Friday, March 13, 2009

NIGHT-- A Very Powerful Book

There are a lot of books written today and of the past that are fundamentally important. Books written in the name of history. Documenting something important to tell a tale for others to ponder and reflect on. History is not only about dates and locations. It is a story of time gone by where humanity made a difference whether in a good or bad way.

“Night” written by Nobel Peace Prize Winner Elie Wiesel was one book that I had been waiting for to read. I admit that I only knew about this book a year ago through Oprah. But this book has already been here for forty years already. I was on my bookstore a year ago trying to look for it and sadly they didn’t have a copy. I even wondered how come a massive bookstore like this wouldn’t have a single copy of one of the most talked about memoir. Yesterday I was back there trying to scan through new books I almost decided on getting a novel but I went to my favorite part of the store, the non-fiction books. And right there and then the book that I have been looking for a year was staring me in the eye.

Elie Wiesel
“A slim volume of terrifying power”
-New York Times

I was very happy to finally get hold of it but more than that it got me more intrigued for this thin memoir has erupted many discussions. Before Elie started the story of Night, he wrote a preface making sure that the reader understands the reason why the memoir is only 100 pages. A hundred pages filled with so much power, indeed so much power.

If you don’t know what this book is all about, it is Elie’s account on his personal experience in Auschwitz through the worst time of history, the Holocaust. The book though edited already is still RAW. Site this:

“Didn’t you know what was in store for you here in Auschwitz? You didn’t know? In1944? "
True. We didn’t know. Nobody told us. He (SS man) couldn’t believe his ears.
"Over there. Do you see the chimney over there? Do you see it? And the flames, do you see them? (Yes, we saw the flames.) Over there, that’s where they will take you. Over there will be your grave. You still don’t understand it? You sons of bitches. Don’t you understand anything? You will be burned! Burned to a cinder. Turned into ashes."

I have always been keen on stories behind the holocaust, but in truth I now realized that written words are not sufficient alone to give justice to what these people have gone through during those horrifying time. Films which try to give us a picture of what happened then will never be able to fathom the totality of the horror that happened. We will never be able to feel what they felt. Men reduced to animals, deprived of everything in this world yet still tried to exist. The pain and the lost they had to go through are unspeakable. Maybe the word LOST will never give justice to what they really felt. Only they know.

I invite anyone who reads this blog to at least in your own way remember the lives lost in the holocaust, read a book or watch a film. It is one way for us to know what history has written and to make sure that it will never happen again. For it is still happening today. History taught us how genocide takes away everything from a human being. And it is onto us to make sure that this will NEVER happen again.

I end this blog with this quote from the book.

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 the 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 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.

-Elie Wiesel



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