Natural Therapies Institute

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Night by Elie Wiesel

When looking for a true retelling of the Holocaust, it is best to find a recounting from those who actually survived it. How does Elie Wiesel’s Night depict how the Jews lived in the concentration camps? How was the book’s reception by the world?

Elie Wiesel records his life as a young teenager in the Nazi concentration camps. The horror f what he saw every day, the inhuman treatment by the guards on the prisoners, the starvation, destroyed Elie’s childhood and he was forced to become an adult before he was ready. Being surrounded by such brutality and suffering made Wiesel despair and lose his faith, he became bitter towards his sick father and wished for the older man’s death several times. Wiesel does not justify his actions nor does he hide the fact that he remained quiet in his bunk while his father was beaten to death so as to avoid being hurt as well.

When the Allied Forces liberated Elie Wiesel and the other survivors, the young Jew refused to talk about that he had experienced. It was not until a decade or so later that Wiesel finally began to write down what had happened in the concentration camps, and, at the urging of an acquaintance, the first version of Night was written in French. Publication took awhile as most publishers were afraid that their readers would be horrified by the gruesome details in the book, which could lead to the publishing company being sued.

However, in 1958, the book was finally published and soon demands came in for it to de translated for other countries. Elie Wiesel went on to write two more books, making the set a trilogy with the latter books dealing with life after the concentration camps. Night is treated as a historical book though some scholars have had trouble reading it, as Wiesel did not leave anything out regarding the concentration camps or the darkness that he dealt with inside himself.

Therefore, Elie Wiesel’s Night not only gives the true facts of how life was in the concentration camps but also shows his own internal struggle with his faith. He omits nothing from the book, whether it be pertaining to the Nazis or his own actions, Wiesel mentions everything with accurate descriptions. The book reflects how Wiesel’s life was in the concentration camp, dark and completely devoid of human kindness or hope.