Night

By Elie Wiesel, Marion Wiesel (translator),

Book cover of Night

Book description

Born into a Jewish ghetto in Hungary, as a child, Elie Wiesel was sent to the Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald. This is his account of that atrocity: the ever-increasing horrors he endured, the loss of his family and his struggle to survive in a world that stripped…

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Why read it?

13 authors picked Night as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

The masterpiece memoir by Elie Wiesel is an astonishingly short autobiographical of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. His account of surviving a concentration camp is important as any other, a narrative that is chilling, yet with compassion put into each word. Night is a book that has to be read. Elie would become an important human rights activist and this continued beyond the subject matter of the Holocaust. During the refugee crisis on the Thai-Cambodia border in 1980, he and several other notables (such as Joan Baez, Liv Ullman, and Bayard Rustin), mobilized to bring…

From James' list on surviving impossible odds.

Night, is, of course, seminal Holocaust reading, and would top any list no matter what said list is titled. It is really that core to the curriculum, you could say. For me, it’s the Holocaust through the lens of a teenager facing loss. In a world where Gen Z, Y, and X are miscommunicating with each of their generational forebears, it is worth pausing to read this and empathize with the loss of family, and the loss and hollowing out of the self. “What is happening to me? What is happening here? What is this personal hell” rings throughout.…

While Night by Elie Wiesel is required reading for many high schoolers today, I didn’t read the book myself until I was in college. Just as Number the Stars inspired me to learn more about my grandmother’s life, Night inspired me to actually write my family’s story! This short novel is one of the most impactful narratives of the Holocaust I’ve ever read, because it is a personal account of the atrocities of the Holocaust, as experienced by the author himself. Dr. Wiesel was just a teenager when he was taken into the concentration camps. What he lived through is…

I was in my early twenties when I read this short memoir by the Transylvanian-born writer Elie Wiesel, and found it so harrowing that I couldn’t sleep for three weeks afterwards. Wiesel was 15 when his family was deported to the death camps; he was the only member to survive. He spent the rest of his long life writing and teaching about the Holocaust and in 1986 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. My father, who was a journalist, went to Oslo to interview him at the time and later told me that Wiesel had the saddest eyes of anyone…

I used this memoir with my 10th graders when I taught English. The story of a 14-year-old Jewish boy from Poland is caught up in the horrific ugliness of WWII and concentration camps, Auschwitz and Buchenwald. I had students question the truth of the story that reveals the dehumanization and silence that the Nazis used to control and eventually slaughter hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Within the small book, Wiesel tells of such a time when people were treated worse than cattle. Through this study, my students learned to question “Could this happen again?” and “How can we…

I have used Night in teaching the Holocaust with great results. The book provides us with the full scope of the steps from freedom to arrest, to ghettoization, to deportation to surviving the death camps to liberation. The book challenges the reader to raise important moral questions linked to belief in God, and what one does to survive, including difficult choices made under extreme duress, such as sharing a slice of bread with a parent.

From Jack's list on the Holocaust and its aftermath.

Night is about Elie Wiesel’s survival of the Nazi death camps and his loss of religious faith. In one of the most famous accounts of The Holocaust, he relays his observations of starvation, abuse, and death. He tells of burning babies, grotesque beatings, and never-ending humiliations. It is a tough read but necessary so that we do not repeat such atrocities.

There are books that make their mark and are never forgotten. Night is one of these. Elie Wiesel describes the tragic journey that his family took from their home to the ghetto, to Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Wiesel’s account describes the horrific details of the camps: the selections, the struggle to survive, the crushing work, the deaths that become commonplace as the body and soul struggle to understand the terror. The horrors of the Holocaust come to life in Night.

If there is a single book about the Holocaust that most people have read, it’s probably Wiesel’s account of entering Auschwitz with his family and witnessing so much horror orbiting around him. Wiesel’s emotional story of trying to keep his father alive—and also trying to understand how a loving God could allow a place like Auschwitz to exist—is taught in schools all across the world. There is a reason this slim but powerful book has become an introduction to the Holocaust for so many. My copy is a mere 106 pages, but those few pages changed me. I must have…

This short novel of tremendous power is worth volumes. Night opens with the story of a Jewish survivor of a mass execution by the Nazis. Moishe the Beadle returns to his native town to warn his community of what lies ahead if they don’t flee. There are no listeners to his agonizing tale: nobody believes him, and he is declared mad. 

This factual story became a metaphor for Wiesel’s own role as a witness. Night was rejected by fifteen publishers. When it appeared in 1958, the world was still unprepared to hear the evidence from Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Only in…

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