Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Book Review -- Night by Elie Wiesel

I received a copy of Night by Elie Wiesel as part of a UK Sweepstake on BookCrossing. When I first looked at it I thought "It's not really my kind of book". Before I journalled it on Bookcrossing I thought I'd scan the first few pages, then I scanned the next few and then I couldn't put it down and was drawn into the character until I'd finished it all. Only had about 110 pages.

Its the autobiography of Elie Wiesel, who lived in the town of Sighet which was in the then Transylvania. His family were well respected Jews in the town. One man in the town kept saying to the townsfolk that someone was coming to take them away and they scoffed at him thinking he was mad. But no truer words had been spoken. Elie was only 15yrs old when he was taken to Auschwitz concentration camp and then to Buchenwald.

This book is an account of his and his families life in the Nazi death camps, where he witnessed the deaths of some of his family, and where his faith left him. As the book blurb states "NIGHT awakens the shocking memory of evil at it's absolute and carries with it the unforgettable message that this horror must never be allowed to happen again".

I would like to quote a passage from the book which moved me.
"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"

It really is a moving book, which depicts a part of history that I hope I never get to see happen in this civilized world in my lifetime.