I recently revisited one of my old favorites – quite a disturbing and thought provoking piece. Here is my review, please share your thoughts…
Author: Elie Wiesel
Genre: Memoir, Inspirational
Number of Pages: 120 pages
Geographical Setting: Europe- Germany
Time Period: 1933-1945
Wiesel writes what seems to be his own autobiography through the eyes of the narrator -Eliezer. We get a first person narrative of events of the holocaust as Elies takes us through the Nazis invasion of Hungary in 1944. To the rude awakening of the Jews, a lot of oppressive and stringent laws are created to oppress the Jews forcing them into the ghettos. From then, there are imposed restrictions and eventual massive deportation of the Jews as prisoners by cattle cars to Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps. On getting to camp, Elie is separated from his father during “selection”. From then on we get a detailed account of the horror, hardship and inhumanity as suffered by Elie Wiesel and his family and the rest of the Jews. Babies are burned in the ditch, hundreds of Jews burned in the crematoria. Prisoners are stripped naked and exposed to extreme weather condition, most people die from malnutrition and disease.
In the end, we see a broken down man, his spirits crushed which causes him to question his faith in God and in his fellow men.
A gut wrenching read, will appeal to those curious about the holocaust.
Here are some read a-likes you might want to check out-
Gratitude by Kertes, Joseph
Schindler’s list by Keneally, Thomas
The jade peony by Choy, Wayson
The diary of a young girl by Anne Frank
Maus: a survivor’s tale by Spiegelman, Art
Holocaust: the events and their impact on real people by Wood, Angela