Saturday, March 5, 2011

Night - Elie Wiesel

I read this book in preparation for reading through it with my 8th graders in a few weeks. I will be doing a cooperative unit with the social studies teacher and am really looking forward to it – even though the topic is so dark.

I have read many books about the Holocaust, so I don’t know why I had never heard of Elie Wiesel’s Night. Especially since he received a Nobel Peace Prize for it.

This book is a first-hand account of Mr. Wiesel’s experiences as a Jewish boy during the Nazi regime. The book begins with a little background on his life pre-Hitler. He was studying religion; his father an important figure in his hometown of Transylvania. They hear murmurings of what is to come. At one point, they even receive warnings. However, what is happening to the Jews is too impossible to believe, and it could never happen to them. The story continues as Elie Wiesel is transported and interned at various concentration camps.

The story is both gripping and graphic. Tragic and horrifying.

I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around such atrocities being enacted upon other human beings. I really hope my students can grasp a bit of the story and a bit of the horror. After all, they will be the ones entrusted to make sure such things never occur again.

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