Finished reading ‘Night’ by Elie Wiesel over the weekend. Normally, I am a lazy reader, taking days and months to go through a book, but this slim book I could devour within Saturday and Sunday. It was so absorbing, so unputdownable.
The book is a chilling account of the atrocities perpetrated on Jews by Nazis during the Second World War. It is difficult to imagine that cruelty of this nature was actually perpetrated by a section of people less than a century ago. One wonders why the world, with all its collective might, could do nothing to stop the madness.
And how could followers of Hitler be so heartless? Time and again, humans have displayed the propensity to touch new heights of cruelty. Most of them are often ready to go to any extent to please the masters they follow. They are capable of rationalizing the most irrational action. They are more than ready to become assassins if they themselves are not in danger of being assassinated.
‘Night’ is a tale plainly told. There is no attempt at decoration or philosophizing. The author has described things so vividly that the reader feels, he is watching the atrocities being perpetrated.
As you race through the book, you hear the moans of the dying louder and louder. You see people being shot, thrown into furnaces, trampled under feet. You see families being ruthlessly torn apart. You see people begging for food and water. You start feeling that death is not too bad after all. It can sometimes liberate you from all the sufferings a cruel world can inflict upon you.
Read ‘Night’ only if you are ready to sacrifice a few nights of sleep. Images will haunt you and fill you with hatred for those who committed the atrocities and those who failed to stop them.