'Night' by Elie Wiesel
文章來源: 7grizzly2024-02-21 19:53:42


On Friday, Tim gave me Elie Wiesel's book "Night," an assignment in his

high school Holocaust Literature class. "Tell me what you think." he said.


In the space of 120 pages, the author managed to pack a fast-paced narration of

his family's and fellow Jews' gruesome ordeals through Nazi concentration camps.

The slim volume told numerous macabre tales without numbing or boring this



I finished it on Sunday and was most impressed that from Sighet to Auschwitz,

from Buna to Buchenwald, every Jew prayed, most silently perished but, at least

in this book, no one acted over-my-dead-body.


The closest they managed to it was upon arriving at Auschwitz and learning their

mothers and sisters, separated at the gate, were sent straight to the

crematorium, some young men were trying to revolt.


    But the older men begged their sons not to be foolish:

    "We mustn't give up hope, even now as the sword hangs over our heads. So

    taught our sages..."


What's the point of being smart, older, a sage, educated, experienced,

enlightened, etc.? It's total BS. The book seriously damaged my respect for

Jewish wisdom and traditions, just as God died to the teenage Wiesel, so far a

devout Talmudic student, as he was witnessing point-blank the hanging of a child

in the same camp.


Monday was Presidents' Day, I picked Tim up at his friend's at 4:00pm.


"Why so early? Why didn't you stay for dinner with Julia?"


"Mom paniced and wanted me to work. She doesn't do this all the time. She would

tell me it doesn't matter which college I go to. But sometimes she freaks out. I

don't know why."


"What you need to understand is that we came from quite a different culture. We

try to adapt but our formative 30 years were spent in China. We cannot help

flashback from time to time and live that life. Think of Red out of Shawshank



We then switched to the book.


"Did you read near the end a Rabbi's son ignored his father falling behind when

they were marched to the last camp?"


"I don't blame either son or father. You cannot ask humans too much. After days

of trudging on an empty stomach in a blizzard, at some point, something would

snap. No need to assign guilt." I said.