This is my life as it comes hurdling by....

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Night by Elie Wiesel

Have you read this book? You should. This is one of the most amazing books I have ever read and I am a book junkie. I love to read. Our students just finished up a unit on WW II and the Holocaust and this is the book they read in class. I was so disappointed when the students would see me reading it and ask me why? They all said it was a super boring book and they wouldn't ever read it if they didn't have to. I was shocked! What?! Not only is this book a mere 120 pages but it is anything but boring. Here are a few excerpts from the book. You tell me if you think this sounds boring.

"I remember that night, the most horrendous of my life:
"....Eliezer, my son come here....I want to tell you something...Only to you.....Come, don't leave me alone.....Eliezer....."
I heard his voice, grasped the meaning of his words and the tragic dimension of the moment, yet I did not move.
It had been his last wish to have me next to him in his agony, at the moment when his soul was tearing itself from his lacerated body-yet I did not let him have his wish.
I was afraid.
Afraid of the blows.
That was why I remained deaf to his cries.
Instead of sacrificing my miserable life and rushing to his side, taking his hand, reassuring him, showing him that he was not abandoned, that I was near him, that I felt his sorrow, instead of all that, I remained flat on my back, asking God to make my father stop calling my name, to make him stop crying. So afraid was I to incur the wrath of the SS.
In fact, my father was no longer conscious.
Yet his plaintive, harrowing voice went on piercing the silence and calling me, nobody but me.
"Well?" The SS had flown into a rage and was striking my father on the head: "Be quiet, old man! Be quiet!"
My father no longer felg the club's blows; I did. And yet I did not react. I let the SS beat my father, I left him alone in the clutches of death. Worse: I was angry with him for having been noisy, for having cried, for provoking the wrath of the SS.
His voice had reached me from so far away, from so close. But I had not moved. I shall never forgive myself.
Nor shall I ever forgive the world for having pushed me against the wall, for having turned me into a stranger, for having awakened in me the basest, most primitive instincts.
His last words had been my name. A summons. And I had not responded."

How about this one:

" The march toward the chimenys looming in the distance under an indifferent sky. The infants thrown into fiery ditches....I did not say they were alive, but that was what I thought. But then I convinced myself: no, they were dead, otherwise I surely would have lost my mind. And yet fellow inmates also saw them; they were alive when they were thrown ino the flames. Historians, among them Telford Taylor, confirmed it. And yet somehow I did not lose my mind."

If you haven't figured it out already this is a true story told by a survivor of the Holocaust. He is the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 and has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jenni- I love love love Night! I read it in my childrens lit class in college! I also had to read Number the Stars. YOU would love this book too if you liked Night. Give it a read! super fast!