…by Elie Wiesel. (translation by Marion Wiesel)
Narrated by the author, this book takes the reader along the journey of the author’s life when he and his family members were taken from their home in the town of Sighet, Transylvania to the concentration camp in Auschwitz.
I don’t know where to begin to write about this book. I’ve read quite a few books in the past months, yet for all those I didn’t feel this urge to write a post right away. And here I am now, trying hard to gather words to describe what an impact this book has made…a story so haunting that I had to finish reading in one sitting.
I have a special place in my heart for books that tell tales set in this particular time period. I go through an outburst of different emotions after reading a piece of work from this era. And in that, this book is no exception. But the fact that this piece of work is non-fiction, that the author lived through all that horror, that he put words on these pages by leafing through his memory – makes it all the more powerful and painful.
It’s now hours after I’ve read the book…I’ve had a good night’s sleep after I read the last page, last word. Yet, I am unable to move on…I can’t seem to open another book with that eagerness to dive into a different world. Word after word of brutal truth about the worst kind of cruelty brought unending tears. My heart is still echoing the words that I read last night; my mind is still playing and replaying the gory images of torment that the author (and so many others) had to live through. When I feel so much pain only through the words that I read, I can’t even begin to imagine all that the victims of Holocaust have had to live through. WHY, is all I find myself asking over and over.
Let me leave you with some quotes from the book –
To forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.
His cold eyes stared at me. At last, he said wearily: “I have more faith in Hitler than in anyone else. He alone has kept his promises, all his promises, to the Jewish people.”
One more stab to the heart, one more reason to hate. One less reason to live.
Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed.
Never shall I forget that smoke.
Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky.
Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever.
Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live.
Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust.
Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to life as long as God himself.
Overall, an emotionally provoking tale that must be read.
My rating: 5*.
*for the rating scale, click here.