October 4, 2008
By Lisa Rivera, Gilbert, AZ

This book really impacted me with horrible images that I never would think could happen. The book read was Night by Elie Wiesel. This book is a memoir of Elie, who is a Holocaust survivor. He describes his life during this time and informs us about what happened to him. I liked this book because it hit me a lot and I realized how awful the Holocaust was. Even though it’s really depressing, I think, it is important that we know about the past because it may be our future.

One of the quotes that will stick with me goes “Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith forever.” In this part of the story Elie just arrived at camp and he saw the crematory. He was in line to be burned in a ditch but at the last moment he is chosen to work instead. Not before he saw babies and fellow Jews burned alive and heard them screaming in agony. He says he’ll never forget those images and they will always remain in his head. I can’t imagine anyone ever doing that to another human being. It’s absolutely dreadful. It’s pure evil that anyone would ever do, let alone consider, that to thousands even millions of people.
Another quote from the memoir that I’ll never forget is “Look! Look at it! Fire! A terrible fire! Mercy! Oh that fire!” This was said by Madame Schachter on the train ride to Auschwitz. I remember this one because it was a premonition. She was right about the fire. When they got to the death camp many were burned in the crematory. In this part of the book she cries out during the night, over and over, about a fire. She gets beaten because everyone is annoyed and scared of her. They hit her until she is unconscious and then gag and tie her up. She was giving them a warning, but they forced themselves to just think she was crazy. I can connect because there have been times I was given a warning that I ignored.
One of the saddest parts of the book for me to read was when a guard hit Elie’s dad. The story says “He dealt my father such a clout that he fell to the ground, crawling back to his place on all fours. I did not move. What has happened to me? My father had just been struck, before my very eyes, and I had not flickered and eyelid.” It’s sad that desensitization is starting to kick into Elie. He won’t defend his father for the fear of being struck himself. He comes first all that matters now food and sleep. He doesn’t want to give in completely and always has a love for his father.
It’s really important that we learn about the past, we need to have knowledge on this subject. The past tends to repeat itself and we can’t let something like the Holocaust ever happen again. The theme is that you have to always stay strong. What Elie wanted was for people to know his story and what he went through so that it won’t happen again. This message can be applied to real life because even when life is hard we have to stay strong. We can stop other bad things from happening in the future if we know enough.

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