Night by Elie Wiesel

February 17, 2009
By Akunna Iheduru SILVER, Chandler, Arizona
Akunna Iheduru SILVER, Chandler, Arizona
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Letter to Elie Wiesel

Dear Elie Wiesel,

Your novel, Night, is a single, yet deeply moving, segment of the many horrific stories of the Holocaust. To think that many other people endured suffering similar to what you did, and that twelve million died because of it, is inconceivable. This experience seems to have shaped the life of the main character, Eliezer. His belief systems and outlooks on humanity seem to have been greatly influenced by the atrocities that he witnessed. In the beginning of the story, when the strongly Jewish Eliezer is asked why he prays, he thinks 'Why did I live? Why did I breathe?' As his time in concentration camps progresses, he gradually loses faith in God. On Yom Kippur, a traditional Jewish holiday of fasting, he chooses to eat. The various experiences lead Eliezer to believe that no true God would allow that level of suffering to happen to his own chosen people. He also loses all hope in the goodness of humanity and in the purpose of life. When his father complains of being beaten by his neighbors towards the end of the novel, Eliezer thinks, 'One more stab to the heart, one more reason to hate. One less reason to live.' Upon the death of his father, Eliezer says 'I did not weep'I was out of tears.' Reading this novel has reminded me of the fact that there are many in the world living in a world of constant pain. Any experience that would give a person the type of emotions felt by Holocaust sufferers such as Eliezer, should not occur, but unfortunately, is all too common.

This book gives people the perspective of civilians trapped in the midst of international conflict. The current wars in the Middle East have been devastating to the residents. Of the reported deaths, more than 655,000 Iraqi civilians have died since the U.S. invasion ( The stories and lives of these people are often disregarded, while a few leaders unfortunately give Iraq its representation. Another issue is the current genocide in Darfur, which began in 2003. BBC News ( reports that 'no fewer than 200,000 have died' and millions have been displaced. Hopefully these conflicts get resolved soon, and we can try to prevent the situations that you and your character Eliezer were in. It is deeply saddening and unfortunate to hear stories of promising people, especially children, being murdered or harmed. It makes me feel ashamed to ever complain about anything, because I know about the millions that would trade lives with me in a heartbeat. Your story and others such as Anne Frank's Diary and Zlata's Diary are important, because in order to prevent tragedies from taking place, we need to learn from past mistakes and understand what really happened. These recollections give us factual and primarily unbiased views of what victims of war go through. Thank you for taking the time to write this novel, which must have been very difficult to do. To face the past and to acknowledge one's lowest points is never a simple task. The Nobel Peace Prize that you earned was well-deserved, because Night was a large step forward for the efforts of peace.

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This article has 2 comments.

actualfactss said...
on May. 15 2014 at 9:20 pm
6 million***

CRosa said...
on Jan. 13 2013 at 9:15 pm
The memoir of Elie Wiesel about the Holocaust and his painful experiences at the camp brought awareness about actual events that took place in history. The Oprah Winfrey interview on YouTube was also good and this is keeping the stories alive, which is important.


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