Night

Night

Night is Elie Wiesel's masterpiece, a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie's wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author's original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects...

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Title:Night
Author:Elie Wiesel
Rating:
ISBN:0374500010
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:120 pages

Night Reviews

  • Kat
    Dec 17, 2007

    I teach this book yearly, but my students seemed distant from the true reality of the story. When I use the Holocaust Museum's interactive of Lola Rein's dress, it hits them. Real people, real history. The immediacy of the tragedy that was Wiesel's then comes to life in a way that a junior or senior can grasp. I also tell the story of my friend, Ida, and her "no grandparents". That is the hardest part for me as it is so personal. She was the daughter of survivors - she had no grandparents and I

    I teach this book yearly, but my students seemed distant from the true reality of the story. When I use the Holocaust Museum's interactive of Lola Rein's dress, it hits them. Real people, real history. The immediacy of the tragedy that was Wiesel's then comes to life in a way that a junior or senior can grasp. I also tell the story of my friend, Ida, and her "no grandparents". That is the hardest part for me as it is so personal. She was the daughter of survivors - she had no grandparents and I gave her mine. The sharing of my friend with my beloved grandmother and grandfather was one of the true blessings of my life and our lives were enriched through the immense addition to our family. I was also blessed by her adding us to her home and her celebrations. My faith was enlarged. This is a powerful book - a simple one to read, but a difficult one to comprehend. Engagingly written and honest to the core - even the difficult, prickly human parts that would embarrass anyone to reveal -- this is the heart of humanity's difficult path - how do we grow if we can't love one another for the similarities and the differences. I wish I could say there was no more genocide, but that would be a dreamer's lie. Bless this with a read and light a candle in our darkness. Also, go and view the dress at the Holocaust Museum website - you will leave changed.

  • Martine
    Mar 26, 2008

    This book has garnered so many five-star reviews and deals with such important subject matter that it almost feels like an act of heresy to give it a mere four stars. Yet that is exactly what I'm going to do, for while

    is a chilling account of the Holocaust and the dehumanisation and brutalisation of the human spirit under extreme circumstances, the fact remains that I've read better ones. Better written ones, and more insightful ones, too.

    is Elie Wiesel's somewhat fictionalised acco

    This book has garnered so many five-star reviews and deals with such important subject matter that it almost feels like an act of heresy to give it a mere four stars. Yet that is exactly what I'm going to do, for while

    is a chilling account of the Holocaust and the dehumanisation and brutalisation of the human spirit under extreme circumstances, the fact remains that I've read better ones. Better written ones, and more insightful ones, too.

    is Elie Wiesel's somewhat fictionalised account of the year he spent at Auschwitz and Buchenwald. It's a chilling story about his experiences in and between concentration camps, his gradual loss of faith (he was a very observant Jew who obviously wondered where God was while his people were being exterminated), and his feelings of guilt when he realised that his struggle for survival was making him insensitive towards his dying father. It's gruesome, chilling material, and I felt very quiet after having read it. Yet I also felt vaguely unsatisfied with the book. I wanted more detail. I wanted fleshed-out writing rather than a succession of meaningful one-line paragraphs. I wanted less heavy-handed symbolism (the book very much centres on troubled father-and-son relationships, to echo the one central Father-and-Son one) and more actual feeling. I wanted a writer (and a translator) who knew better than to call an SS officer 'an SS'. And most of all, I wanted a less abrupt ending. I wanted to ask Wiesel what happened in the immediate aftermath of the liberation of Buchenwald. I wanted to ask him what happened to his leg, on which he marched for several gruesome days just days after having undergone an operation, and how he picked up the pieces afterwards, and why on earth his two eldest sisters, who died in Auschwitz as well as his mother and younger sister, never warranted more than a single mention. The latter was an example of seriously shoddy writing, I thought.

    Perhaps my questions were answered in the original version of

    , which never got published. In his introduction to the new English translation of

    , Wiesel mentions that the book as it is today is a severely abridged version of a much longer Yiddish original called

    . I think I can see why the original wasn't published (quite apart from the fact that the world wasn't ready yet for concentration camp literature, the few quotes provided in the introduction make for heavy reading). The abridged version definitely seems more readable than the full-length one, and does an admirable job getting the facts across. Even so, I think the publishers might have gone a step too far in abridging the book to the extent that they did. No doubt the very brevity of

    is one of the reasons why it's so popular today, but personally, I would have liked to see a middle road between the original (detailed) manuscript and the incredibly spare barebones version sold now. Don't get me wrong, the abridged version is

    , but as far as I'm concerned, it's the Holocaust for people with short attention spans. I prefer Primo Levi and Ella Lingens-Reiner's more complete accounts of life in the camps myself, not to mention several Dutch books which sadly never got translated into other languages.

    But still.

    is an important book, and one that deserves to be widely read. In fact, one that

    be widely read, by people of all ages and nationalities, to prevent nightmare like this ever happening again.

  • Kim
    Jul 29, 2008

    There is little that freaks me out more than the Holocaust. And I'm not belittling it at all with the phrase 'freaks me out.' Growing up in the 1970s and 80s, I felt sufficiently desensitized enough by television violence to be able to gauge how often I need to shake the jiffy pop and run to the bathroom before the program/violence resumes.

    Elie Wiesel's

    brings me back to my senses, makes me hate the cold hearted bitch I've learned to be. And not by some overtly dramatic rendition of the ho

    There is little that freaks me out more than the Holocaust. And I'm not belittling it at all with the phrase 'freaks me out.' Growing up in the 1970s and 80s, I felt sufficiently desensitized enough by television violence to be able to gauge how often I need to shake the jiffy pop and run to the bathroom before the program/violence resumes.

    Elie Wiesel's

    brings me back to my senses, makes me hate the cold hearted bitch I've learned to be. And not by some overtly dramatic rendition of the horrors of life in a concentration camp but more of the LACK of it. The down to the nitty gritty telling of what happened during the year that he was imprisoned. It wasn't going for the kick to the gut reaction, more of a confused, inconceivable retelling of day to day events, and this---this--- is what really makes me shudder and be at a loss for words. Hell, words? Who am I kidding? Try coherent thought.

    His description of his last encounter with his mother and little sister:

    Words. The power they can hold is devastating. Yes, not a new thought, not an original one, yet fucking true nonetheless. Buna. Buchenwald. Mengele. Auschwitz. Words, but ones that incite something within. Creepy crawlies or nausea. Fear.

    I have met only one Holocaust survivor, that I'm aware of. And 'met' is too strong a word. I was working in a store during college and was collecting payment from a customer who handed me the money and flashed his tattoo. I paled. My eyes darted from the faded black green numbers that served as this man's identity to his face and knew that I was just another gawker. That in that one moment I had created a history for this man. No.. he WAS history.

    Certainly makes you rethink being pissed off that Sbarro's had left the food court.

    I think that my kids will most likely never meet a survivor. That books like

    and

    will have to serve as an education, a reminder that THIS, in fact, DID happen and that it is cruel and moronic and downright irresponsible to believe otherwise.

    I could say that I did have some sense of relief that at least I wasn't alive during this. That I didn't sit back and have some vague understanding of this going on. But, that's not really the case, right? We have Rwanda and Darfur and god knows what other insane situations happening out there---and we're outraged over the price of an iPhone.

    So, Elie Wiesel's account, at 112 pages, serves as a powerful, undeniable, testament. As simply stated as that.

    And in the Preface to the New Translation, he says:

    For me, yes. Most definitely, yes.

  • Stephen
    Mar 18, 2010

    This book is a

    to everyone of good will in the world and should stand as a stark reminder of both: (1) the almost unimaginable brutality that we, as a species, are capable of; and (2) that when it comes to preventing or stopping similar kinds of atrocities or punishing those that seek to perpetrate such crimes,

    and must take responsibility for what occurs "on our watch."

    This remarkable story is the powerful and deeply moving acc

    This book is a

    to everyone of good will in the world and should stand as a stark reminder of both: (1) the almost unimaginable brutality that we, as a species, are capable of; and (2) that when it comes to preventing or stopping similar kinds of atrocities or punishing those that seek to perpetrate such crimes,

    and must take responsibility for what occurs "on our watch."

    This remarkable story is the powerful and deeply moving account of Ellie Wiesel's personal experiences as a Hungarian Jew who is sent with his entire family to the infamous Nazi concentration camps of

    and later

    . The most chilling aspect of the narrative for me was the calm, casual way that so many of the nightmarish events that Elie witnesses were performed. For example, early on in the account, Elie is separated from his Mother and sisters (never to see them again). This life-altering, traumatically painful action is done so quickly and in such an off-handed, bureaucratic manner by the Nazis that trying to grasp the reality of it made me physically sick.

    That was only the beginning. Elie goes on to chronicle his subsequent attempts not to be separated from his father and the horrors he was forced to witness and endure. Along the road of this terrifying journey, we hear in Elie's own words of the growing disgust of his 13 year old self for both mankind and for God and how he eventually lost completely his own humanity in his resolve to do whatever he had to in order to stay alive.

    Written in a simple, unsentimental style (which makes the horrors described seem somehow more shocking), this is one of those important life-changing books that I believe everyone should read.

    HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!!

  • Navessa
    Mar 06, 2013

    The author, who is actually in the above picture, said it best in the forward;

    I think we can all agree with that. But can we, the reader, even understand what happened there? Can modern men and women

    that cursed universe?

    I’m not entirely sure.

    I first read this in my eighth grade History class. I was 13. It changed my life. Before this book my world was sunshine and rainbows. My biggest concern was whether or not a boy named Ja

    The author, who is actually in the above picture, said it best in the forward;

    I think we can all agree with that. But can we, the reader, even understand what happened there? Can modern men and women

    that cursed universe?

    I’m not entirely sure.

    I first read this in my eighth grade History class. I was 13. It changed my life. Before this book my world was sunshine and rainbows. My biggest concern was whether or not a boy named Jason liked me back. I got mad at my mom when she made me go to bed on time, I complained if I didn’t like what we were having for dinner and I argued about what I was and wasn’t allowed to watch on TV.

    I thought I knew about WWII. Both of my grandfathers served in it and so my parents wanted to make sure that we understood the sacrifices they made, the things they saw. I watched documentaries about it with my father, the history nerd, listened to the few stories that my grandfathers

    tell, but up until that point I had been intentionally sheltered from the horrors of the holocaust. I had only been told in the vaguest terms what had happened, that so many millions of people had been killed, that Hitler and his men had sought to exterminate the Jewish people. My parents wanted to spare me from what exactly that meant until they thought I was mature enough to be able to absorb it.

    But then I read this.

    And for the first time in my life I was completely self-aware. I felt like a child, like a complete and utter fool. For what were my “problems” compared to those of this narrator? How “hard” was my life compared to what he endured? What millions of people similarly endured? I now understood my own insignificance in the grand scheme of things and suddenly the reality of the world was a crushing weight. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It was dark. It was ugly and unforgiveable.

    I remember getting really angry when I finished this. Mostly I was angry at the world and at humanity as a whole but I unfairly turned some of that on my father. After all, he hadn’t prepared me for what I found in this book. At one point I even demanded that he explain this…

    to me.

    He couldn’t.

    Fifteen years later, my second read of this book has impacted me just as much as the first. There’s this question I kept asking myself while reading. That question, was ‘How?’. I’m sure that ‘Why?’ might seem the more obvious choice here but I couldn’t let myself wander down the rabbit warren that is that question. Madness lies at the end of it. So I’m left with ‘How?’. How did this happen? How did so many average human beings contribute to

    ?

    How did the SS working in the camps reach the point that they were physically and mentally able to toss live infants into flames?

    How were the German girls that lived within

    distance of Auschwitz able to pass love notes to the soldiers that marched their skeletal prisoners past?

    How did these same starving prisoners manage to run 20 kilometers in the freezing snow?

    How could the SS officers that shot them if they stopped on the first day of their death march then shout encouragements to them the next?

    How could the German citizens near the train tracks throw bread into the prisoners’ cattle cars just to watch them murder each other for it?

    How could human beings do these things to each other?

    How?

    HOW?

    Like my father, I have no answers.

    And that, I believe, is why many modern humans will never really be able to

    the things that happen in this book. Absorb it, yes. Bear witness to it, yes. Understand it? Hopefully never.

    I finished this at lunch today. And now I’m sitting in my cubicle, glancing at my neighbors and wondering if they’re capable of this kind of depravity. Am I? What would I do to survive? Would I beat my own father to death for the bread in his hand? I hope to God that none of us will ever have to find out the answers to these questions.

    If you read a single book in your life, this should be it.

  • Stephanie
    Dec 21, 2016

    I am at a loss for words - just moved beyond belief. I decided to re-read this book in 2016 - the year that

    passed away.

    He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 where the Norwegian Nobel Committee called him a "messenger to mankind," stating that through his struggle to come to terms with "his own personal experience of total humiliation and of the utter contempt for humanity shown in Hitler's death camps", as well as his "practical work in the cause of peace", Wiesel had delive

    I am at a loss for words - just moved beyond belief. I decided to re-read this book in 2016 - the year that

    passed away.

    He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 where the Norwegian Nobel Committee called him a "messenger to mankind," stating that through his struggle to come to terms with "his own personal experience of total humiliation and of the utter contempt for humanity shown in Hitler's death camps", as well as his "practical work in the cause of peace", Wiesel had delivered a message "of peace, atonement and human dignity" to humanity. He was a hero in delivering his message - see below links for further on his life.

    Recommended for everyone.

  • Councillor
    Apr 13, 2016

    is perhaps one of the most remarkable, harrowing and haunting accounts of the events in the Nazi Germany concentration camps Auschwitz and Buchenwald. I read this powerful work only a few days before news of the author's, Elie Wiesel's, death were announced, and both shocked me. The first, because unless you have experienced it for yourself, you will never be able to realize the full extent of what happened in the Second World War with all its different facets and emotions, and the latter,

    is perhaps one of the most remarkable, harrowing and haunting accounts of the events in the Nazi Germany concentration camps Auschwitz and Buchenwald. I read this powerful work only a few days before news of the author's, Elie Wiesel's, death were announced, and both shocked me. The first, because unless you have experienced it for yourself, you will never be able to realize the full extent of what happened in the Second World War with all its different facets and emotions, and the latter, because with Elie Wiesel, a remarkable man has left this planet who fought for memorizing the Holocaust, who fought against violence, suppression and racism.

    Perhaps you will not find the most eloquent, the most artful language in this work of literature, but that's nothing you should expect to find in a book dealing with something as frightening, as horrifying, as

    as the Holocaust. In his nonfictional book, Elie Wiesel writes about his own survival in the concentration camps, about reflections of the father-son relationship with his father, about humanity and inhumanity. It's a book everyone should read, because ultimately, the Second World War is something everyone should remember. Forgetting would be the worst way to deal with it.

    A lot of people, more people than would be good, claim that it has all been "so long ago", is so completely irrelevant nowadays, just belongs to this boring stuff people are tortured with in school because it belongs to this dry nonsense called "history". I usually don't tell people they're wrong ... usually. Because in this case, they

    . The Holocaust needs to be remembered, because if humans forget the mistakes they did, they will tend to repeat them. And I think everyone can agree that the Holocaust should never,

    be repeated.

    This is a book which is incredibly difficult to review, just like it is difficult to read - not for its language or its style; I read it in one sitting in the course of three or four hours - but rather for the horrifying events Elie Wiesel talks about. I can only recommend to read this book to everyone, independent from how much you already know about the topic.

    And on a final note: Rest in Peace, Elie Wiesel.

  • Candi
    Apr 21, 2016

    These words and this book just tore at my heart. I have seen

    , have heard of

    for many years now. I waited to read it, unsure what I could possibly gain from reading another account of the evil existing among our fellow human beings – I will become enraged and depressed. I can’t change history. I will be forced to examine my own faith and I

    These words and this book just tore at my heart. I have seen

    , have heard of

    for many years now. I waited to read it, unsure what I could possibly gain from reading another account of the evil existing among our fellow human beings – I will become enraged and depressed. I can’t change history. I will be forced to examine my own faith and I don’t want to do that. But then I discovered that my son was assigned this book as part of his summer reading for a high school English class. What do I want him to learn from this book, from this dark piece of our not too distant past? Should he pass it by so that he doesn’t have to experience the horrifying details, feel the terrible injustice in this world? No. I do not want him to be a passive bystander. I want him to understand that narrow-mindedness, hatred and bigotry exist despite his fortunate and protected upbringing. Other human beings are right now suffering unimaginable sorrow, are being cruelly maltreated. History does repeat itself, perhaps with varying backgrounds, different groups of individuals. We can’t let this happen. My son needs to read this book. His children need to read this book someday. I need to read this book. I did. I read this book and I cried. I was angry. I was disgusted with humanity. I understood Elie’s words above, why he felt such despair. Everyone should read this book at least once. This is a slim book with a tremendous message.

  • Brina
    Sep 30, 2016

    The first time I read Night by Eli Wiesel I was in an eighth grade religious school class. At that time it had recently become a law in my state to teach the Holocaust as part of the general curriculum, and, as a result, my classmates and I were the torchbearers to tell people to never forget and were inundated with quality Holocaust literature. Yet even though middle school students can comprehend Night, the subject matter at times is still way over their heads. The book itself although a prize

    The first time I read Night by Eli Wiesel I was in an eighth grade religious school class. At that time it had recently become a law in my state to teach the Holocaust as part of the general curriculum, and, as a result, my classmates and I were the torchbearers to tell people to never forget and were inundated with quality Holocaust literature. Yet even though middle school students can comprehend Night, the subject matter at times is still way over their heads. The book itself although a prize winner blended into the religious school class and receded to the back of my memory bank.

    These years later I have been enjoying a religious lifestyle for my adult life. Upon hearing that Nobel Laureate Eli Wiesel passed away recently I thought now was as good of a time as any to reread his award winning account of surviving the Holocaust. Although only 120 pages in length, Wiesel's memoir of life in the concentration camps is one of the most powerful pieces of literature that most people will ever read. Wiesel discusses his relationship with G-D and talks about his conflicting feelings in regards to taking care of his father while in Buna and Birkenau camps. It was not easy to digest.

    Wiesel also writes in length about observing Rosh Hashanah while in the concentration camps. Why praise the Almighty for one's deliverance if one's existence is spent as a prisoner living on crusts of bread? It was easy to forget G-D or denounce His existence, even for the most religious Jews. These passages brought me close to tears.

    On this eve of Rosh Hashanah I can thank the Blessed Creator that I enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. Even though the world is far from perfect, my family lives in a land of freedom and are free to worship as we choose. Eli Wiesel brought Holocaust awareness to many people and earned the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. His passing is indicative that few survivors are still with us and we should hear their stories while we still can. Night is a painful yet necessary read, and by reading it I can go into the new year thanking G-D for my right to live in relative peace and prosperity.

  • Sasha Alsberg
    Jan 05, 2017

    "Our lives no longer belong to us alone; they belong to all those who need us desperately." - Elie Wiesel