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