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Night by Elie Wiesel

February 13, 2018

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.

It’s 1944, at the height of the Holocaust, when Eliezer, a young Jewish boy is deported to a concentration camp in Auschwitz, Germany, altering his life forever. Eliezer had lived in Sighet, Transylvania, with his family for his entire life. But when Nazis are sent to deport his family, along with 15,000 other Jews living in his town, everything he knows is stripped away from him.

After arriving at the camp, Eliezer is separated from his mom and sister. He sees smoke from crematoriums drift into a silent sky, and realizes his family’s devastating fate. At the camp he and his father are forced to work in terrible conditions and fed nothing but stale bread and water. Eliezer is tortured and must watch his friends and neighbors be killed because of the god they believe in. Night by Elie Wiesel—the grown man and survivor—tells the story of a son and a father who must endure through one of the darkest times in our history.

Night is both expertly crafted and a gripping story. Wiesel’s sensory descriptions transport readers to the labor camp and help them better understand the hardship and anguish that millions of Jews experienced. When Wiesel describes how he was starved, beaten, and barren of any hope for the future, he writes in such detail that his readers can’t help but feel the same emotions.

Wiesel writes about his own experiences, bringing the reader through the powerful changes and growth he experienced. Eliezer loses his innocence and faith. He no longer believes in his god and struggles to find his identity. This transformation is shown through the emotions and actions of the young man, giving the reader a taste of the trauma that lived within the prisoners.

Night is layered deeply with theme. Eliezer is just a child at the beginning of the book, naive and unaware, but he is quickly awoken to the harshness of the world. Wiesel beautifully weaves together themes of prejudice, religion, and the importance of family.

This memoir is a heart-wrenching read. You will experience both anger and sadness—and be left with a powerful impression of the Holocaust.


Bantam Books, 109 pages.

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