Young readers share their thoughts about Wiesel's Night.

Author:Wiesel, Elie
Position:AUTHOR APPRECIATION
 
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Jesse Edelstein

15, Ann Arbor, Michigan

I grew up hearing the stories of my grandparents, who both survived the Holocaust, but when I read Night, it was in a different setting than I was used to: The text was assigned for my 9th-grade English class. I was able to see the impact that Night had on a group of teenagers who had had little exposure to the harsh realities of the Holocaust. It was amazing to see how well Elie Wiesel was able to speak to this group of young people. Night is such a powerful memoir because it reaches out to people of all ages, races and religions. It will keep the memories of the Holocaust alive for future generations, even when Elie Wiesel and other survivors aren't physically present to recall their stories.

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Meredith Caine

19, Alexandria, Virginia

As a non-Jew, it is impossible for me to understand the Holocaust or the experiences of those who fell victim to it. However, Night gave me the chance to read about it, to be told, "This is what happened. It was horrible. It was real. It happened to me and to so many others." Even though I cannot understand the Holocaust, knowing that it happened and knowing what so many innocent human beings went through, is important. I will never forget Wiesel's story. I will never forget how he and the Jewish people were treated. I will never forget the Nazis. They won't get their final victory of erasure because Elie Wiesel refused to be silent.

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Thomas Siurkus

19, Stuttgart, Germany

In Germany, we don't usually read personal Holocaust testimonies in school; we learn about the topic in a more academic way, through facts and statistics. Night is very different from the accounts of other Holocaust survivors. While other survivors whose stories I read mainly listed what happened to them, Elie Wiesel created a great literary work. The metaphor of Night is awesome; it is a page-turner. Reading it helped me understand the human dimension of the Holocaust.

It is important to read the personal story of a single survivor. If we don't talk about individuals, then this becomes Hider's victory. Hitler wanted us to only think about numbers and not about human beings. Reading this book inspired me to learn about the Holocaust, and it taught me that you must never be silent. We have to speak up for those who can't speak for themselves; that's one of the most important lessons of the Holocaust.

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Carol Silber

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