Thursday, May 3, 2012

4- Night by Elie Wiesel

So this was a personal account by Elie Wiesel about his experiences during the Holocaust. This was a very sobering and serious book to read. It was not long, by any means, and if it were any longer I probably would have just cried for days. To hear first hand accounts of a survivor, forced to combat and fight for survival in such inhumane conditions was overwhelming. With every page I read I thought to myself, how could people be following orders like this? How can any human justify the torture, the starvation of an entire group of people? I was thankful for Elie's behalf that the events that happened were terrible, but he survived and lived on to tell the story.  He suffered, but in the end he is able to tell others what had happened to him and show what people are capable of.

This is a book every person should read. His words are haunting, but only because its the truth. I felt a shiver go down to my core when he talked about his father slowly dying and going insane. It was the saddest thing to hear, to know there is nothing you can do but just watch him die. Everyone was just out really to survive on their own. Sons turned against fathers, neighbors against their own neighbors. That is what really got to me. Not only were these poor people tortured, they were trained to rat each other out, or steal from one another to get more rewards and to be treated by the guards better. One would become the leader of the cell and enforce beatings on their fellow cellmate. It was sick. This is a powerful read that really makes you stop and think about how grateful you should be for every liberty and freedom you have. In present times people are so fixated on what the current trend is or how to make money and then spend it, and they don't stop to remember the past, and make sure everyone is aware what was suffered to get to where we are now. Hateful thoughts spread hateful actions. An ignorant person is the one who can thoughtlessly hurt and humiliate another. Without acknowledging what happened, what the world allowed to happen, we all become guilty of allowing those who died to have pointless deaths. Life can be cruel, but no one should purposefully try to make it that way. We all need to survive here together. Accept our differences and work to become united.

Sorry I got a little preachy, but topics like this always make me stop and re-evaluate what I am doing here. Every moment of your life should count, towards something good, towards making a difference. If not, then why do we bother to learn about the past?

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