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Night (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 25 May 2006
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Born into a Jewish ghetto in Hungary, as a child, Elie Wiesel was sent to the Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald. This is his account of that atrocity: the ever-increasing horrors he endured, the loss of his family and his struggle to survive in a world that stripped him of humanity, dignity and faith. Describing in simple terms the tragic murder of people from a survivor's perspective, "Night" is among the most personal, intimate and poignant of all accounts of the Holocaust. A compelling consideration of the darkest side of human nature and the enduring power of hope, it remains one of the most important works of the twentieth century.
About the Author
Elie Wiesel was born in 1928 in Sighet, Transylvania, which is now part of Romania. He was fifteen years old when he and his family were deported by the Nazis to Auschwitz. After the war, Elie Wiesel studied in Paris and later became a journalist. During an interview with the distinguished French writer, Francois Mauriac, he was persuaded to write about his experiences in the death camps. The result was his internationally acclaimed memoir, La Nuit or Night, which has since been translated into more than thirty languages.
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I know growing up we all learnt about WWII and the millions of Jews who sadly perished, but reading it from a first hand perspective opened up another avenue, reading the story I became emotionally attached, I felt as though I was along Elie throughout.
Emotional, amazing if you love history / World War books please read Night.
Many of the experiences described are horrific. We read about extreme inhumanity combined with grotesqueries. For example, when the prisoners are forced to watch hangings at Auschwitz the order rings out, `Caps off!' and then, `Cover your heads!' It is a ritualistic gesture to a more civilized world.
The forced evacuation from Auschwitz to Buchenwald (in January 1945) is even more horrific than Auschwitz itself.
The inability or refusal of the Sighet Jews to believe the stories they heard is intriguing, but one should bear in mind that for a long time the British and American governments were reluctant to trust the reports reaching them from Poland about the Holocaust.
The book describes the author's loss of faith. Where was God at Auschwitz? This question arises again and again in different forms.
I'd recommend the book highly to anyone interested in the Holocaust. It would also be very useful reading when teaching the Holocaust in schools - at least to pupils aged 15+.
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