Wednesday, 7 November 2012

What Words Cannot Express - Elie Wiesel's Night

Elie Wiesel was 15 when he witnessed the horror of the Holocaust. Although he has repeatedly stated himself that that experience cannot be expressed in words, he has spent the past 60 years of his life trying to communicate it. Night - originally composed as a more than 800-page-long manuscript written in Jiddish and first released as a 250-page-long  memoir under the title Un di Velt Hot Geshvign ('And the World Remained Silent') - was first published in 1958 in French as  La Nuit - was Elie Wiesel's first work about this topic.

Please read Night - or listen to the audiobook (link below) - and watch the following interviews, in which Elie Wiesel talks about the Holocaust and how it has changed his life.

Free Audiobook of Elie Wiesel's Night (19 parts):
part 1:
-> please follow the prompts for the other parts!

Text of Elie Wiesel's Night available at:

Elie Wiesel in One on One (2 parts):
part 1:
part 2:

Oprah and Elie Wiesel in Ausschwitz (6 parts):
part 1:
part 2:
part 3:
part 4:
part 5:
part 6:

Background reading:

Please also check out the Elie Wiesel Foundation of Humanity:


  1. Hi Gudrun! :)

    I have to confess that the book that we read - Night, was one of the bests that I had since a long time. The story that the author tell us and the description of the situation really touched me and made me reflect more about what those people felt and suffered from a bunch of prejudiced people - the Nazis. I think that the real experience that the Jew people felt there can't be explained of felt from anyone - it was just too much pain, injustice and loneliness. That why, in my opinion, Eli wrote so much about the subject, trying to make people understand what happened there and in a way to share with the world his pain.
    I reflect with the book that not only the Jew suffer in the past, but some of then still suffering nowadays. Also, there are lots of nations suffering that we must stand up and fight for their rights.
    Great book Gudrun! Thank you :)))

    ~ Mariella.

  2. Hi everyone

    After reading the book, I wondered why Hitler hated Jews. I did some research and it is difficult to understand how he had so many people supporting his crazy ideas. However, as we discussed in class, a lot of people were afraid of him and did not have other choice unless to fight with him. On the book it is possible to see how Elie found some nice Germans who were in command. Probably, those ones were supporting Hitler, but they did not agree the jews were a inferior race. Other thing that is really unbelievable is how the rest of the world did not accept the jew refugees and how they took so long to stop Hitler.
    Night is an exceptinal book which reflect all the pain jews suffered at that time. Elie gives us so many details of his pain and his life over there that it is possible to imagine every place he visited, every pain he felt, and every reaction he had.

  3. This book was short but very difficult to get through. It isn't the sort of thing one likes to read after a hard day at work. It tells the true story of Elie Wiesel, a Romanian Jew who, at age 15, survived the horrors of four Nazi concentration camps between 1944 and 1945. And it ended abruptly which made me scour the internet for more information or some time of happier ending. The book was terrifying. With every incident I had to remind myself that this was not a novel, but a memoir and that, how impossible, Wiesel somehow did survive.

    As for what I took from it, that is twofold. First and foremost, we must be watchful that things do not happen when we can do something about it. So often people think that the Jewish Holocaust was a one-time thing and such things do not happen anymore. This is untrue. Things of this nature go on even today. And while I cannot go and personally save everyone, I can do something small. And I can encourage others to do something small. And I can always help those around me.

  4. Hi Mariella, Elisane, and Jiahan,

    Thank you very much for your comments! Excellent points!


  5. This book is tells the real experience of Elie Wiesel which to explain the pain Jews was suffering at that time. Elie Wiesel with his father in the Nazi German concentration camps and cruelty by Nazi, some of details show us in this period what is people’s thinking during that period. It also make me imagine how painful about capture in these years.

  6. I think this is probably the book that I liked the most in this course. Probably because it is based on a true story and it brings up the truth about how selfish individuals can be. As my classmates have commented, I will never understand why Hitler hated so much the Jews. Nevertheless, there will never ever be any justification to what he did. In my opinion, i believe it is amazing how Wiesel portrays how the rest of the people remained in silence while millions of innocent people were killed. I guess that is the result from fear. Hitler made the entire world go through fear. Now i just wish that historical events like this will not occur never again.

  7. After reading the novel, i think faith plays an important part in Elie Wisel's Night. Because by the beginning of the text, the main character Eliezer believes profoundly. " During the day I studied ...............I asked my father to find me a master to guide me in my studies of the cabbala" even though his though his father says he is too young to study mysticism, he finds himself a master anyways, Moche the Beadle. When Moche ask him " why do you wee[ when you play?" Elizer answers that he doesn't know and that he had never thought of it before. something inside told him he needed to, just like the same as we needs to live and breathe everyday. By the end of the book, although he has questione dhis faith so many times, he is still able to emerge from the horrible time during the Holocaust with his faith intact.

  8. After I read this book, I feel so bad. this book contains Eliezer's thought and the frailties of human nature. In Night, Weisel denies Moshe the Beadle, his father, God, and himself. He is betrayed by God, the Hungarian officers, and others who participated in the Holocaust. In both of the films people betrayed the Jewish community and allowed their morals to be silenced. It is this silencing that allowed such a horrific event to occur. Evidence was thrown away, people were murdered, and their remains disposed of to "silence" the crime. people just destroy themselves. It is one of the human nature streams through out this story with historical background.