Night is an unmistakably autobiographical account of the author's own gruesome experiences in Nazi Germany's death camps. Told through the eyes of 14-year-old Eliezer, the tragic fate of the Jews from the little town of Sighet unfolds with a heart-wrenching inevitability. Even as they are stuffed into cattle cars bound for Auschwitz, the townspeople refuse to believe rumors of anti-Semitic atrocities. Not until they are marched toward the blazing crematory at the camp's "reception center" does the terrible truth sink in.
Recounting the evils at Auschwitz and Buchenwald, Wiesel's enduring classic of Holocaust literature raises questions of continuing significance for all future generations: How could man commit these horrors, and could such an evil ever be repeated?
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©1972, 1985 Elie Wiesel
Originally published in 1958 by Les Editions de Minuit
Translation ©2006 by Marion Wiesel
Preface to the New Translation ©2006 Elie Wiesel
(P)2006 Recorded Books LLC
"[A] slim volume of terrifying power." (The New York Times)
When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.
It is not easy to listen to someone witnessing about the dark side of humankind. Yet, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Eliezer Wiesel tells his story as a young Jewish boy of 15, later 16 years going through Nazi hell in Auschwitz. He tells it with the force of plainness and naked honesty that grips and doesn't want to let go. 'Night' is according to Wiesel the key with which all his other works needs to be read and understood.
This 'Recorded Books' audio book is an excellent production of a new translation of the French text of 'Night' prepared by Marion Wiesel, Elie's wife. He explains that she knows him the best and has a good feeling for how he thinks and feels. Indeed she has done a marvellous job with the translation.
George Guidall's narration adds to the quality and listening experience of the book. You might think that it is the author himself telling the story of the concentration camps. He brings the terror of the Second World War from a Jewish perspective to life.
The whole production is of such a high quality that you will have to nit pick to find something out of place. While it is not a very long audio book, it is worth every penny! I strongly recommend this autobiographical sketch of inner struggle and coming to grips with a dark reality that warns and caution humankind of its darkside.
Elderly (1932), retired university professor, degrees in engineering and economics.
What is the lasting impact on a 15 year old son who must watch and watch-over his aging father as they struggle to just survive, day by day, the Nazi death camps of WWII. He must watch his father as he is beaten, kicked and force marched from camp to camp during freezing winters barely subsisting on starvation rations.
The son, Eliezer, is a devoted Orthodox Jew pursuing his religious studies, already faltering because of the roundups of Jewish men, including Rabbinical teachers. After years of increasing brutalities and deprivations in their villages and ghettos, the final journeys to the camps begin. Wiesei, a holocaust survivor himself, describes the almost unbelievable torments and tortures, the humiliations and degradations and the killings of women, children and the aged.
He ponders the universal question of man’s inhumanity to man. He addresses the inevitable questions the survivors must confront: How to react toward his former masters; Is revenge-in-kind acceptable; Why did I survive and my family did not?
Elie Wiesel was awarded a Pulitzer Peace Prize and a Congressional Gold Medal for his activities after the war. NIGHT is, in part, autobiographical. Wiesel was a Holocaust survivor. Not all of his family survived.
The writing is clear and graphic. The story is suspenseful and compelling.
This is not light reading. But the events did happen and they must never be forgotten.
Knowledge is knowing the way. Wisdom is looking for an alternative, more interesting road to get there. Audiobooks are that road.
This book totally affected me. I don't remember ever being so physically and emotionally caught up in any book like I was with this one. I cried, I thought about it throughout the day, I dreamt about it in the night. Elie Wiesel wrote the most haunting account of his young life. From being ripped from his home to being separated from his mother and sister to caring and feeling responsible for his father in his journey from concentration camp to concentration camp. It shows the depths of human despair and the height of out of control power.
Narrator George Guidall brings life to the book. He was perfect. Listening to this book instead of reading it literally brought Elie Wiesel right into your heart. Mr. Guidall had the inflection, pain and weariness in his voice that really brought it home. He is obviously familiar with some of the important Jewish prayers like Kaddish (the prayer said for the dead). He ripped out my heart when he began to recite it.
I can't say enough about the importance of this book. Please listen to it. It is essential to use the lessons you will learn in the book to make you a better person. You won't be the same after this one.
On my second time through this book. After reading (and re-reading) The rise and fall of the third Reich by WIlliam Shirer I wanted even more information on this blighted page in our human history. Such a sureal unfolding of genicide when you read how one survivor came back to the author's village and railed against the Nazis and begged his fellow jews to leave while they could. No one listened to him until it was too late.
This book is very well written and told. The author is able to give you just a glimpse of the pain he and others suffered at the hands of evil rulers, evil followers and even persecuted Jews in Nazi Germany. You realize how easy it can be for men to be broken and for animal nature to kick in and take over. You learn how one's soul can be broken to a point that you wonder how they can ever come back, yet even as broken down as they were, they continued to fight to live each day in a horrible hell. It brings across the point of how easy people choose to bury their heads in the sand and pretend that life is just fine, that human beings could never be so cruel to other human beings and how pathetic we can be when we choose to ignore another's plight because we just don't want to get involved. It makes you think twice about who you are and what you stand for and it breaks your heart to know that the persecuted people hoped over and over that someone would come to help them and yet we failed them for so long. This book is so applicable in today's times and should help to awaken anyone questioning human suffering in other countries and brings across the point that we cannot stand idly by while others in the world are suffering persecution at the hands of evil rulers and terrorists.
I came across this book rather by accident in watching a show on the History Channel called the Boys of Buchenwald. It mentions some excerpts from this and I went in search of it here.
This is truly a powerful, emotional book. It moves you as you hear it in first person, told through the eyes of a teenage boy witnessing the worst murders committed in recent history.
All I could think of was my own 12 year old son, picturing him walking the path that Elie walked. My heart broke repeatedly, but some how in all of it, his strength and resolve was there, deep inside, even when he didn't see it in himself.
I recommend this to everyone I know now. It will change you.
I bought this book the week before I visited Auschwitz. Listening to it as I sat on the train--staring out the window into the bleak, snow-covered Polish countryside--was incredibly emotional. That experience is permanently etched into my memory.
Of course, even if you are not on your way to visit a concentration camp, the story needs to be heard. This audiobook is the way to hear it.
The narrator is perfect. The story is touching, memorable and chilling. A definite must-listen.
When I got to that part (Audible hopes you have enjoyed this book), I nearly threw my headphones and shouted, NO! NO! I didn't!
Not that I didn't receive information and insight, or have empathy. But this is not a book to be enjoyed. It is a tortured retelling of events in the life of Elie Wiesel.
I understand that this is a book written to educate younger readers about what happened to the Jews in WWII, but I found it to be lacking in detail. There were obvious parts missing. I did a little more research on Elie Wiesel after listening to the book and found out more about his life. It would have been nice if those things had not been removed or withheld from the book.
Even though I didn't enjoy this book, I'm not sorry I listened to it. But it broke my heart.
Highly acclaimed author Elie Weisel recounts his personal account of the Holocaust from his youth in Siget to the bowels of Hell in the concentration camps. His first hand account is an excellent personalization of horrors experienced by 6 million Jews - a number that is impossible to grasp - and allows the reader to intimately share the experience and thoughts of a Holocaust survivor.
Night is also finely written - yet not too overwelming in language or length.
Should be required reading for all High School students - of all races.
"Haunting, deeply moving and disturbing"
Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor, Israeli author and 1986 Nobel Peace Prizewinner, presents to us a compelling, haunting and disturbing story.
Beautifully written, autobiographical, this personal narrative reflects the views of a 14 year-old boy torn from his home and community in Transylvania in the Second World War. He is traumatised by his separation from his mother and little sister, witnessing their subsequent consumption by Nazi fires and vengeance. Through one traumatising experience to the next, he manages, by a sinew at times, to retain his link with his father, surviving Auschwitz and Buchenwald... separated in the end by death and shame.
We follow the story of a Jewish community which could not contemplate the atrocities they would experience. They could not imagine the way in which the communities in which they were integrated would allow them to be expelled to concentration camps and annihilation. They could not foresee what it would be like to be marched out of their homes. "The town seemed deserted, but behind the shutters, our friends of yesterday were probably waiting for the moment when they could loot our homes".
They could not foresee the railway trucks full of Jews, the impact of scarcity and hunger and uncertainty on people's relationships. They could not have planned for the few hours they were given before they were expelled from their homes, burying valuable possessions under the floor-boards hoping one day, but never able, to reclaim their possessions. They could not imagine the cruelty, the violence, the humilation, the selection processes, the death factories, the fires, the trains, the labour camps, the public hangings, the beatings and the torture.
Elie wanders why and whether this is allowed to happen in the 20th century. He imagines the scenes of expulsions in the Inquisition, but not now when the whole world knew what was happening. And yet, the silence, the denials, and the lack of response prevailed.
"The ghetto was ruled by neither German nor Jew" he writes. "It was ruled ... by delusion".
Elie loses his trust in God and refuses to accept the existence of an all-knowing and all-good god who allows such barbarity to persist. We see stories of trust and reliability, love and warmth, tenderness and sacrifice. Wiesel writes beautifully and at times sparsely: "The synagogue resembled a railway station ... baggage and tears".
The recording contains additional material - Elie Wiesel's impressive Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech; his revised preface and discussion of why he wrote this book; and a valuable review of the book and its importance by Francois Mauriac, the French author who first encouraged Elie Wiesel to publish and assisted him after many failures, in getting into press.
The book is beautifully written, translated by his wife, and movingly read by George Guidall. Around three hours long it is a compelling and unforgettable audience with Elie Wiesel: haunting, disturbing, moving, human, insightful and lingering in the memory.
"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"
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