Saturday, April 30, 2011

Week 62: Night by Elie Weisel

An oddity in all of my reading selections - a short book. At less than one hundred pages, Night was an astoundingly vivid narrative about one Hungarian Jew's experience during the country's Nazi occupation during WWII.

Until I read this book, I didn't really understand the phrase "the Nazi's systematic extermination of Jews." The use of the word "systematic" perfectly describes the way the Nazis moved into small, seemingly protected towns, label Jews, relieve them of their belongings, separate them into ghettos, then move them out to concentration camps, starve them, and send them to the crematoriums.

Horrifying as this sounds (and I apologize to my readers who find this topic sensitive), the system worked efficiently to strip Jews of their dignity without much protest. The Jews were always waiting for things to get better, partly because of their faith; also because they never imagined in their wildest dreams that the Nazis would have the creativity to design such a brutal system. They preyed on the Jews' faith in their fellow man. I don't think I got that until I read this book.

This book should be on everyone's reading list. It was small, but changed my way of thinking about the WWII genocide.

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