Night by Elie Wiesel Book Review

Night by Elie Wiesel Book Cover

image by Trinity Henry

BEWARE OF SPOILERS, this is an opinion-based book review. There will be spoilers.

It Ends with Us is a book that covers very heavy topics. If you are easily triggered by domestic abuse and violence, this may not be the article for you.

*Blurb from Night by Elie Wiesel*

NIGHT – A terrifying account of the Nazi death camp horror that turns a young Jewish boy into an agonized witness to the death of his family…the death of his innocence…and the death of his God. Penetrating and powerful, as personal as THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, NIGHT awakens the shocking memory of evil at its absolute and carries with it the unforgettable message that this horror must never be allowed to happen again.”

Night, an autobiography written by Elie Wiesel was first given to me in one of my high school literature classes. This book moved me immensely when I first read it. I decided to pick it up again, as it is a small book of only one hundred and nine pages.

This book takes place between 1944-1945, where Eliezer a fifteen-year-old boy and his family reside in Sighet, Transylvania. After Hitler’s army moved into Hungary during the same time, Eliezer and his family; younger sister, mother, and father, were forced to deport to Auschwitz.

At the beginning of this book, we learn that Eliezer’s father is a leader of a sort in Sighet, helping the citizens with issues and offering advice. We continue to see his father adapt to the leader role further when the German’s arrive in Sighet, demanding the families to give up their valuables and begin moving them to Auschwitz.

Eliezer is extremely devoted to learning more about his religion, “studying Talmud by day and Kabbalah by night.” He can be perceived as innocent at the beginning of the book, developing into a heavy realist approach due to what he had been through.

As they made it to Auschwitz-Birkenau, Eliezer’s mother and sister were killed in a gas chamber. As this happened, we slowly begin to see Eliezer’s father begin to lose grip on his hope and positivity. When they are once again moved from Auschwitz, they begin to travel to Buchenwald, another concentration camp.

Eliezer slowly loses faith in his god, and loses his innocence, along with losing his father in Buchenwald when he died of starvation and dysentery. Wiesel brings us along with him to this memory of a horrible time, when he became a whole new person, forced to witness unexplainable events. He witnessed his father struck with hysteria and watched him die right beside him. This book is extremely informational, showing you through words the horrors of the concentration camps and the violence of the Nazis. The ending of this book was bittersweet, Eliezer is saved by American tanks waiting outside the gates of Buchenwald, but his family loses their lives and is not able to be saved. This raw and unfiltered book was incredibly emotional. I highly recommend this book to everyone. It helped me truly understand how ghastly the holocaust was.