfied with the book. I wanted more detail. I wanted fleshed-out writing rather than a succession of meaningful one-line paragraphs. I wanted less heavy-handed symbolism (the book very much centres on troubled father-and-son relationships, to echo the one central Father-and-Son one) and more actual feeling. I wanted a writer (and a translator) who knew better than to call an SS officer 'an SS'. And most of all, I wanted a less abrupt ending. I wanted to ask Wiesel what happened in the immediate aftermath of the liberation of Buchenwald. I wanted to ask him what happened to his leg, on which he marched for several gruesome days just days after having undergone an operation, and how he picked up the pieces afterwards, and why on earth his two eldest sisters, who died in Auschwitz as well as his mother and younger sister, never warranted more than a single mention. The latter was an example of seriously shoddy writing, I thought.

Perhaps my questions were answered in the original version of Night, which never got published. In his introduction to the new English translation of Night, Wiesel mentions that the book as it is today is a severely abridged version of a much longer Yiddish original called And the World Remained Silent. I think I can see why the original wasn't published (quite apart from the fact that the world wasn't ready yet for concentration camp literature, the few quotes provided in the introduction make for heavy reading). The abridged version definitely seems more readable than the full-length one, and does an admirable job getting the facts across. Even so, I think the publishers might have gone a step too far in abridging the book to the extent that they did. No doubt the very brevity of Night is one of the reasons why it's so popular today, but personally, I would have liked to see a middle road between the original (detailed) manuscript and the incredibly spare barebones version sold now. Don't get me wrong, the abridged version is effective, but as far as I'm concerned, it's the Holocaust for people with short attention spans. I prefer Primo Levi and Ella Lingens-Reiner's more complete accounts of life in the camps myself, not to mention several Dutch books which sadly never got translated into other languages.

But still. Night is an important book, and one that deserves to be widely read. In fact, one that should be widely read, by people of all ages and nationalities, to prevent nightmare like this ever happening again.
Profile Image for Swrp.
561 reviews106 followers
December 4, 2021
I am so thankful, for everything I have today! So thankful for all the peace around, smiling faces, food in my plate and for the place to sleep... I am truly, Thankful.

This book reminded me, quite a few times, the story of the fox and the rabbit. The story goes like this... in the forest, the hungry fox was running after the white rabbit. They ran and ran after each other across the forest for a while, before the rabbit could finally get into it`s hole under the big tree (the word "home" never sounded sweeter before...). The fox was very tired and upset, but it stopped by at the entrance of the hole and called out to the rabbit. "I know that I am stronger than you and can also run faster than you, but still, how did you manage to escape and run into your hole?" The rabbit, panting, replied from inside - "My friend, you were running for your lunch, but I was running for my life..."

Sadly, a lot of rabbits do not survive, maybe because they lose faith and hope...

''Night'' is all about the constant struggle to give life a chance, this book is about survival, it is about continuing to have faith in humanity despite all the atrocities committed by our fellow human beings and most importantly, it is about being GRATEFUL and, at the very same time, not to take people for granted...

**
"And that is why I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim."

"When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant."

"We know that every moment is a moment of grace, every hour an offering; not to share them would mean to betray them."

"Blessed be Thou... for giving us life, for sustaining us, and for enabling us to reach this day."
**
January 3, 2017
5 stars......I am at a loss for words.......upon finishing this memoir, I am so full of intense emotion yet I feel empty at the same time......

This is a DEEPLY moving and powerful book about the author's experience in concentration camps and the atrocities that happened during the Holocaust. Words cannot describe how I truly feel about what I read on these pages. It is impossible for us, as readers, to truly fathom this piece of history, unless we lived it. I hope everyone takes the time to read this 120 page memoir at some point in their lives. The author was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 calling him a "messenger to mankind" for his written works. We simply cannot risk forgetting.
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,851 reviews16.4k followers
October 27, 2017
Terrifying.

I have read two books that described a nightmare, painted a picture of hell. The second was Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy and first is Night.

I still think of this book sometimes and shudder and I realize that evil is never too far buried in us. The scene where the line of doomed prisoners splits in two with Mengela conducting, a perverse parody of the last judgment seems ripped from Dante.

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Profile Image for Maureen .
1,326 reviews7,103 followers
March 10, 2022
Deeply moving, man’s inhumanity to man never fails to shock.
Profile Image for Gaurav.
138 reviews1,118 followers
April 22, 2020
The gods
the godliness of whom
died long ago
made you a joke.







Did I write it so as not to go mad or, on the contrary, to go mad in order to understand the nature of madness, the immense, terrifying madness that had erupted in history and in the conscience of mankind?
- Elie Wiesel


The above-mentioned lines by Elie Wiesel reminds me of what George Orwell said in his essay Why I Write that one would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. The statements by both authors essentially complements each other since it’s inner demon of one which force one to express oneself; and what greater demon could it be than a madness of humanity, one of the slurs on human existence- we famously call as genocide. Amidst the CoVID-19 pandemic, I’ve been trying to pick up books which show bleakness, absurdity, horror and madness of human existence, in this regard Blindness by Jose Saramago presented itself as one of best options. Though I’m still trying to come to terms with Blindness as I’ve yet to reach the core of it; but, one day, my eyes accidentally fell upon Night which has been basking in the dust of laziness and ignorance for a fairly long time. It came upon me that what better occasion could be than right now to expose myself to the testimony of horrendous acts of humanity; in fact such books do not need any occasions at all, for they are for every occasion, as essential as any other treatises.

Never shall I forget that smoke.
Never shall I forget the small faces of the children whose bodies I saw transformed into smoke under a silent sky.
Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith forever.
Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence that deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live.
Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned dreams to ashes.
Never shall I forget those things, even were I condemned to live as long as God Himself.
Never.



The eminent sheath of humanity is slurred with many insinuations right from its birth itself, as we gain more experience by our holy sojourn through the grand fabric of time-space, the more defamed we get; and these arduous incidents should discourage the humanity to repeat those but invariably we traverse the same paths which have been trodden before. Perhaps that’s where come our greatest piece of war literature into existence. Having lived through such experiences, one could not keep silent no matter how difficult, if not impossible, it is to speak because an action is the only remedy to indifference. The witness forces himself to testify. For the youth of today, children who will be born tomorrow, he does not want his past to become their future. Having survived such those brazen and unabashed events, the witness needs to give his survival meaning, though he/ she might have braved through circumstances which do not make sense but his/ her account of that survival may certainly impart sense to humanity for its sake. And who better witness could be than Elie Wiesel, for he did complete justice with the role humanity accorded to him.

The idea of dying, of ceasing to be, began to fascinate me. To no longer exist. To no longer feel the excruciating pain of my foot. To longer feel anything, neither fatigue nor cold, nothing. To break rank, to let myself slide to the side of the road….



Night shows you excruciating life wherein people of a particular ethnicity no longer hold right to survive, their very existence becomes null and void; and they are reduced to just numbers, and nothing more. They are smoldered in the hell of nothingness, the cries of their unaccomplished existence fall on the deaf ears of the dominant creatures of nether world, who do not resemble human beings, we know them. They are the brave killing machines of a demented and glacial universe where to be inhuman was human, the primordial soup of such universe demands innocent children, helpless women and weary old men as fuel to traverse on the great thread of time-space. Yet, the ironical and revolting part is that such places are from our planet itself; these stomach-churning and disgusting microcosms of life had lived through our glorious but not so distant past. The memories of those still come back from the deep cervices of time and gnaw at us in the present (perhaps would do same in the future) so that we may be ashamed of our deeds in time bygone, so that the very humiliation may demoralize us to repeat our great acts of past.

We had already lived through a lot that night. We thought that nothing could frighten us anymore. But his harsh words sent shivers through us. The word “chimney” here was not as an abstraction; it floated in the air, mingled with the smoke. It was, perhaps, the only word that had a real meaning in this place.

I pinched myself: Was I still alive? Was I awake? How was it possible that men, women, and children were being burned and that the world kept silent? No. All this could not be real. A nightmare perhaps….Soon I would wake up with a start, my heart pounding, and find that I was back in the room of my childhood, with my books…

In just over 100 pages of sparse and fragmented narrative, Wiesel writes about the death of God and
his own increasing disgust with humanity, reflected in the inversion of the parent–child relationship, as his father declines to a helpless state and Wiesel becomes his resentful teenage caregiver. If only I could get rid of this dead weight ... Immediately I felt ashamed of myself, ashamed forever." In Night everything is inverted, every value destroyed. "Here there are no fathers, no brothers, no friends", a Kapo tells him. "Everyone lives and dies for himself alone.” In unsentimental detail, “Night” recounts daily life in the camps, the never-ending hunger, the sadistic doctors who pulled gold teeth, the Kapos who beat fellow Jews. On his first day in the camps, Wiesel was separated forever from his mother and sister. At Auschwitz, he watched his father slowly succumb to dysentery before the SS beat him to within an inch of his life. Wiesel writes honestly about his guilty relief at his father’s death. In the camps, the formerly observant boy underwent a profound crisis of faith; “Night” was one of the first books to raise the question: where was God at Auschwitz?

I was the accuser, God the accused. My eyes had opened and I was alone, terribly alone in a world without God, without man. Without love or mercy. I was nothing but ashes now, but I felt myself to be stronger than this Almighty to whom my life had been bound for so long. In the midst of these men assembled for prayer, I felt like an observer, a stranger.



Some of us would say that it is concerned with those who have gone through it, those who belong to that specific ethnicity, but that shows their myopic comprehension of humanity only. When human lives are dangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, (caste, in Indian perspective), religion or political views, that place must- at that moment- become the center of the universe. Since human suffering anywhere concerns men and women everywhere. We see that not only those men, women and children have been targeted but their culture, their religion and traditions have been systematically obliterated so that the very memory of those men/ women may be erased from the history of human civilization. But their reminiscence upsurge from dark pages of the bygone days to rejuvenate their existence, as nature usually do, thanks to courageous people such as Elie Wiesel.


Elie Wiesel has written the book with such objectivity that it appears to be an essay which may be applicable to most of the horrendous acts of humanity- be it racism, casteism, misogyny, apartheid or Holocaust. There is so much to be done, even now. We must remember that when our past asks us what we have done with its future and what we have done to make sure that it needs not ask the very question again in future. Elie Wiesel puts it perfectly- As long as one dissident is in prison, or freedom not be true. As long as one child is hungry, our lie will be filled with anguish and shame. . It’s been a while since I read a book which may leave such profound impact on our consciousness as this little beauty by Elie Wiesel does. The language of the book is quite simple but the author and the translator (author’s wife) managed to conjure up vivid and visceral narrative with economy of words. The cries of children, feebleness of their parents and heart wrenching scenes of the Holocaust makes you feel nauseating and bring out all your commiseration, which makes it perhaps a difficult book to be read. It is equally challenging to review the book, for it is quite strenuous task to classify it on the very first place-whether to call it autobiographical novel, memoir or non-fiction. Nonetheless, the book remains as relevant today as it was then and for everyone, irrespective of the fact that how aware you are about these ‘great’ deeds of mankind.

For God's sake, where is God?"
And from within me, I heard a voice answer:
"Where He is ? This is where- hanging here from this gallows...


4.75/5
Profile Image for Steven Godin.
2,317 reviews2,192 followers
October 12, 2016
From the first few sentences, to the final closings words, I did not move. Elie Wiesel had my complete attention, and total respect, for the immense courage it must have taken to relive the horrors he went through in writing this book. Harrowing and chilling but told with great compassion, his struggle for survival during the holocaust is almost too unbearable to contemplate. But this has to be read, and everyone should do so, it makes all the mundane things in life seem far more important. After the last page was done, I looked out the window of my apartment, up at the sky, down in the street, the noise of the city, the people walking by. The life, the freedom, the hugs, the kisses. What overriding joy.
Profile Image for Kat.
174 reviews54 followers
July 16, 2012
I teach this book yearly, but my students seemed distant from the true reality of the story. When I use the Holocaust Museum's interactive of Lola Rein's dress, it hits them. Real people, real history. The immediacy of the tragedy that was Wiesel's then comes to life in a way that a junior or senior can grasp. I also tell the story of my friend, Ida, and her "no grandparents". That is the hardest part for me as it is so personal. She was the daughter of survivors - she had no grandparents and I gave her mine. The sharing of my friend with my beloved grandmother and grandfather was one of the true blessings of my life and our lives were enriched through the immense addition to our family. I was also blessed by her adding us to her home and her celebrations. My faith was enlarged. This is a powerful book - a simple one to read, but a difficult one to comprehend. Engagingly written and honest to the core - even the difficult, prickly human parts that would embarrass anyone to reveal -- this is the heart of humanity's difficult path - how do we grow if we can't love one another for the similarities and the differences. I wish I could say there was no more genocide, but that would be a dreamer's lie. Bless this with a read and light a candle in our darkness. Also, go and view the dress at the Holocaust Museum website - you will leave changed.
Profile Image for Jon Nakapalau.
4,821 reviews653 followers
March 23, 2022
To bear witness to a crime so pervasive is to see the abyss...it stares back at you, through your soul, making you question if there is a bottom to the depth of the depravity of mankind. To be able to find light again is amazing - truly one of the most important books on loss and gain we all must weigh and balance - highest recommendation.
October 17, 2017
Όπως αναφέρεται στο επίμετρο αυτού του συγκλονιστικού βιβλίου όταν πρωτοεκδόθηκε το 1956 στην Αργεντινή (στη μητρική γλώσσα του συγγραφέα) είχε τίτλο:
«Και ο κόσμος σιωπούσε.....»
Θεωρώ πως δεν θα μπορούσε να υπάρξει πιο αντιπροσωπευτικός τίτλος για την ιστορία του βιβλίου αλλά και για την παγκόσμια ανθρώπινη ιστορία.

«Η νύχτα» του Ελί Βιζέλ είναι ένα αφηγηματικό ντοκουμέντο για το Ολοκαύτωμα.
Όταν άνοιξαν οι πύλες της κολάσεως για εκατομμύρια Εβραίους στα στρατόπεδα συγκέντρωσης-εξόντωσης και πέρασε πάνω απο ανθρώπινες σάρκες και ψυχές το αιματοβαμμένο τρένο της ιστορίας κατά τον
Β´Παγκόσμιο πόλεμο.

Ο ακατανόητος ναζισμός έχει πρωταρχικό σκοπό των αφανισμό των Εβραίων απο πρόσωπου γης.

Η ιστορία του βιβλίου αναφέρεται στους Εβραίους της Ουγγαρίας - τελευταία μεγάλη κοινότητα της Ευρώπης- και τον εκτοπισμό της στο Άουσβιτς.
Οι ναζί σπαταλούν χρόνο και δυνάμεις για να λυτρώσουν τον κόσμο απο το Κακό. Ένας λυτρωτικός αντισημιτισμός τη στιγμή που ο πόλεμος έχει ουσιαστικά κριθεί εις βάρος τους.

Και μετά τη Νύχτα.... ή και πριν απο αυτή ξημέρωσε μια κατάμαυρη ημέρα για την ανθρωπότητα.
Άπειρες νύχτες του παρελθόντος και αμέτρητα ξημερώματα του παρόντος και του μέλλοντος θα επικρατούν για πάντα στον πλανήτη των ανθρώπων.

Ο Βιζέλ διηγείται την δύναμη του κακού και τα βάσανα των θυμάτων που έπληξαν για πάντα την ανθρώπινη συνείδηση.
Διατείνεται και πολύ σωστά πράττει πως έγραψε το βιβλιο τούτο ως ανάμνηση της μακάβριας και τρομακτικής τρέλας που εισέβαλε τότε στην ιστορία και τις ψυχές για να αποτρέψει την επανάληψη της. Για να γιατρευτεί ίσως η ανθρωπότητα απο την εθισμένη έλξη της προς τη βία.

Κι όμως...
ήταν απλώς μια στάση του Κακού που επικρατεί αιώνια για να κοιτάξει μέσα στους ομαδικούς τάφους και να ευφρανθεί περισσότερο βλέποντας πως οι μελλοθάνατοι έσκαβαν με τα χέρια τους, οι ίδιοι, τους δικούς τους λάκκους.
Αυτοί, οι δυο φορές σκοτωμένοι απο τους πρεσβευτές του Κακού, τους υποκριτές, τους αδυσώπητους στυλοβάτες του κόσμου που χειραγωγούν την κοινωνία και καταφέρνουν πάντα να καθαγιάζονται απο τη λαϊκή ευαισθησία.

Όλοι οι παλιάνθρωποι του πλανήτη ενωμένοι σε έναν στρατό.

Τρομερά πλούσιο δειγματολόγιο θα βλέπαμε.
Απο μικρά παιδάκια γαλουχημένα με μίσος, κλέφτες δημοτικούς υπαλλήλους, ψεύτες υπουργούς και κυβερνήτες,πουλημένους γιατρούς και δικηγόρους, διεφθαρμένες κυρίες φιλανθρωπικών ιδρυμάτων, νεαρές κοπέλες προστατευμένες απο ηλίθιους πλούσιους, απατεώνες διευθυντές επιχειρήσεων, παρασημοφορημένους πρεσβευτές, αποικιακούς υπαλλήλους, εν ολίγοις, επίσης, όλες οι οργανωμένες δυνάμεις του κράτους, η απάτη του Κλήρου, ο Στρατός, η Λαϊκή Παιδεία.

Το σύμπαν της στρατιάς των θριαμβευτών της επιστήμης και της αμοιβαίας γνώσης, που στην πορεία του χρόνου και στη θεωρία της εξέλιξης οι ευθύνες που τους βαραίνουν κατά της δικαιοσύνης και της ανθρωπιάς πρέπει να μετρηθούν με ζυγαριά παλιανθρωπιάς, και να χαριστεί στον καθέναν το ακριβές βάρος της βρόμας του προς βρώση. (Περιττώματα).

Ποια η διαφορά των ναζί απο τους αναλφάβητους σε κάποια πολιτεία της Αμερικής που προσεύχονται στο θεό την ίδια ώρα που λιώνουν στην εκμετάλλευση νέγρους στη Γουατεμάλα.

Ποια η διαφορά της δουλοκτητικής ηθικής κοινωνίας απο τους μισθωτούς σκλάβους.

Ποια η διαφορά ενός αρχηγού του Μπούχενβαλντ απο έναν αρχηγό γαλέρας.

Είναι καλύτερος ο θάνατος με βόμβες παρά με βέλη και τόξα;

Το βασανιστήριο του ηλεκτροσόκ αποδίδει καλύτερα απο τα βασανιστήρια με ποντίκια των Κινέζων;

Οι δολοφονίες της ιεράς εξέτασης ήταν πιο φρικτές απο τις «αντιτρομοκρατικές» δολοφονίες με σύγχρονα όπλα;

Αν η ανθρωπότητα ήθελε να επικρατήσει το Καλό δεν θα το εξόρκιζε. Δεν θα το στιγμάτιζε με θρησκευτικούς κανόνες και τιμωρίες.
Πρέπει να υπαγορευτεί απο πανάρχαιους θεικούς κανόνες το Καλό;
Και στην τελική το Κακό μας συστήνει και μας παραπέμπει στο Καλό, αφού αν δεν κάνουμε αυτό ή εκείνο, απειλούμαστε με αιώνια κόλαση.

Το γενικό νόημα του κόσμου με βάση την πνευματική και υλική πρόοδο παραμένει αιώνες αναλλοίωτο.

Εν κατακλείδι, οποιαδήποτε απόπειρα αντίδρασης ή επαγρύπνησης πνεύματος και προσωπικότητας ενάντια στις δυνάμεις που πάντα εξουσίαζαν τον κόσμο εκμηδενίζεται και καταστρέφεται.

Λαοί ολόκληροι αποδεκατίστηκαν, οι θρησκείες εκκαθάρισαν τον κόσμο.
Λαμπρά μυαλά και μεγαλοφυΐες βασανίστηκαν, κάηκαν, κρεμάστηκαν, γδάρθηκαν στο όνομα των αντιδράσεων που μπορούν να λυτρώσουν.
Οπότε

Νύχτα....Νύχτα...Νύχτα...
Βαθύ βελούδινο σκοτάδι.
Υπήρχε, υπάρχει και θα υπάρχει.

Κι ο κόσμος σιωπούσε....και θα σιωπά.

Καλή ανάγνωση.
Πολλούς ασπασμούς.
Profile Image for Mark Lawrence.
Author 76 books50.7k followers
January 27, 2020
Infinitely sad. A book everyone should read.

RIP Elie Wiesel.

Auschwitz was liberated 75 years ago, during my father's lifetime. It really could happen again, any place, any time. Humanity has it in them, it just needs the right conditions to grow.
.
Profile Image for Nat.
545 reviews3,174 followers
August 10, 2018
“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:

Bookspoils 1

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.”

Bookspoils 2

It pained me beyond words to see my people fall under the “this surely won’t happen to me” spell.

Bookspoils 3

And the effect spreads like a snowball, gathering more and more edicts as the days go by.

Bookspoils 4

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… 

Bookspoils 6

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:

Bookspoils 5

Experiencing numbness in order to remain sane at the sight of tragedy.

Bookspoils 7

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:

Bookspoils 8

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.

Bookspoils 8

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.

Bookspoils

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.”



Support creators you love. Buy a Coffee for nat (bookspoils) with Ko-fi.com/bookspoils


This review and more can be found on my blog.
Profile Image for Heidi The Reader.
1,372 reviews1,419 followers
August 9, 2017
Night is Elie Wiesel's memoir about his experiences during the Holocaust. It is shocking and sad, but worth reading because of the power of Wiesel's witnessing one of humanity's darkest chapters and his confession on how it changed him.

In the new introduction to the ebook version I read, Wiesel talked about the difficulty he had putting words to his experience. "Convinced that this period in history would be judged one day, I knew that I must bear witness. I also knew that, while I had many things to say, I did not have the words to say them." pg. 7, introduction

The original version of Night was written in Yiddish. I wish I knew enough Yiddish to read it. There's something powerful about reading books in their original form.

Wiesel closes his introduction with his reasons for writing this book: "For the survivor who chooses to testify, it is clear: his duty is to bear witness for the dead and for the living. He has no right to deprive future generations of a past that belongs to our collective memory. To forget would be not only dangerous but offensive; to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time." pg 12, introduction.

Even though a member of his community warned Wiesel's village about the horrors that awaited them, they didn't believe him. After they were placed in a ghetto, the Jewish population of Sighet thought that the worst was behind them. "Most people thought that we would remain in the ghetto until the end of the war, until the arrival of the Red Army. Afterward everything would be as before. The ghetto was ruled by neither German nor Jew; it was ruled by delusion." pg 26, ebook.

If I had been in their place, I don't think that I would have acted any differently. How could one possibly imagine the horrors that they were going to face?

Wiesel is starved, overworked and beaten in the concentration camps. He loses more than his family and faith: "One day when I was able to get up, I decided to look at myself in the mirror on the opposite wall. I had not seen myself since the ghetto. From the depths of the mirror, a corpse was contemplating me. The look in his eyes as he gazed at me has never left me." pgs 110-111 ebook.

Another Holocaust survivor's memoir that I highly recommend is Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. Never forget.
Profile Image for Greta G.
337 reviews237 followers
August 30, 2018
Update
Intrigued by the success and popularity of this book, as opposed to more factual holocaust memoirs, I did a little research on the history of the book, and I came across an interesting article on Wikipedia.
According to the information contained in this article, Wiesel moved to Paris after the war and in 1954 completed an 862-page manuscript in Yiddish about his experiences, published in Argentina in 1956 as the 245-page Un di velt hot geshvign ("And the World Remained Silent")
It is unclear who edited the text for publication. Wiesel wrote in All Rivers Run to the Sea (1995) that he handed Turkov, a publisher of Yiddish texts, his only copy and that it was never returned, but also that he (Wiesel) "cut down the original manuscript from 862 pages to the 245 of the published Yiddish edition."
Wiesel translated Un di Velt Hot Geshvign into French and sent it to François Mauriac. Even with Mauriac's help they had difficulty finding a publisher; Wiesel said they found it too morbid. The text was edited down to 178 pages and published as La Nuit, with a preface by François Mauriac.
Wiesel's New York agent, encountered the same difficulty finding a publisher in the United States. In 1960, Hill & Wang in New York published an even smaller 116-page English translation as Night. It took three years to sell the first print run of 3,000 copies.
By 1997 Night was selling 300,000 copies a year in the United States. By 2011 it had sold six million copies in that country, and was available in 30 languages. Sales increased in January 2006 when it was chosen for Oprah’s Book Club. Republished with a new translation by Marion Wiesel, Wiesel's wife, and a new preface by Wiesel, it sat at no. 1 in The New York Times bestseller list for paperback non-fiction for 18 months from 13 February 2006, until the newspaper decided to remove it.

Literary critic Ruth Franklin writes that Night's impact stems from its minimalist construction. The 1956 Yiddish version, at 865 pages, was a long and angry historical work. In preparation for the French edition, Wiesel's editors pruned without mercy. Franklin argues that the power of the narrative was achieved at the cost of literal truth, and that to insist that the work is purely factual is to ignore its literary sophistication. Holocaust scholar Lawrence Langer argues similarly that Wiesel evokes, rather than describes: "Wiesel's account is ballasted with the freight of fiction: scenic organization, characterization through dialogue, periodic climaxes, elimination of superfluous or repetitive episodes, and especially an ability to arouse the empathy of his readers, which is an elusive ideal of the writer bound by fidelity to fact."

In a comparative analysis of the Yiddish and French texts, Naomi Seidman, professor of Jewish culture, concludes that there are two survivors in Wiesel's writing, a Yiddish and French. In re-writing rather than simply translating Un di Velt Hot Geshvign, Wiesel replaced an angry survivor who regards "testimony as a refutation of what the Nazis did to the Jews," with one "haunted by death, whose primary complaint is directed against God ...". Night transformed the Holocaust into a religious event.
Seidman argues that the Yiddish version was for Jewish readers, who wanted to hear about revenge, but the anger was removed for the largely Christian readership of the French translation. In the Yiddish edition, for example, when Buchenwald was liberated: "Early the next day Jewish boys ran off to Weimar to steal clothing and potatoes. And to rape German shiksas [un tsu fargvaldikn daytshe shikses]." In the 1958 French and 1960 English editions: "On the following morning, some of the young men went to Weimar to get some potatoes and clothes—and to sleep with girls [coucher avec des filles].
But of revenge, not a sign."

Here’s a similar article in the NYTimes: https://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/20/bo...


Original review
'Night' was a good read, but I expected a lot more.
The reason I gave 'Night' only 3 stars, is because compared to the other holocaust memoirs I've read so far, I thought this was the weakest.
I gave 5 to 'If this is a man' (Survival in Auschwitz) by Primo Levi and to 'Five Chimneys' by Olga Lengyel, These memoirs were far superior to Mr. Wiesel's.
To 'Fatelessness' by Imre Kertész, I gave 4 stars.

Those memoirs gave more detailed, day-to-day descriptions of how it was to live in the camps. Don't get me wrong, it's not voyeurism I'm searching for in those memoirs. But sitting on my sofa, or in the sun, and never experienced a war or genocide except on television or in the newspaper, I simply can't imagine what life was like in the concentration camps. And I simply want to know the truth.

I think Mr. Wiesel's testimony fails to give the reader a full understanding of that experience. While reading Primo Levi, I nearly lived with him in the camp, felt his cold, his starvation, his exhaustion, the diseases, the mud, the pests...
I did not experience this when I was reading 'Night'. But I have to admit that the last part of the book touched me very deeply. That was the part about the death marches, and about Elie's poor father.
I also wondered why he didn't write anything about the rest of his family? What happened to them?

Mr. Wiesel was only 15 at the time, but already very devout. His experience caused a strong struggle with his faith, and he writes about that battle with God quite often. Of course, that religious conflict doesn't resonate with everyone.
Worse, I couldn't believe this when I read it :
"Yom Kippur. The day of Atonement. Should we fast? The question was hotly debated. To fast could mean a more certain, more rapid death. In this place, we were always fasting. It was Yom Kippur year-round. But there were those who said we should fast, precisely because it was dangerous to do so. We needed to show God that even here, locked in hell, we were capable of singing His praises."
Profile Image for Fabian {Councillor}.
229 reviews475 followers
August 14, 2016


Night is perhaps one of the most remarkable, harrowing and haunting accounts of the events in the Nazi Germany concentration camps Auschwitz and Buchenwald. I read this powerful work only a few days before news of the author's, Elie Wiesel's, death were announced, and both shocked me. The first, because unless you have experienced it for yourself, you will never be able to realize the full extent of what happened in the Second World War with all its different facets and emotions, and the latter, because with Elie Wiesel, a remarkable man has left this planet who fought for memorizing the Holocaust, who fought against violence, suppression and racism.

Perhaps you will not find the most eloquent, the most artful language in this work of literature, but that's nothing you should expect to find in a book dealing with something as frightening, as horrifying, as real as the Holocaust. In his nonfictional book, Elie Wiesel writes about his own survival in the concentration camps, about reflections of the father-son relationship with his father, about humanity and inhumanity. It's a book everyone should read, because ultimately, the Second World War is something everyone should remember. Forgetting would be the worst way to deal with it.

A lot of people, more people than would be good, claim that it has all been "so long ago", is so completely irrelevant nowadays, just belongs to this boring stuff people are tortured with in school because it belongs to this dry nonsense called "history". I usually don't tell people they're wrong ... usually. Because in this case, they can't be more wrong. The Holocaust needs to be remembered, because if humans forget the mistakes they did, they will tend to repeat them. And I think everyone can agree that the Holocaust should never, never be repeated.

This is a book which is incredibly difficult to review, just like it is difficult to read - not for its language or its style; I read it in one sitting in the course of three or four hours - but rather for the horrifying events Elie Wiesel talks about. I can only recommend to read this book to everyone, independent from how much you already know about the topic.

And on a final note: Rest in Peace, Elie Wiesel.
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
3,916 reviews35.3k followers
October 18, 2013
I read this book once before
but read it again yesterday---with the new preface by his wife Marion Wiesel.

I did not plan on reading the whole thing--I just wanted to read the new Preface---but then while sitting around (with sick people in the house)--I just dived into the horror again.....(with expanded thoughts than in years pass).

Profile Image for Lea.
117 reviews300 followers
January 27, 2021
''The night had passed completely. The morning star shone in the sky. I too had become a different person. The student of Talmud, the child I was, had been consumed by the flames. All that was left was a shape that resembled me. My soul had been invaded—and devoured—by a black flame.''

Beautiful and devastating work. I applaud Elie Wiesel for having the courage to describe traumatic experiences in such an intimate and honest way, not shying away from the dark part of human nature that can come through in such inhumane circumstances. Description of the relationship with his father during the imprisonment has great psychological depth, and it felt like this was something deeply personal, that person would be able to say only to a confidant. The level of consciousness of Elie's processes in psyche and spirit at such a young age amazes me. He describes the anger, the loss of faith, the despair and estrangement painfully accurately.

''I no longer pleaded for anything. I was no longer able to lament. On the contrary, I felt very strong. I was the accuser, God the accused. My eyes had opened and I was alone, terribly alone in a world without God, without man. Without love or mercy. I was nothing but ashes now, but I felt myself to be stronger than this Almighty to whom my life had been bound for so long. In the midst of these men assembled for prayer, I felt like an observer, a stranger.''

It reminded me of the first part of Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning, which is a great compliment to Wiesel, concerning the fact Frankl was a grown man, a doctor and a psychiatrist during the time of imprisonment. In comparison to Frankl's work, the writing has less emotional warmth and is more direct, which I think reflects greatly the mechanisms of defense through dissociation, often seen in trauma, especially at a young age.

''The absent no longer entered our thoughts. One spoke of them—who knows what happened to them?—but their fate was not on our minds. We were incapable of thinking. Our senses were numbed, everything was fading into a fog. We no longer clung to anything. The instincts of self-preservation, of self-defense, of pride, had all deserted us. In one terrifying moment of lucidity, I thought of us as damned souls wandering through the void, souls condemned to wander through space until the end of time, seeking redemption, seeking oblivion, without any hope of finding either.''

I've read that there is great work also from Primo Levi about the experience of concentration camps that I want to read in the future. I don't know why, but I find writing about the experiences of concentration camps hypnotic, when I start reading about it I can't stop, no matter the level of emotional distress it produces in me. It is both deeply tragic and encouraging - seeing people going through hell on earth and still prevailing, still maintaining and even growing spiritual and psychological strength. I still remember the deep impact Man's search for meaning had on me, truly life-changing. Night maybe does not have such evident silver lining as Man’s search for meaning, but I found it equally cathartic. Both Wiesel and Frankl are immense gifts for humanity, and it breaks my heart when to think about how many voices perished because of the horrors of the Holocaust. Their experience isn't just personal, they made it universal, transpersonal, and transcendental in their writing with healing potential, showing the path of light exists even in the darkest ages.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,506 reviews30.9k followers
March 23, 2018
there are simply no words which i could write that would do this book the justice it deserves. i am speechless.

5 stars
Profile Image for Karen.
561 reviews1,104 followers
March 4, 2019
I remember that I first became aware of this story when it was put on the Oprah book club list years ago..I’ve always meant to read it since then.
We read all these novels based on the Holocaust and they are really tough to read, but these first hand personal experiences are so brutal and unimaginable.
Ellie was only 15 when he and his family where taken away to the camps.
I really can’t say more then others have said in their reviews, but.. just read it.. or listen, this audio was good!


Excerpt from Night
Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky. Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever. Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never.
—Elie Wiesel, from Night
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