Mark’s #28 – Night by Elie Wiesel (120 pages)

I’ll never forget the cold winter day I stood in a museum walking past rooms with piles of hair, shoes, and bifocals, each reaching the ceiling. The human hair, shoes, and bifocals all once belonged to Jews who had long since been murdered in giant gas chambers.  It was 1997 and I was at the very location many people think of when they think of the epitome of evil on earth – Auschwitz concentration camp.   Since that day, I continue to educate myself in regards to the horrors of the WWII holocaust.

Having now read several books on the events surrounding the Nazi’s ‘final solution’ for the Jews, I can confidently say that if a person is going to only read one account of the tragedy, they should read Elie Wiesel’s first hand account entitled Night.

Wiesel retells the story of him and his family being taken from their home in Hungary to the concentration camp in Poland.  Like most in his community, Elie was a devout Jew… While in Auschwitz however, Elie abandoned his faith in a God that would let such atrocities happen.

These words are perhaps some of the most poignant words ever written regarding the holocaust:

“Never shall I forget that night, that first night in the camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the faces of the children, whose bodies I  saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky.

Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever.

Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of  the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget those things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never.”

As I read this book, I kept thinking to myself, if I did not believe in a bloody cross in history, in which God’s own son suffered the greatest injustice at the hands of man the world has ever seen, to take on himself the justified wrath of God that I deserve, I too would have to come to the same conclusions about God as Elie did.

PS – I mistakenly purchased this book twice, so if anyone would like my other copy, let me know.

4 Comments on Mark’s #28 – Night by Elie Wiesel (120 pages)

  1. Is that really all you got out of this book? That someone else’s violence justified the violence that was done during that war… and all the other wars that ever have been and will be? Do you think that God might have anything to say to us about love, as well? It sounds as if you actually attach blame to Elie Wiesel for “losing his faith” (what does that mean, anyway?). I suggest reading the book again. Maybe your purchasing it twice was not a mistake.

  2. Seamstress,
    You misunderstand my comments, for that I’m sorry I was not more clear. My point was that I can certainly see why Elie and many others would lose their faith in the face of such atrocities. I do not place blame on Elie… and I do not think one act of violence justifies another.

    My point is that the holocaust points to the reality of evil in the world by showing the depravity of mankind… That evil was brought into the world through sin. As a result, we all sin in thought, word, and deed. We have been separated from God by that sin, and we stand condemned. We are deserving of God’s justified wrath against sin.

    But because of God is both merciful and just, He himself came to planet earth to take on our suffering. He is not a God who stands far off. He is a God who knows the wickedness of man intimately. He is a God that cries tears. He is a God that made a way for wicked, rebellious sinners like me to be adopted by Him and called a son. He is a God who has responded to evil in the world.

  3. No, I owe you an apology. My comment came out of anger – but not at you. I’m sorry I snapped at you.

    I did misunderstand you in that I thought you were saying Elie lost his faith because he was merely Jewish and you would have kept yours in the same situation because you are Christian, but I realize it’s more complex than that.

    I am familiar with your beliefs. Also, I’m an old friend of Ron’s. I assume you know he once took a class from Elie Wiesel?

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