Night by Elie Wiesel

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Elie Wiesel

His record of childhood in the death camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald

Born in a Hungarian ghetto, Elie Wiesel was sent as a child to the nazi death camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Night is the story of that atrocity; here he relates his childhood perceptions of an inhumanity that was as painful as it was absolute. Night uses three specific types of narration making it relevant to different sets of people, yet somehow the whole world: individualistic - as seen specifically through the eyes of the narrator, communal - as it relates to both the Jewish community and their relationship with the Nazis, and spiritual - both in Wiesel's struggle with God and in the Lord's apparent silence to his followers.

Throughout Night Elie's faith is a core subject that helps to capture some of the horror, that he could see something so terrible that he was sure God must be dead because it had been allowed to happen. At the beginning of the book Elie has a very strong faith in God and the Jewish religion, more so than other boys of his age, but this faith is tested when the Nazi's moves him from his small town and everything he has ever known. Elie has to deal with the death of his family, the death of his innocence, and the death of his God at the very young age of fifteen. He tells us of the horrors of the concentration camp, starvation, beatings, torture, illness, and hard labour; things no child should know the true pain of. He comes to question how God could let this happen and to redefine the existence of God in the concentration camp.

The terrible beauty of this book was that while Wiesel's writing was describing the most horrendous events the world has ever seen, the exquisite writing style meant that you were torn between enjoying the book and reading it to the end without break; and flinging it to the floor in horror and disgust at what man is capable of. This book is also filled with acts of kindness and compassion amid the degradation...
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