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Night by Elie Wiesel

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Book Review of Night by Elie Wiesel

Book Review of Night by Elie Wiesel

The Bottom Line

Night, an autobiographical account of life in the Nazi death camps, is a must-read. Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel takes his readers with him from his home, into the ghetto, on the transport, through Selections, into the concentration camps, on the Death March, and beyond. Reading this book gives one a deeper and more personal understanding of the Holocaust experience. Only with this understanding can one genuinely remember the Holocaust and thus help ensure it won't happen again.
Pros
  • Effectively transmits an understanding of what Holocaust victims experienced.
  • Via the first person voice, Wiesel takes the reader with him into the darkness.
  • Wiesel's honest descriptions help the reader open up and grasp the unimagineable.
  • The book is short and the writing is simple, which makes it easier digest the difficult content.
Cons
  • As this is a Holocaust book, it is not pleasurable reading.
  • As this is a Holocaust book, there is no happy ending

Description

  • The reader physically accompanies Wiesel through many inhumane and near-death experiences.
  • The reader emotionally accompanies Wiesel as he loses his home, community, family, personal dignity.
  • The reader spiritually accompanies Wiesel as he loses his faith in God.
  • Powerful, unforgetable, and educational book about the Holocaust, human beings and faith in God.

Guide Review - Night by Elie Wiesel

As the book opens, the author - an intelligent, curious, motivated and pious boy - introduces the reader to his family, community, synagogue and town in 1940's Europe.

Before long, I felt swept along with the 15-year-old Wiesel as he was forced into the Ghetto and then onto the transport which arrived at Auschwitz. At this point in the book, I realized for the first time how helpless the Jews were in the face of the Nazi's well-oiled death machine.

When Wiesel described his first contact with horrors such as Selection, Gas Chambers, and Crematoria, I felt as if I was also seeing the babies in the mass graves. When Wiesel described the hunger, beatings, hangings, and inhumanity of the Nazi's at the Buna concentration camp, I felt physically sick. And when Wiesel described the Death March, I felt awed by his courage, strength and ability to survive.

Wiesel's struggles with his own increasing callousness and his loss of faith in God add spiritual depth to the book.

I believe that everyone should take 3-4 hours to read Wiesel's Night. The book provides an inside, honest look into one of mankind's most inhumane hours, and thus gives one a realistic vision of what mankind is capable of again today and in the future.
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