Night

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Overview

A New Translation From The French By Marion Wiesel

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, ...

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Night

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Overview

A New Translation From The French By Marion Wiesel

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.

Night offers much more than a litany of the daily terrors, everyday perversions, and rampant sadism at Auschwitz and Buchenwald; it also eloquently addresses many of the philosophical as well as personal questions implicit in any serious consideration of what the Holocaust was, what it meant, and what its legacy is and will be.

An autobiographical narrative in which the author describes his experiences in Nazi concentration camps, watching family and friends die, and how they led him to believe that God is dead.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

"In Night, I wanted to show the end, the finality of the event. Everything came to an end—man, history, literature, religion, God. There was nothing left. And yet we began again with night." First published in Argentina in 1955, Elie Wiesel's memoir about his experiences at Auschwitz and Buchenwald became one of the two most acclaimed and read first-person accounts of the Holocaust era; Anne Frank's posthumously published diary being the other. This revised, corrected edition was translated by Marion Wiesel, Elie's wife. Now in trade paperback and NOOK Book.

From the Publisher
“A slim volume of terrifying power.”—The New York Times

"Required reading for all of humanity." —Oprah

“Wiesel has taken his own anguish and imaginatively metamorphosed it into art.” —Curt Leviant, Saturday Review

"To the best of my knowledge no one has left behind him so moving a record."—Alfred Kazin

"What makes this book so chilling is not the pretense of what happened but a very real description of every thought, fear and the apathetic attitude demonstrated as a response . . . Night, Wiesel's autobiographical masterpiece, is a heartbreaking memoir. Wiesel has taken his painful memories and channeled them into an amazing document which chronicles his most intense emotions every step along the way."—Jose Del Real, Anchorage Daily News

"As a human document, Night is almost unbearably painful, and certainly beyond criticism."—A. Alvarez, Commentary

Curt Leviant
"Wiesel has taken his own anguish and imaginatively metamorphosed it into art." -- Saturday Review
The New York Times
"A slim volume of terrifying power."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374500016
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 1/16/2006
  • Series: Oprah's Book Club Series
  • Edition description: Second Edition, Revised Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 182
  • Lexile: 570L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Elie Wiesel is the author of more than fifty books, including Night, his harrowing account of his experiences in Nazi concentration camps. The book, first published in 1955, was selected for Oprah’s Book Club in 2006. Wiesel is Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, and lives with his family in New York City. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.

Biography

"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." Since the publication of this passage in Night, Elie Wiesel has devoted his life to ensuring that the world never forgets the horrors of the Holocaust, and to fostering the hope that they never happen again.

Wiesel was 15 years old when the Nazis invaded his hometown of Sighet, Romania. He and his family were taken to Auschwitz, where his mother and the youngest of his three sisters died. He and his father were later transported to Buchenwald, where his father died shortly before Allied forces liberated the camp in 1945. After the war, Wiesel attended the Sorbonne in Paris and worked for a while as a journalist. He met the Nobel Prize-winning writer Francois Mauriac, who helped persuade Wiesel to break his private vow never to speak of his experiences in the death camps.

During a long recuperation from a car accident in New York City in 1956, Wiesel decided to make his home in the United States. His memoir Night, which appeared two years later (compressed from an earlier, longer work, And the World Remained Silent), was initially met with skepticism. "The Holocaust was not something people wanted to know about in those days," Wiesel later said in a Time magazine interview.

But eventually the book drew recognition and readers. "A slim volume of terrifying power" (The New York Times), Night remains one of the most widely read works on the Holocaust. It was followed by over 40 more books, including novels, essay collections and plays. Wiesel's writings often explore the paradoxes raised by his memories: he finds it impossible to speak about the Holocaust, yet impossible to remain silent; impossible to believe in God, yet impossible not to believe.

Wiesel has also worked to bring attention to the plight of oppressed people around the world. "When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant," he said in his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. "Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must -- at that moment -- become the center of the universe."

Though lauded by many as a crusader for justice, Wiesel has also been criticized for his part in what some see as the commercialization of the Holocaust. In his 2000 memoir And the Sea Is Never Full, Wiesel shares some of his own qualms about fame and politics, but reiterates what he sees as his duty as a survivor and witness:

''The one among us who would survive would testify for all of us. He would speak and demand justice on our behalf; as our spokesman he would make certain that our memory would penetrate that of humanity. He would do nothing else.''

Good To Know

Use of the term "Holocaust" to describe the extermination of six million Jews and millions of other civilians by the Nazis is widely thought to have originated in Night.

Two of Wiesel's subsequent works , Dawn and The Accident, form a kind of trilogy with Night. "These stories live deeply in all that I have written and all that I am ever going to write," the author has said.

President Jimmy Carter appointed Wiesel to be chairman of the President's Commission on the Holocaust in 1978. In 1980, Wiesel became founding chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. He is also the founding president of the Paris-based Universal Academy of Cultures and cofounder of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity.

Since 1969, Marion Wiesel has translated her husband Elie's books from French into English. They live in New York City and have one son.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Eliezer Wiesel (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 30, 1928
    2. Place of Birth:
      Sighet, Romania
    1. Education:
      La Sorbonne

Read an Excerpt

Night

THEY CALLED HIM Moishe the Beadle, as if his entire life he had never had a surname. He was the jack-of-all-trades in a Hasidic house of prayer, a shtibl. The Jews of Sighet—the little town in Transylvania where I spent my childhood—were fond of him. He was poor and lived in utter penury. As a rule, our townspeople, while they did help the needy, did not particularly like them. Moishe the Beadle was the exception. He stayed out of people's way. His presence bothered no one. He had mastered the art of rendering himself insignificant, invisible.

Physically, he was as awkward as a clown. His waiflike shyness made people smile. As for me, I liked his wide, dreamy eyes, gazing off into the distance. He spoke little. He sang, or rather he chanted, and the few snatches I caught here and there spoke of divine suffering, of the Shekhinah in Exile, where, according to Kabbalah, it awaits its redemption linked to that of man.

I met him in 1941. I was almost thirteen and deeply observant. By day I studied Talmud and by night I would run to the synagogue to weep over the destruction of the Temple.

One day I asked my father to find me a master who could guide me in my studies of Kabbalah."You are too young for that. Maimonides tells us that one must be thirty before venturing into the world of mysticism, a world fraught with peril. First you must study the basic subjects, those you are able to comprehend."

My father was a cultured man, rather unsentimental. He rarely displayed his feelings, not even within his family, and was more involved with the welfare of others than with that of his own kin. The Jewish community of Sighet held him in highest esteem; his advice on public and even private matters was frequently sought. There were four of us children. Hilda, the eldest; then Bea; I was the third and the only son; Tzipora was the youngest.

My parents ran a store. Hilda and Bea helped with the work. As for me, my place was in the house of study, or so they said.

"There are no Kabbalists in Sighet," my father would often tell me.

He wanted to drive the idea of studying Kabbalah from my mind. In vain. I succeeded on my own in finding a master for myself in the person of Moishe the Beadle.

He had watched me one day as I prayed at dusk.

"Why do you cry when you pray?" he asked, as though he knew me well.

"I don't know," I answered, troubled.

I had never asked myself that question. I cried because ... because something inside me felt the need to cry. That was all I knew.

"Why do you pray?" he asked after a moment.

Why did I pray? Strange question. Why did I live? Why did I breathe?

"I don't know," I told him, even more troubled and ill at ease. "I don't know."

From that day on, I saw him often. He explained to me, withgreat emphasis, that every question possessed a power that was lost in the answer ...

Man comes closer to God through the questions he asks Him, he liked to say. Therein lies true dialogue. Man asks and God replies. But we don't understand His replies. We cannot understand them. Because they dwell in the depths of our souls and remain there until we die. The real answers, Eliezer, you will find only within yourself.

"And why do you pray, Moishe?" I asked him.

"I pray to the God within me for the strength to ask Him the real questions."

We spoke that way almost every evening, remaining in the synagogue long after all the faithful had gone, sitting in the semidarkness where only a few half-burnt candles provided a flickering light.

One evening, I told him how unhappy I was not to be able to find in Sighet a master to teach me the Zohar, the Kabbalistic works, the secrets of Jewish mysticism. He smiled indulgently. After a long silence, he said, "There are a thousand and one gates allowing entry into the orchard of mystical truth. Every human being has his own gate. He must not err and wish to enter the orchard through a gate other than his own. That would present a danger not only for the one entering but also for those who are already inside."

And Moishe the Beadle, the poorest of the poor of Sighet, spoke to me for hours on end about the Kabbalah's revelations and its mysteries. Thus began my initiation. Together we would read, over and over again, the same page of the Zohar. Not to learn it by heart but to discover within the very essence of divinity.

And in the course of those evenings I became convinced that Moishe the Beadle would help me enter eternity, into that time when question and answer would become ONE.

 

 

AND THEN, one day all foreign Jews were expelled from Sighet. And Moishe the Beadle was a foreigner.

Crammed into cattle cars by the Hungarian police, they cried silently. Standing on the station platform, we too were crying. The train disappeared over the horizon; all that was left was thick, dirty smoke.

Behind me, someone said, sighing, "What do you expect? That's war ..."

The deportees were quickly forgotten. A few days after they left, it was rumored that they were in Galicia, working, and even that they were content with their fate.

Days went by. Then weeks and months. Life was normal again. A calm, reassuring wind blew through our homes. The shopkeepers were doing good business, the students lived among their books, and the children played in the streets.

One day, as I was about to enter the synagogue, I saw Moishe the Beadle sitting on a bench near the entrance.

He told me what had happened to him and his companions. The train with the deportees had crossed the Hungarian border and, once in Polish territory, had been taken over by the Gestapo. The train had stopped. The Jews were ordered to get off and onto waiting trucks. The trucks headed toward a forest. There everybody was ordered to get out. They were forced to dig huge trenches. When they had finished their work, the men from the Gestapo began theirs. Without passion or haste, they shot their prisoners, who were forced to approach the trench one by one and offer their necks. Infants were tossed into the air and used as targets for the machine guns. This took place in the Galician forest, near Kolo-may. How had he, Moishe the Beadle, been able to escape? By a miracle. He was wounded in the leg and left for dead ...

Day after day, night after night, he went from one Jewish house to the next, telling his story and that of Malka, the young girl who lay dying for three days, and that of Tobie, the tailor who begged to die before his sons were killed.

Moishe was not the same. The joy in his eyes was gone. He no longer sang. He no longer mentioned either God or Kabbalah. He spoke only of what he had seen. But people not only refused to believe his tales, they refused to listen. Some even insinuated that he only wanted their pity, that he was imagining things. Others flatly said that he had gone mad.

As for Moishe, he wept and pleaded:

"Jews, listen to me! That's all I ask of you. No money. No pity. Just listen to me!" he kept shouting in synagogue, between the prayer at dusk and the evening prayer.

Even I did not believe him. I often sat with him, after services, and listened to his tales, trying to understand his grief. But all I felt was pity.

"They think I'm mad," he whispered, and tears, like drops of wax, flowed from his eyes.

Once, I asked him the question: "Why do you want people to believe you so much? In your place I would not care whether they believed me or not ..."

He closed his eyes, as if to escape time.

"You don't understand," he said in despair. "You cannot understand. I was saved miraculously. I succeeded in coming back. Where did I get my strength? I wanted to return to Sighet to describe to you my death so that you might ready yourselves while there is still time. Life? I no longer care to live. I am alone. But I wanted to come back to warn you. Only no one is listening to me ..."

This was toward the end of 1942.

Thereafter, life seemed normal once again. London radio, which we listened to every evening, announced encouragingnews: the daily bombings of Germany and Stalingrad, the preparation of the Second Front. And so we, the Jews of Sighet, waited for better days that surely were soon to come.

I continued to devote myself to my studies, Talmud during the day and Kabbalah at night. My father took care of his business and the community. My grandfather came to spend Rosh Hashanah with us so as to attend the services of the celebrated Rebbe of Borsche. My mother was beginning to think it was high time to find an appropriate match for Hilda.

Thus passed the year 1943.

 

 

SPRING 1944. Splendid news from the Russian Front. There could no longer be any doubt: Germany would be defeated. It was only a matter of time, months or weeks, perhaps.

The trees were in bloom. It was a year like so many others, with its spring, its engagements, its weddings, and its births.

The people were saying,"The Red Army is advancing with giant strides ... Hitler will not be able to harm us, even if he wants to ..."

Yes, we even doubted his resolve to exterminate us.

Annihilate an entire people? Wipe out a population dispersed throughout so many nations? So many millions of people! By what means? In the middle of the twentieth century!

And thus my elders concerned themselves with all manner of things—strategy, diplomacy, politics, and Zionism—but not with their own fate.

Even Moishe the Beadle had fallen silent. He was weary of talking. He would drift through synagogue or through the streets, hunched over, eyes cast down, avoiding people's gaze.

In those days it was still possible to buy emigration certificatesto Palestine. I had asked my father to sell everything, to liquidate everything, and to leave.

"I am too old, my son," he answered. "Too old to start a new life. Too old to start from scratch in some distant land ..."

Budapest radio announced that the Fascist party had seized power. The regent Miklós Horthy was forced to ask a leader of the pro-Nazi Nyilas party to form a new government.

Yet we still were not worried. Of course we had heard of the Fascists, but it was all in the abstract. It meant nothing more to us than a change of ministry.

The next day brought really disquieting news: German troops had penetrated Hungarian territory with the government's approval.

Finally, people began to worry in earnest. One of my friends, Moishe Chaim Berkowitz, returned from the capital for Passover and told us, "The Jews of Budapest live in an atmosphere of fear and terror. Anti-Semitic acts take place every day, in the streets, on the trains. The Fascists attack Jewish stores, synagogues. The situation is becoming very serious ..."

The news spread through Sighet like wildfire. Soon that was all people talked about. But not for long. Optimism soon revived: The Germans will not come this far. They will stay in Budapest. For strategic reasons, for political reasons ...

In less than three days, German Army vehicles made their appearance on our streets.

 

 

ANGUISH. German soldiers—with their steel helmets and their death's-head emblem. Still, our first impressions of the Germans were rather reassuring. The officers were billeted in private homes, even in Jewish homes. Their attitude toward their hosts was distant but polite. They never demanded the impossible,made no offensive remarks, and sometimes even smiled at the lady of the house. A German officer lodged in the Kahns' house across the street from us. We were told he was a charming man, calm, likable, and polite. Three days after he moved in, he brought Mrs. Kahn a box of chocolates. The optimists were jubilant: "Well? What did we tell you? You wouldn't believe us. There they are, your Germans. What do you say now? Where is their famous cruelty?"

The Germans were already in our town, the Fascists were already in power, the verdict was already out—and the Jews of Sighet were still smiling.

 

 

THE EIGHT DAYS of Passover.

The weather was sublime. My mother was busy in the kitchen. The synagogues were no longer open. People gathered in private homes: no need to provoke the Germans.

Almost every rabbi's home became a house of prayer.

We drank, we ate, we sang. The Bible commands us to rejoice during the eight days of celebration, but our hearts were not in it. We wished the holiday would end so as not to have to pretend.

On the seventh day of Passover, the curtain finally rose: the Germans arrested the leaders of the Jewish community.

From that moment on, everything happened very quickly. The race toward death had begun.

First edict: Jews were prohibited from leaving their residences for three days, under penalty of death.

Moishe the Beadle came running to our house.

"I warned you," he shouted. And left without waiting for a response.

The same day, the Hungarian police burst into every Jewish home in town: a Jew was henceforth forbidden to own gold, jewelry,or any valuables. Everything had to be handed over to the authorities, under penalty of death. My father went down to the cellar and buried our savings.

As for my mother, she went on tending to the many chores in the house. Sometimes she would stop and gaze at us in silence.

Three days later, a new decree: every Jew had to wear the yellow star.

Some prominent members of the community came to consult with my father, who had connections at the upper levels of the Hungarian police; they wanted to know what he thought of the situation. My father's view was that it was not all bleak, or perhaps he just did not want to discourage the others, to throw salt on their wounds:

"The yellow star? So what? It's not lethal ..."

(Poor Father! Of what then did you die?)

But new edicts were already being issued. We no longer had the right to frequent restaurants or cafés, to travel by rail, to attend synagogue, to be on the streets after six o'clock in the evening.

Then came the ghettos.

 

 

TWO GHETTOS were created in Sighet. A large one in the center of town occupied four streets, and another smaller one extended over several alleyways on the outskirts of town. The street we lived on, Serpent Street, was in the first ghetto. We therefore could remain in our house. But, as it occupied a corner, the windows facing the street outside the ghetto had to be sealed. We gave some of our rooms to relatives who had been driven out of their homes.

Little by little life returned to "normal." The barbed wire that encircled us like a wall did not fill us with real fear. In fact, we felt this was not a bad thing; we were entirely among ourselves. Asmall Jewish republic ... A Jewish Council was appointed, as well as a Jewish police force, a welfare agency, a labor committee, a health agency—a whole governmental apparatus.

People thought this was a good thing. We would no longer have to look at all those hostile faces, endure those hate-filled stares. No more fear. No more anguish. We would live among Jews, among brothers ...

Of course, there still were unpleasant moments. Every day, the Germans came looking for men to load coal into the military trains. Volunteers for this kind of work were few. But apart from that, the atmosphere was oddly peaceful and reassuring.

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.

 

 

SOME TWO WEEKS before Shavuot. A sunny spring day, people strolled seemingly carefree through the crowded streets. They exchanged cheerful greetings. Children played games, rolling hazelnuts on the sidewalks. Some schoolmates and I were in Ezra Malik's garden studying a Talmudic treatise.

Night fell. Some twenty people had gathered in our courtyard. My father was sharing some anecdotes and holding forth on his opinion of the situation. He was a good storyteller.

Suddenly, the gate opened, and Stern, a former shopkeeper who now was a policeman, entered and took my father aside. Despite the growing darkness, I could see my father turn pale.

"What's wrong?" we asked.

"I don't know. I have been summoned to a special meeting of the Council. Something must have happened."

The story he had interrupted would remain unfinished.

"I'm going right now," he said. "I'll return as soon as possible. I'll tell you everything. Wait for me."

We were ready to wait as long as necessary. The courtyard turned into something like an antechamber to an operating room. We stood, waiting for the door to open. Neighbors, hearing the rumors, had joined us. We stared at our watches. Time had slowed down. What was the meaning of such a long session?

"I have a bad feeling," said my mother. "This afternoon I saw new faces in the ghetto. Two German officers, I believe they were Gestapo. Since we've been here, we have not seen a single officer ..."

It was close to midnight. Nobody felt like going to sleep, though some people briefly went to check on their homes. Others left but asked to be called as soon as my father returned.

At last, the door opened and he appeared. His face was drained of color. He was quickly surrounded.

"Tell us. Tell us what's happening! Say something ..."

At that moment, we were so anxious to hear something encouraging, a few words telling us that there was nothing to worry about, that the meeting had been routine, just a review of welfare and health problems ... But one glance at my father's face left no doubt.

"The news is terrible," he said at last. And then one word: "Transports."

The ghetto was to be liquidated entirely. Departures were to take place street by street, starting the next day.

We wanted to know everything, every detail. We were stunned, yet we wanted to fully absorb the bitter news.

"Where will they take us?"

That was a secret. A secret for all, except one: the president of the Jewish Council. But he would not tell, or could not tell. The Gestapo had threatened to shoot him if he talked.

"There are rumors," my father said, his voice breaking, "that we are being taken somewhere in Hungary to work in the brick factories. It seems that here, we are too close to the front ..."

After a moment's silence, he added:

"Each of us will be allowed to bring his personal belongings. A backpack, some food, a few items of clothing. Nothing else."

Again, heavy silence.

"Go and wake the neighbors," said my father. "They must get ready ..."

The shadows around me roused themselves as if from a deep sleep and left silently in every direction.

 

 

FOR A MOMENT, we remained alone. Suddenly Batia Reich, a relative who lived with us, entered the room: "Someone is knocking at the sealed window, the one that faces outside!"

It was only after the war that I found out who had knocked that night. It was an inspector of the Hungarian police, a friend of my father's. Before we entered the ghetto, he had told us, "Don't worry. I'll warn you if there is danger." Had he been able to speak to us that night, we might still have been able to flee ... But by the time we succeeded in opening the window, it was too late. There was nobody outside.

 

 

THE GHETTO was awake. One after the other, the lights were going on behind the windows.

I went into the house of one of my father's friends. I woke the head of the household, a man with a gray beard and the gaze of a dreamer. His back was hunched over from untold nights spent studying.

"Get up, sir, get up! You must ready yourself for the journey. Tomorrow you will be expelled, you and your family, you and all the other Jews. Where to? Please don't ask me, sir, don't ask questions. God alone could answer you. For heaven's sake, get up ..."

He had no idea what I was talking about. He probably thought I had lost my mind.

"What are you saying? Get ready for the journey? What journey? Why? What is happening? Have you gone mad?"

Half asleep, he was staring at me, his eyes filled with terror, as though he expected me to burst out laughing and tell him to go back to bed. To sleep. To dream. That nothing had happened. It was all in jest ...

My throat was dry and the words were choking me, paralyzing my lips. There was nothing else to say.

At last he understood. He got out of bed and began to dress, automatically. Then he went over to the bed where his wife lay sleeping and with infinite tenderness touched her forehead. She opened her eyes and it seemed to me that a smile crossed her lips. Then he went to wake his two children. They woke with a start, torn from their dreams. I fled.

Time went by quickly. It was already four o'clock in the morning. My father was running right and left, exhausted, consoling friends, checking with the Jewish Council just in case the order had been rescinded. To the last moment, people clung to hope.

The women were boiling eggs, roasting meat, preparing cakes, sewing backpacks. The children were wandering about aimlessly, not knowing what to do with themselves to stay out of the way of the grown-ups.

Our backyard looked like a marketplace. Valuable objects, precious rugs, silver candlesticks, Bibles and other ritual objects were strewn over the dusty grounds—pitiful relics that seemed never to have had a home. All this under a magnificent blue sky.

By eight o'clock in the morning, weariness had settled into our veins, our limbs, our brains, like molten lead. I was in the midst of prayer when suddenly there was shouting in the streets. I quickly unwound my phylacteries and ran to the window. Hungarian police had entered the ghetto and were yelling in the street nearby.

"All Jews, outside! Hurry!"

They were followed by Jewish police, who, their voices breaking, told us:

"The time has come ... you must leave all this ..."

The Hungarian police used their rifle butts, their clubs to indiscriminately strike old men and women, children and cripples.

One by one, the houses emptied and the streets filled with people carrying bundles. By ten o'clock, everyone was outside. The police were taking roll calls, once, twice, twenty times. The heat was oppressive. Sweat streamed from people's faces and bodies.

Children were crying for water.

Water! There was water close by inside the houses, the backyards, but it was forbidden to break rank.

"Water, Mother, I am thirsty!"

Some of the Jewish police surreptitiously went to fill a few jugs. My sisters and I were still allowed to move about, as we were destined for the last convoy, and so we helped as best we could.

 

 

AT LAST, at one o'clock in the afternoon came the signal to leave.

There was joy, yes, joy. People must have thought there could be no greater torment in God's hell than that of being stranded here, on the sidewalk, among the bundles, in the middle of the street under a blazing sun. Anything seemed preferable to that. They began to walk without another glance at the abandoned streets, the dead, empty houses, the gardens, the tombstones ...On everyone's back, there was a sack. In everyone's eyes, tears and distress. Slowly, heavily, the procession advanced toward the gate of the ghetto.

And there I was, on the sidewalk, watching them file past, unable to move. Here came the Chief Rabbi, hunched over, his face strange looking without a beard, a bundle on his back. His very presence in the procession was enough to make the scene seem surreal. It was like a page torn from a book, a historical novel, perhaps, dealing with the captivity in Babylon or the Spanish Inquisition.

They passed me by, one after the other, my teachers, my friends, the others, some of whom I had once feared, some of whom I had found ridiculous, all those whose lives I had shared for years. There they went, defeated, their bundles, their lives in tow, having left behind their homes, their childhood.

They passed me by, like beaten dogs, with never a glance in my direction. They must have envied me.

The procession disappeared around the corner. A few steps more and they were beyond the ghetto walls.

The street resembled fairgrounds deserted in haste. There was a little of everything: suitcases, briefcases, bags, knives, dishes, banknotes, papers, faded portraits. All the things one planned to take along and finally left behind. They had ceased to matter.

Open rooms everywhere. Gaping doors and windows looked out into the void. It all belonged to everyone since it no longer belonged to anyone. It was there for the taking. An open tomb.

A summer sun.

 

 

WE HAD SPENT the day without food. But we were not really hungry. We were exhausted.

My father had accompanied the deportees as far as the ghetto's gate. They first had been herded through the main synagogue, where they were thoroughly searched to make sure they were not carrying away gold, silver, or any other valuables. There had been incidents of hysteria and harsh blows.

"When will it be our turn?" I asked my father.

"The day after tomorrow. Unless ... things work out. A miracle, perhaps ..."

Where were the people being taken? Did anyone know yet? No, the secret was well kept.

Night had fallen. That evening, we went to bed early. My father said:

"Sleep peacefully, children. Nothing will happen until the day after tomorrow, Tuesday."

Monday went by like a small summer cloud, like a dream in the first hours of dawn.

Intent on preparing our backpacks, on baking breads and cakes, we no longer thought about anything. The verdict had been delivered.

That evening, our mother made us go to bed early. To conserve our strength, she said.

It was to be the last night spent in our house.

I was up at dawn. I wanted to have time to pray before leaving.

My father had risen before all of us, to seek information in town. He returned around eight o'clock. Good news: we were not leaving town today; we were only moving to the small ghetto. That is where we were to wait for the last transport. We would be the last to leave.

At nine o'clock, the previous Sunday's scenes were repeated. Policemen wielding clubs were shouting:

"All Jews outside!"

We were ready. I went out first. I did not want to look at my parents' faces. I did not want to break into tears. We remained sitting in the middle of the street, like the others two days earlier. The same hellish sun. The same thirst. Only there was no one left to bring us water.

I looked at my house in which I had spent years seeking my God, fasting to hasten the coming of the Messiah, imagining what my life would be like later. Yet I felt little sadness. My mind was empty.

"Get up! Roll call!"

We stood. We were counted. We sat down. We got up again. Over and over. We waited impatiently to be taken away. What were they waiting for? Finally, the order came:

"Forward! March!"

My father was crying. It was the first time I saw him cry. I had never thought it possible. As for my mother, she was walking, her face a mask, without a word, deep in thought. I looked at my little sister, Tzipora, her blond hair neatly combed, her red coat over her arm: a little girl of seven. On her back a bag too heavy for her. She was clenching her teeth; she already knew it was useless to complain. Here and there, the police were lashing out with their clubs: "Faster!" I had no strength left. The journey had just begun and I already felt so weak ...

"Faster! Faster! Move, you lazy good-for-nothings!" the Hungarian police were screaming.

That was when I began to hate them, and my hatred remains our only link today. They were our first oppressors. They were the first faces of hell and death.

They ordered us to run. We began to run. Who would have thought that we were so strong? From behind their windows, from behind their shutters, our fellow citizens watched as we passed.

We finally arrived at our destination. Throwing down our bundles, we dropped to the ground:

"Oh God, Master of the Universe, in your infinite compassion, have mercy on us ..."

 

 

THE SMALL GHETTO. Only three days ago, people were living here. People who owned the things we were using now. They had been expelled. And we had already forgotten all about them.

The chaos was even greater here than in the large ghetto. Its inhabitants evidently had been caught by surprise. I visited the rooms that had been occupied by my Uncle Mendel's family. On the table, a half-finished bowl of soup. A platter of dough waiting to be baked. Everywhere on the floor there were books. Had my uncle meant to take them along?

We settled in. (What a word!) I went looking for wood, my sisters lit a fire. Despite her fatigue, my mother began to prepare a meal.

We cannot give up, we cannot give up, she kept repeating.

People's morale was not so bad: we were beginning to get used to the situation. There were those who even voiced optimism. The Germans were running out of time to expel us, they argued ... Tragically for those who had already been deported, it would be too late. As for us, chances were that we would be allowed to go on with our miserable little lives until the end of the war.

The ghetto was not guarded. One could enter and leave as one pleased. Maria, our former maid, came to see us. Sobbing, she begged us to come with her to her village where she had prepared a safe shelter.

My father wouldn't hear of it. He told me and my big sisters,"If you wish, go there. I shall stay here with your mother and the little one ..."

Naturally, we refused to be separated.

 

 

NIGHT. No one was praying for the night to pass quickly. The stars were but sparks of the immense conflagration that was consuming us. Were this conflagration to be extinguished one day, nothing would be left in the sky but extinct stars and unseeing eyes.

There was nothing else to do but to go to bed, in the beds of those who had moved on. We needed to rest, to gather our strength.

At daybreak, the gloom had lifted. The mood was more confident. There were those who said:

"Who knows, they may be sending us away for our own good. The front is getting closer, we shall soon hear the guns. And then surely the civilian population will be evacuated ..."

"They worry lest we join the partisans ..."

"As far as I'm concerned, this whole business of deportation is nothing but a big farce. Don't laugh. They just want to steal our valuables and jewelry. They know that it has all been buried and that they will have to dig to find it; so much easier to do when the owners are on vacation ..."

On vacation!

This kind of talk that nobody believed helped pass the time. The few days we spent here went by pleasantly enough, in relative calm. People rather got along. There no longer was any distinction between rich and poor, notables and the others; we were all people condemned to the same fate—still unknown.

 

 

SATURDAY, the day of rest, was the day chosen for our expulsion.

The night before, we had sat down to the traditional Friday night meal. We had said the customary blessings over the breadand the wine and swallowed the food in silence. We sensed that we were gathered around the familial table for the last time. I spent that night going over memories and ideas and was unable to fall asleep.

At dawn, we were in the street, ready to leave. This time, there were no Hungarian police. It had been agreed that the Jewish Council would handle everything by itself.

Our convoy headed toward the main synagogue. The town seemed deserted. But behind the shutters, our friends of yesterday were probably waiting for the moment when they could loot our homes.

The synagogue resembled a large railroad station: baggage and tears. The altar was shattered, the wall coverings shredded, the walls themselves bare. There were so many of us, we could hardly breathe. The twenty-four hours we spent there were horrendous. The men were downstairs, the women upstairs. It was Saturday—the Sabbath—and it was as though we were there to attend services. Forbidden to go outside, people relieved themselves in a corner.

The next morning, we walked toward the station, where a convoy of cattle cars was waiting. The Hungarian police made us climb into the cars, eighty persons in each one. They handed us some bread, a few pails of water. They checked the bars on the windows to make sure they would not come loose. The cars were sealed. One person was placed in charge of every car: if someone managed to escape, that person would be shot.

Two Gestapo officers strolled down the length of the platform. They were all smiles; all things considered, it had gone very smoothly.

A prolonged whistle pierced the air. The wheels began to grind. We were on our way.

Copyright © 1972, 1985 by Elie Wiesel

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Reading Group Guide

The questions and discussion topics that follow are designed to enhance your reading of Elie Wiesel’s Night. We hope they will enrich your experience as you explore this poignant and fiercely honest remembrance of the Holocaust.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 1248 )
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  • Posted September 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Powerful . . . and for readers that were moved by NIGHT, I would also recommend A BEAUTIFUL WORLD by Gregg Milligan

    NIGHT by Elie Wiesel is a piercing account of the horrors of concentration camp, which impressed an incredible toll both internally and externally on his being. As a young adolescent, he is ripped from his home, plummeted to the depths of suffering, and driven to the edge of his own humanity. Mr. Wiesel openly shares with readers the tremendous weight of these experiences etched within his soul. His courage in doing so should be lauded.

    From Mr. Wiesel we can learn that regardless of the burden from the sins of others imposed upon us and our own sins, it is possible to endure - and even to help others do so.

    In that vein, I would recommend another memoir to readers of NIGHT - called A BEAUTIFUL WORLD, written by Gregg Milligan. It is a book you will not be able to put down - a deeply moving account of the indomitable human spirit as seen in the heart of a young child subjected to severe physical, mental and sexual abuse.

    In the author's own words, he shares his story to help others 'buckle down and bear the ride' through their own hell - and know that they are not alone. A BEAUTIFUL WORLD is an incredible testament to the perseverance of hope. Exquisitely written and heart wrenching, it is an unforgettable story.

    Both A BEAUTIFUL WORLD and NIGHT offer readers a chance to adjust their own perspective on suffering through the examples of both authors. Though they have suffered greatly and will never leave this experience behind, they will not allow it to end them either.

    Further, both authors possess the incredible courage to reach out and share their stories, giving of themselves for the benefit of others. The astounding resiliency shown in that act alone speaks volumes of them as human beings -- and the words they press to paper will ever live on in the hearts of those that read them.

    28 out of 36 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2009

    Night

    I'm amazed by what humans are capable of doing to one another and this book shows how devastating the cruelty can be for some. Night is the story of Elie Weisel, who spent his life during the Holocaust and knew how people were treated in the concentration camps.I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn how people were during the Holocaust.

    21 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2010

    Brilliant Novel

    The book Night is a terrifyingly honest retelling of a holocausts survivor's story. Elie Wiesel, who was a teen when he and his whole town were forced into the camps, shows what really happened. He spoke of how everyone reacted, and showed how desperate everyone truly got when they realized how much trouble they were in. It offered a look inside the mind of one of the victims, and showed the constant battle they fought with themselves. Also, it put in his own experiences, showing how he felt during it.
    To start with, Night really captured the nature of humans perfectly. Some of the Nazis were cruel, while a few were simply there because they had to be. Some prisoners were helpful and nice, some were aggressive and selfish. He showed all sides of the people, that they're not all the same.
    Plus, the book also shows how his beliefs changed over time. As he was forced onto the cattle cars, he called himself religious. After years of starvation, abuse, and harsh conditions, he began to lose faith. By the time he escaped, he believed in only one person, himself. He let readers in on all he was thinking, not just what he was witnessing.
    Also, the novel is just well written. The flow is impeccable, with each even flowing seamlessly into the next one. The details Elie poured into this story really shine through. All of the sentences have a meaning, and aren't just some made up stuff to make the story seem more interesting. He turned his life story into a beautiful piece of literature.
    In addition, he talked about his father and about how hard he tried to help him. Plus, he even admitted to sort of feeling a wave of relief when his father passed away. He loved his father, but after constantly helping him as they both grew weaker and weaker, as well as doing hard labor to survive, it's no wonder he felt a weight lifted off his shoulders after his father's passing.
    To sum it all up, Night is a painful, but beautiful story. It somehow managed to capture the essence of desperation, and showed this off with ease. It also showed his own battles with faith. Elie remained truthful throughout; contributing to what makes this novel so breathtaking. He didn't shy away from the things he felt, he showed them to the world. Additionally, the book is just a magnificent piece of literature. Night is definitely a book worth reading.

    16 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 17, 2010

    Holocaust: "whole-burnt"

    Elie Wiesel's Night is a very intriguing memoir that includes mystery, questioning, and suspense. I really enjoyed reading this book. The suspense kept adding up, to make it almost impossible stop. Every time I said to myself "After this page I have to go to sleep," a page later I'd continue on. The reason why I chose to read Night in the first place was because I visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. this past summer. Once I read the back cover of Night, it instantly reminded me of The Holocaust Museum. Some other books I was on the verge of choosing were interesting also, but my trip to Washington D.C. inspired me to read Night. Now that I've read it, I know I made the right choice.

    My favorite part of the memoir was the same scene that I did my oral interpretation on: the father is called by some prominent members of the community to discuss the plans for the transport starting the next day. This scene is really suspenseful and intense in a way that I can barely put into words. Imagine your whole life disappearing in a day. Elie Wiesel goes through this very tough time in his life where he has to leave his life, childhood, and memories in Sighet, Transylvania. In this scene, his father's horrific news flips his whole life instantly around.

    The main reasons why I enjoyed Night are because it added to my knowledge about the Holocaust, and helped me realize who I am. Before reading it, all I knew from the Holocaust was what I read from The Diary of Anne Frank, which didn't give as much background information as Night did. It made me, once again, realize how big of an impact this genocide was and the people it affected. Also, Night gave me a better understanding of our recent past, and reminded me how fortunate and lucky I am to be me.

    12 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Night...

    When I first was told that I had to go out and buy this book for my high school class I was flustered. It was another book that we were going to pick apart during English class and that would ruin yet another book that could have been enjoyable. Well I am in a Pre-AP English class, so I thought it would be better if I read it before we started reading it in class. So I bought it last night and decided to begin reading it while we put up our Christmas tree and figured I'd get a chapter or two finished, but no, I started reading and couldn't find a good spot to put it down. Elie Wiesel's story is incredible and the fact that it is actually true makes it even more real in my mind. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the Holocaust!

    It is 50/50 on research, because it depends on how you get your information, but from a survivor's point of view it is incredible! I loved it and found it extraordinary and I'm actually looking forward to annotating it during class in the upcoming weeks.

    GREAT READ! VERY INTERESTING! CAN'T PUT IT DOWN!

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2013

    Book Review Night Makayla Cordell & Becca Coil       Night

    Book Review Night
    Makayla Cordell & Becca Coil


          Night is a book written by Elie Wiesel. The copyright date is 1958. Night is a really sad book but it is also a very good book. It is kind of like a chick flick. It is sad throughout the story but there is somewhat of a happy ending when Elie and everyone else who survived are let free. A paperback copy of Night cost $8.96. If you decide to get a copy the ISBN is 978-0-374-50001-6. Night is an easy read but you just have to think about what you are reading while you are reading it.
    The purpose for which Elie Wiesel wrote this book was to keep history from repeating itself. He states his own horrific personal experiences that he can never bring himself to forget. Wiesel explains the torture and death his family and others had to witness while going through the holocaust. He’s targeting all ages to read and hear the real story from his point of view.
    Night is all about Wiesel’s life during the Holocaust. It is also about how him and others survived during this time. Wiesel struggled through the Holocaust because of starvation, beating, thirst deprived and more. Even though he was struggling he still helped other including his father. By him helping others and himself he managed to survive. At times he wished he could just die but he never wanted to leave his father because he knew his father would not be able to survive if he was gone. Wiesel wrote this book because he wanted people to know what happened to the Jewish people when Adolf Hitler was the dictator in Germany. He also did not want history to repeat itself. The Jewish people were treated very poorly just because of the religion. Now we have Buddhist, Jews, Catholics, Christians, and so many more. All of the people who are from these religions are treated the same. They are all welcomed to any place.
    Wiesel uses irony, foreshadowing metaphors and similes. There are many twists in the book that bring grief and sadness to the readers. Flashbacks are used to explain many of Weisel experiences and memories that have happened. For example, at points throughout the story all he wanted to do was die and go to a better place. He refers to a lot of memories and foreshadows to what may happen next.
    Wiesel has received many rewards in his lifetime. They range from the Nobel Peace Prize to the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He also has received the National Jewish Book Award for Modern Jewish Thought & Experience. Night is the first book out of his trilogy. The books that follow are Dawn and Day, which are heart-wrenching stories that attack readers to keep reading. Elie Wiesel has a reputation of getting his audience involved. His books really open the eyes to all readers and their concerns of the holocaust.
          Night is one of the best books to read. It teaches readers about someone’s life during the Holocaust, how he survived, what he had to go through in order to survive, and things he had to see. The content of Wiesel’s book is very detailed but it is good. Wiesel and all of the other Jews had to go through the unthinkable. Wiesel’s story is extremely touching and a book that is recommended to all.

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2013

    Night by Elie Wiesel Reviewed by Nenny and Kolan Elie Wiesel¿s

    Night
    by Elie Wiesel
    Reviewed by Nenny and Kolan

    Elie Wiesel’s book “Night” (ISBN number 9780374500016) is a documentative embodiment the horrors of the Holocaust. As a first hand witness, Elie Wiesel in 1958 captures both his experiences and those of all who suffered at the hands of Nazi Germany in this enticing novel. This book features bone chillingly accurate descriptions of the atrocities committed within the concentration and death camps scattered throughout the Eastern European region during Hitler’s reign. It is not one to disappoint the reader.
    In 1944 Elie Wiesel was taken from his home, captured, and forced to survive in a Nazi death camp with only his father to accompany him as they fight their way through to the end of the war. Starved, beaten, and his spirit broken, Elie survives to tell his tale to the world of what he went through during the terrible years of the Holocaust. 
    “Night” proves to be a document written to express the importance of remembering our past and how inhumane people can be. By Elie’s account of the savage conditions and brutal actions he and his fellow prisoners were subject to, he continually reminds the reader of the events that nobody should ever experience. This is a volume dedicated to making sure the same atrocities never happen again in our history. The Holocaust was a time of misfortune and misery with lots of individuals who suffered throughout its intolerable existence in history.
    This “slim volume of terrifying power” as quoted by the New York Times, is popular throughout the world. “Night” can be found online and in most stores around the country for just under 10 dollars. This, combined with the incredibly interesting and easily read report of the experience in which the author was forced to survive make the book more than worthwhile. 
    In short, “Night” summarizes the experiences of both survivors and the less fortunate during the Holocaust. Every turn of the page brings on a new sense of anxiety and excitement for the victims-you will never want to put it down.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2012

    Best book ever

    I read this book for school this year at school and i was not excited about it but i ended up LOVING IT. It was great. Must read book!!!

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2012

    Perspective of Life Changed

    The book Night touches the reader's heart. The story about Elie inspires the reader to take action against inhumane treatment. I like how all the descriptive words are used to describe all the hardships and troubles Elie and the other Jews faced. I didn't like how the book ended. It could've showed where Elie went after the camp was liberated. Overall a great book!

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2010

    This book is a MUST read!

    I have always been very interested in the History of Aushwitz and other various concentration camp "horror" stories. I heard about this book first after watching Oprah when she had Elie Weisel on her show. After hearing his inspirational yet terrifying life story I knew I had to read this book. The descriptive words that Weisel uses within the pages paints a picture and makes you feel like you are there watching the things that were done to these innocent people. There were some chapters that were very hard to read because of the disturbing things that were done. But after reading the book I have a greater respect and sorrow for the people that went to through the horrible events within the concentration camps. After reading this book it will make you want to treat others with the respect that they deserve. This book was an amazing read and an incredibly inspirational story.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 8, 2012

    I've read this book twice in a lapse of 10 years and every time 

    I've read this book twice in a lapse of 10 years and every time I read it it's almost as if I've read it for the first time. Its such a powerful book. A def must read!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Journey of Survival

    Inspiring, captivating, emotional, terror, are only some of the adjectives that remotely begin to describe the journey this will take you. A real life story of survival under the most horrific circumstances. Well told, unassuming, with vivid descriptions. The pace of the narration is also pitch perfect and does not betray what's coming next. Excellent gift to give for the traveler in your family or circle of friends.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 26, 2009

    Questioning Faith...

    this book refers many times about Wiesel and other inmates questioning there faith. i think its an outstanding book to give kids. especailly young adults who are being engulfed in the black and whites of religion. i will never forget the rabi's speech on god. maybe there is no god. Elie is a brave soul who should be looked up too. all the schools should read this. so many people today have forgotten the horrors of this event in history. one of the best biography's i have ever read. and possibly the most influencial messages. it certainly made me tear up a few times.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2009

    Night-A Historical Classic! A test of true faith!!

    This book will change your complete outlook on the harsh reality of the Holocaust. Weisel takes you into an indepth look of his experience in the concentration camps of Germany. Each line of Night leaves you speechless over the cruelty of what man is unfortunately capable of. Weisel is taken from a warm and comforting home with his Jewish family (who has the fear of God within them)to the utmost worst conditions a human being or any living thing can experience. His "once found" faith is tested within himself, and he begins to question, is there such a God whom would allow this? Does the faith he has left carry him through, or do the enemies of his hopes and dreams conquer over him? Weisel's Night is the closest and most initmate journey of the Holocaust you can experience. (Review- 4.5 stars!)

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2013

    Night By Elie Wiesel Reviewed by Jacob Chmielewski and Alexis Po

    Night
    By Elie Wiesel
    Reviewed by Jacob Chmielewski and Alexis Posey








    Night is a very acclaimed historical book; It brings a new view and outlook on the extermination camps written by Elie Wiesel. The book was copyrighted in 1958. Night is an autobiography that you can buy for $9.95 its International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is 978-0-374-50001-6.
    The author’s purpose in writing his story is to inform the reader on past events, and the hardships of the extermination camps. The author states in the book that it may have been to “Leave behind a legacy of words, of memories, to help prevent history from repeating itself.” Elie mentions that he may have written it “To preserve the record of the ordeal he endured as a adolescent.”
    The topic of Night was focused on one boys’ experience in the concentration camps and everything he endured along with an entire race of Jews trying to survive the angst of the prejudice bestowed upon from the Germans. Themes include companionship for salvation, when Elie and his father would look over one another to insure each other’s survival throughout the chaos the Germans caused. Another theme would be the dangers of ignorance, when the Germans used Jews as scapegoats for all of their problems. 
            The book is a easy read and was wrote in exclusively chronological order with  flashbacks to past events to support the current ones. He gave an example of a flashback when he and 100 other jews were in train carts in the bitter winter surviving off of snow for food when all of a sudden Germans from outside threw in bread to watch Jews fight and kill each other over a slice of bread, Elie compared that event to years later when he witnessed a Parisian woman throwing coins into the water to amuse herself of natives strangling each other over the money. Elie wrote it in a section by section form to divide his experiences throughout his hardships. He started at the beginning of his childhood and told his story throughout his life as he went on. Elie was good at supporting his thesis by never straying off of the subject.
            As a student who is very interested in history the book was a great and very interesting read. It very greatly helps that it was a very accurate book considering it was written by someone who experienced the exact events of the story. The book was not only an accurate story of the holocaust is very detailed. For example it gave exact numbers of people on train cars
    Night is a detailed historical book based on true events during the holocaust. Even though the book was based on horrific events and gave scary details the book was able to keep me interested and compelled to finish it. Ellie excellently gave information on our world's history and how he feels that racism is wrong and can lead to extreme violence. In conclusion night is a story of a boy and his troubles throughout the holocaust.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Night by Elie Wiesel

    Night is the hesitantly told story of Elie Wiesel and his family and their experiences in the German concentration camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Wiesel suffered his teenage years as a prisoner in both prison camps and vowed never to speak of his experiences there. In Wiesel's own words, "To be silent is impossible, to speak forbidden."

    Because of his lost spiritualism and faith in mankind he kept his word for ten years but was persuaded by French novelist Francois Mauriac to complete it for the world. Night exposes Wiesel's struggles during and after the Holocaust and it is brilliantly written and emotionally charged. This true documentary will upset your sensibilities but the spirit of the man who endured it will most certainly lift yours.

    Though not as well-known as The Diary of Anne Frank Elie Wiesel's Night is just as compelling and heartbreaking and should be on your essential WWII "To Read" list.

    5 stars out of 5

    The Alternative
    Southeastern Wisconsin

    http://thealternativeone.blogspot.com/

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2009

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    Night Book Review

    "Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain."The book Night was a the most shocking book I have ever read. This is the best autobiography I have ever read. It was shocking because he wrote this book from when he was in the concentration camps during World War 2. He is very descriptive as to everything the SS officers made him do and what they did to the other Jews around him. The most shocking thing was that toward the end they made him, his father and the rest of the Jews in the camp run fifty miles to another camp to get away from the Soviet army. Also, that they beat his father even though he was old and dying. All of this shows how much people could hate others just because they aren't like them and think they are an inferior race.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 3, 2009

    A Test of True Faith.

    Night is a story about the harsh reality of the Holocaust. Elie Wiesel tells the story of his traumatic childhood he faced in the concentration camps. This story lets the reader know of all the cruel terrible things that people are capable of doing. Throughout the novel Elie is faced with many different challenges where he only has his own faith to turn to for help.
    Elie Wisel has written more than forty works of fiction and nonfiction. He has been awarded with many different awards for his talent for writing. Night opened my eyes to what millions of people faced during the Holocaust.
    Night is about a teenage boy (Elie Wiesel) who was taken from his home and sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. While there he gets separated from all of his family except his father. Through all the obstacles that they encounter they stay by one another's side. Elie realizes that the only thing that he can truly trust is his own faith. This experience tests the faith he has within himself.
    Wiesel gets his point across very well about the reality of the Holocaust. He tells each event that occurs in very graphic detail. Elie Wiesel's story might be heartbreaking but it is beautifully told.
    Night is an inspirational story that teaches you to never give up on your own faith. Wiesel has many encounters along his journey in that camps that make him want to give up, but he never does. Elie Wiesel's positive attitude and his desire to keep his life is what makes him one of the survivors of the Holocaust.
    Overall I'm thankful that I read Night, although parts of the novel were very heartbreaking to read. I think that this book should be required reading for everyone at some time in their life. It was an inspirational story.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2013

    Night By Elie Wiesel Cayl Poncsak & Jonathan Hagadorn The b

    Night
    By Elie Wiesel
    Cayl Poncsak & Jonathan Hagadorn

    The book Night by Elie Wiesel in an autobiography on the troubles of a 15-year-old Jewish boy in the holocaust. The ISBN is 978-0-374-50001-6 and it runs about $7.99 with a copyright of 1958 & 2006. The purpose of this book is to inform people about the tragedy that happened so history doesn't repeat itself.
    The theme of the book is injustice towards the human race throughout the world. The thesis is about Elie Wiesel a 15-year-old Jewish boy who struggles with his family to survive the holocaust. The author supports this thesis by describing Elie’s overcoming of his physical and mental hardships in order to survive the Holocaust.  An example of one of Elie’s physical hardships was a march to a new camp in the cold for hours while running.  One of his many mental hardships was Elie’s thoughts of putting his own self-preservation over his father’s.  
    The book can really keep the reader interested because of the suspense throughout it.  There are many intense situations and descriptions the author writes about.  It gives a great idea of what the Holocaust was like because the author is a Holocaust survivor.  The book is important because it tells the rest of the world what the Holocaust was like to go through and how mistakes in history should be learned from, not repeated.  The author’s descriptions of his emotional conflicts, the concentration camps, and the stories of other people involved in the Holocaust were very thorough.  These descriptions help the reader understand the author’s thoughts, hardships, and relationships.  The book can relate to universal issues like any kind of prejudice, discrimination, or struggles.  This is because the author had to go through very tough times emotionally and physically.  
    Elie Wiesel is currently a writer.  He has written more than sixty books, which are fiction and non-fiction.  Elie has defended the cause of Cambodian refugees, Soviet Jews, victims of famine and genocide in Africa, and victims of war in what was Yugoslavia.  President Jimmy Carter appointed him as Chairman of the President’s Commission on the Holocaust in 1978.  Also, in 1980 Elie became the Founding Chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.  He has won the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the French Legion of Honor, and the United States of America Congressional Gold Medal.  After, Elie won the Nobel Peace Prize, he and his wife Marion Wiesel established the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity.
    The book is very informative and descriptive.  This would be a great book for readers who enjoy historical events and issues.  It brings up worldwide problems like human suffering, violence, terrorism, and refugees.  One quote having to do with these problems is “Violence is not the answer.”  The author also said, “More people are oppressed than free.”  Elie Wiesel wants something to be done about human suffering and terrorism.  

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2013

    Night By: Elie Wiesel Those who have not felt touched by the H

    Night
    By: Elie Wiesel

    Those who have not felt touched by the Holocaust will feel much different after reading Elie Wiesel’s book Night. Reading this book shall immerse the reader into history as they experience the Holocaust with Elie. As you experience Elie’s life throughout the book, you shall see through his eyes what he felt and underwent. The cost of a paperback copy of the book is $9.95. The first publication of Night was in 1958, but the original English published version was in 1960. The book has 109 pages on 1982 Bantam paperback pages. The ISBN for the book is 978-0-374-50001-6. This book is over the Jewish persecution by the German Nazi’s during the time known as the Holocaust.
    Elie’s purpose in writing this horrifying novel was to tell and share his life during this time. He also wrote so that people will learn the cruelty that humanity can be capable of. He wanted people to remember the atrocities that were committed during this time period. He also wanted others to think about how they treated others during everyday life. His view throughout the book is one that is from his very eyes. From reading this book, repeating history, is a fear that Elie has. 
    A theme throughout the book is that humans can commit vicious acts of cruelty to those deemed innocent for they lack humanity and mercy. As a child Elie lived in a small town in Romania. In 1942, the Germans came to his town and took all foreign Jews away. Shortly after they came for the rest of them. Elie finds himself jumping from concentration camp to concentration camp, during the height of the German “Final Solution.” He witnesses events that change his view on life and his faith in God.
    Elie’s reputation throughout the world is one of a man who is looking to make a difference and to promote world peace. He has earned medals and awards for his writings on peace. A few of them include the Nobel Peace Prize, Medal of Freedom, and the French Legion of Honor. Overall the book has an inspirational and meaningful outlook on life. It shows how even through adversity and persecution, there are many who have the will to endure the hardships of imprisonment and extermination.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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