Saturday, March 14, 2009

Night - Elie Wiesel

This is a short but intensely powerful book.
As a young teen, Elie Wiesel was crowded into a Romanian Ghetto with his family and neighbors. Later, his entire family was taken by train to the concentration camps. He was separated from his mother and sisters and spent years trying to survive starvation, beatings, disease, and random killings with his father.
Night tells the haunting story of how his life and faith and hope were mauled by the beast of human cruelty. Great clouds cemented in his soul blocking out the sun from his heart. He was stripped of meaning even as he was stripped of his clothes for the full-body shave and de-licing.

As an interesting aside, I read this in close conjunction with other works that despaired of meaning - such as Ernest Hemingway's short stories and several movies. It seems that great suffering and great wealth often lead us to the same end - meaningless existence.
For anyone who has never read a personal account of the Holocaust, I would highly recommend this book. I only wish it was longer. Perhaps this was all Wiesel could stomach to retrieve from those dark places of his memory.
The Josh rating: jjjj.
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