Author: Elie Wiesel, Marion Wiesel (Translator)
Publishing Year: 1956
Author’s Nationality: Romanian
Book Translation: French to English
Genre: Non Fiction, World War II, Religion
I cannot rate this book. Read it.
One of the bedrocks of Holocaust literature, this book is a must read for our generation to learn about the darkest zone of human history. The novel is a non-fictional account of Elie Wiesel as he is among the thousands of jews deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp in around 1942. His book made me realize how far we have come in valuing Human Rights and being tolerant of Diversity in Race, Culture, Religions etc and how important it is to speak out against any form of marginalization. The book is written in a sparse, fragmented and threadbare manner focusing on the events that took place, and snatches of conversations without any superfluous details or descriptions. I could find myself asking the same questions that Eliezer asked– about the presence of God, Humanity and Divine Justice. The Ghettos, Auschwitz camp, Buna Camp, Death March, Cattle Cars, Buchenwald camp — all of these are terrifying events that chillingly describe the evil humans are capable of.
“And then I explained to him how naive we were, that the world did know and remain silent. And that is why I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.”
Read this book because it is a moral obligation– to the holocaust survivors, to the millions of jews that were thrown into furnaces or died out of exhaustion and suffering, to the thousands of German soldiers who played the part of the devils, to see humanity at its worst, to remember this history and to protect those that continue in many parts of the world to be marginalized.