“I told him that I did not believe that they could burn people in our age, that humanity would never tolerate it..”
– Elie to his Father
As was the case with ‘A Diary of a Young Girl‘ by Anne Frank, I find it difficult to ‘Review’ this book.
Within this book lays a detailed account of Elie Wiesel’s experience as a young Jewish boy, taken – along with his family – from his home in Singhet, Transylvania in 1944. They were taken to Auschwitz and then to Buchenwald concentration camps.
Make no mistake, this book does not sugar-coat the events which took place. It does not try to give reason or meaning or portray it as anything else except the truth.
And the truth is horrifying.
I took History for my GCSE’s and we studied the Holocaust and Nazi Germany. I’ve seen Sophie Scholl and The Pianist and The Diary of Anne Frank. I’ve read her book. I think part of me is searching for the ‘why’ of it all, when there is none. Why did people do this? Partake in this or sit back and allow it to happen? I know the long and short term causes of the second world war, and the aftermath Germany as a whole dealt with from the first. However, I will never understand this.
I think another part of me wants to learn of others experiences. I hope the world won’t forget, but even in reviews for this book you see “too depressing”; “too full of despair”; “could’ve been shorter”. People are jaded.
I can’t understand how people can read a book like this and that is their only reaction,
This man, Elie Wiesel, these are his experiences. The terror, the horror, the pain, the emptiness are all significant points in his life.
At the time I am writing this in 2020, it’s been 76 years since the night he was taken from his home. That is younger than some of our grandparents. Elie Wiesel passed away at age 87 in 2016 – only four years ago. This is not ancient history.
These events took place in our very recent history and yet some claim it was all a hoax of some kind. That it never happened.
That is why testimonies like this are so important. So that we don’t forget the horrors that people endured. That others allowed.
“To forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time”
If you want to understand what people experienced during those times then please, read this book.
And if you do read it please, do not mistake his despair and label the book ‘depressing’. Do not mistake his weariness and label the book ‘boring’.
Don’t look for other peoples thoughts on what they thought of the book, not even mine, and leave it at that.
I can tell you how I felt about what I read but only he can offer that first hand account, and that account is what is most important.
“Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented”