Elie Wiesel was born in Hungary in 1928. When he was still a boy, he was deported with his family to Auschwitz and then to Buchenwald, where his parents and a younger sister died. Night, his first book, is a memoir of these experiences. After the war he moved to Paris, where he adopted the French language and lived for a decade.
His work as a journalist took him to Israel and finally to the United States, where he now makes his home in New York City. Since 1976 he has been Andrew Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University. His books include Dawn, The Accident, The Town Beyond the Wall, The Gates of the Forest, A Beggar in Jerusalem (winner of the French Prix Medici for 1969), and his most recent novel, The Fifth Son. Against Silence: The Voice and Vision of Elie Wiesel, a three-volume collection of his work, was published in 1985. In 1985 Elie Wiesel received the Congressional Gold Medal and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.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.They called him Moshe the Beadle, as though he had never had a surname in his life. He was a man of all work at a Hasidic synagogue. The Jews of Sighet--that little town in Transylvania where I spent my childhood-were very fond of him. He was very poor and lived humbly. Generally my fellow townspeople, though they would help the poor, were not particularly fond of them. Moshe the Beadle was the exception. Nobody ever felt embarrassed by him. Nobody ever felt encumbered by his presence. He was a past master in the art of making himself insignificant, o seeming invisible. Physically he was as awkward as a clown. He mad people smile, with his waiflike timidity. I loved his great dreaming eyes, their gaze lost in the distance. He spoke little. He used to sing, or, rather, to chant. Such snatches a you could hear told of the suffering of the divinity, of the Exile of Providence, who, according to the cabbala, await his deliverance in that of man. I got to know him toward the end of 1941. I was twelve. I believed profoundly. During the day I studied the Talmud, and at night I ran to the synagogue to weep over the destruction of the Temple. One day I asked my father to find me a master to guide me in my studies of the cabbala. "You're too young for that. Maimonides said it was only at thirty that one had the right to venture into the perilous world of mysticism. You must first study the basic subjects within your own understanding." My father was a cultured, rather unsentimental man. There was never any display of emotion, even at home. He was more concerned with others than with his own family. The Jewish community in Sighet held him in the greatest esteem. They often used to consult him about public matters and even about private ones. There were four of us children: Hilda, the eldest; then Sea; I was the third, and the only son; the baby of the family was Tzipora. My parents ran a shop. Hilda and Béa helped them with the work. As for me, they said my place was at school. "There aren't any cabbalists at Sighet," my father would repeat. He wanted to drive the notion out of my head. But it was in vain. I found a master for myself, Moshe the Beadle. He had noticed me one day at dusk, when I was praying. "Why do you weep when you pray?" he asked me, as though he had known me a long time. "I don't know why," I answered, greatly disturbed. The question had never entered my head. I wept because-because of something inside me that felt the need for tears. That was all I knew. "Why do you pray?" he asked me, after a moment. Why did I pray? A strange question. Why did I live? Why did I breathe? "I don't know why," I said, even more disturbed and ill at ease. "I don't know why." After that day I saw him often. He explained to me with great insistence that every question possessed a power that did not lie in the answer. "Man raises himself toward God by the questions he asks Him," he was fond of repeating. "That is the true dialogue. Man questions God and God answers. But we don't understand His answers. We can't understand them. Because they come from the depths of the soul, and they stay there until death. You will find the true answers, Eliezer, only within yourself!" "And why do you pray, Moshe?" I asked him. "I pray to the God within me that He will give me the strength to ask Him the right questions." We talked like this nearly every evening. We used to stay in the synagogue after all the faithful had left, sifting in the gloom, where a few half-burned candles still gave a flickering light. One evening I told him how unhappy I was because I could not find a master in Sighet to instruct me in the Zohar, the cabbalistic books, the secrets of Jewish mysticism. He smiled indulgentNight -- 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.A New Translation From The French By Marion Wiesel "Night" is Elie Wiesel's masterpiece, a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie's wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author's original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man's capacity for inhumanity to man. """Night" offers much more than a litany of the daily terrors, everyday perversions, and rampant sadism at Auschwitz and Buchenwald; it also eloquently addresses many of the philosophical as well as personal questions implicit in any serious consideration of what the Holocaust was, what it meant, and what its legacy is and will be."To the best of my knowledge no one has left behind him so moving a record." -- Alfred Kazin "Wiesel has taken his own anguish and imaginatively metamorphosed it into art." -- Curt Leviant, Saturday Review"Tothe best of my knowledge no one has left behind himso moving a record." -- Alfred Kazin "Wiesel has taken his own anguish and imaginativelymetamorphosed it into art." -- Curt Leviant,Saturday Review
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