By: Elie Wiesel
Hill and Wang (January 16, 2006)
Night is a classic. If you have not read it, go read it now. It is the short memoir of the time Elie Wiesel and his family were captured and sent to a concentration camp during World War Two. Wiesel lost his parents and his younger sister there. He was only 15. The story is heartbreaking, but hopefully, through it, we will never forget what humanity is capable of.
Two of my favorite quotes:
NEVER SHALL I FORGET that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the small faces of the children whose bodies I saw transformed into smoke under a silent sky. Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith forever. Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence that deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes. Never shall I forget those things, even were I condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never.
Three days after the liberation of Buchenwald, I became very ill: some form of poisoning. I was transferred to a hospital and spent two weeks between life and death. One day when I was able to get up, I decided to look at myself in the mirror on the opposite wall. I had not seen myself since the ghetto. From the depths of the mirror, a corpse was contemplating me. The look in his eyes as he gazed at me has never left me.