I just read Night by Elie Wiesel and I’m sure you can imagine how that was. I took a class two years ago called “Post-Holocaust Literature” where we focused mostly on the accounts from the children of Holocaust survivors. But we also read a lot of first generation accounts, and Night wasn’t one of them even though it’s one of the best accounts. So needless to say, I’ve always had an interest in reading it and it recently fell neatly into my lap.
I’m not going to say I did or did not like this novel because I feel like that’s a really strange thing to say. It’s very raw and emotional, and the thing we learned in my class is that there’s never a happy ending. Even when the story ends and the Holocaust is over, the deep seeded scars it has left upon its victims is something to never get over. Wiesel almost committed suicide after surviving the entire thing- his faith was destroyed, his family was gone, and he had to watch the greatest amount of human suffering and just deal with it. He watched sons almost kill their fathers just so they could keep surviving themselves, and felt a lifetime of guilt for feeling briefly happy that he might have lost his father so he didn’t have that burden anymore and could focus on himself. It shows how people will get broken down to completely basic survival instincts when pushed to their absolute furthest limits.
Thinking about the Holocaust and reading accounts from it makes me question human beings and life, like I’m sure it does to A LOT of people. What could drive a person to be that cruel and unforgiving of a certain type of person? How did it go for so long ignored? Unanswerable questions, but they still make me cringe and want to cry.