Night is Elie Wiesel's masterpiece, a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie's wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author's original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man's capacity for inhumanity to man.
Night offers much more than a litany of the daily terrors, everyday perversions, and rampant sadism at Auschwitz and Buchenwald; it also eloquently addresses many of the philosophical as well as personal questions implicit in any serious consideration of what the Holocaust was, what it meant, and what its legacy is and will be.
Gerda's serene and idyllic childhood is shattered when Nazis march into Poland on September 3, 1939. Although the Weissmanns were permitted to live for a while in the basement of their home, they were eventually separated and sent to German labor camps. Over the next few years Gerda experienced the slow, inexorable stripping away of "all but her life." By the end of the war she had lost her parents, brother, home, possessions, and community; even the dear friends she made in the labor camps, with whom she had shared so many hardships, were dead.
Despite her horrifying experiences, Klein conveys great strength of spirit and faith in humanity. In the darkness of the camps, Gerda and her young friends manage to create a community of friendship and love. Although stripped of the essence of life, they were able to survive the barbarity of their captors. Gerda's beautifully written story gives an invaluable message to everyone. It introduces them to last century's terrible history of devastation and prejudice, yet offers them hope that the effects of hatred can be overcome.
On September 23, 1939, Wladyslaw Szpilman played Chopin's Nocturne in C-sharp minor live on the radio as shells exploded outside—so loudly that he couldn't hear his piano. It was the last live music broadcast from Warsaw: That day, a German bomb hit the station, and Polish Radio went off the air.
Though he lost his entire family, Szpilman survived in hiding. In the end, his life was saved by a German officer who heard him play the same Chopin Nocturne on a piano found among the rubble. Written immediately after the war and suppressed for decades, The Pianist is a stunning testament to human endurance and the redemptive power of fellow feeling.
In 1943, with Lvov's 150,000 Jews having been exiled, killed, or forced into ghettos and facing extermination, a group of Polish Jews daringly sought refuge in the city's sewer system. The last surviving member this group, Krystyna Chiger, shares one of the most intimate, harrowing and ultimately triumphant tales of survival to emerge from the Holocaust. The Girl in the Green Sweater is Chiger's harrowing first-person account of the fourteen months she spent with her family in the fetid, underground sewers of Lvov.
The Girl in the Green Sweater is also the story of Leopold Socha, the group's unlikely savior. A Polish Catholic and former thief, Socha risked his life to help Chiger's underground family survive, bringing them food, medicine, and supplies. A moving memoir of a desperate escape and life under unimaginable circumstances, The Girl in the Green Sweater is ultimately a tale of intimate survival, friendship, and redemption.
When Elie Wiesel died in July 2016, the White House issued a memorial statement in which President Barack Obama called him “the conscience of the world.” The whole of the president’s eloquent tribute serves as a foreword to this memorial edition of Night. “Like millions of admirers, I first came to know Elie through his account of the horror he endured during the Holocaust simply because he was Jewish,” wrote the president.
In 1986, when Wiesel received the Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wrote, “Elie Wiesel was rescued from the ashes of Auschwitz after storm and fire had ravaged his life. In time he realized that his life could have purpose: that he was to be a witness, the one who would pass on the account of what had happened so that the dead would not have died in vain and so the living could learn.” Night, which has sold millions of copies around the world, is the very embodiment of that conviction. It is written in simple, understated language, yet it is emotionally devastating, never to be forgotten.
Born in the town of Sighet, Transylvania, Wiesel was a teenager when he and his family were deported to Auschwitz and then Buchenwald. Night is the shattering record of his memories of the death of his mother, father, and little sister, Tsipora; the death of his own innocence; and his despair as a deeply observant Jew confronting the absolute evil of man.
“Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night,” writes Wiesel. “Never shall I forget . . . even were I condemned to live as long as God Himself.” These words are etched into the wall of the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. Far more than a chronicle of the sadistic realm of the camps, Night also addresses many of the philosophical and personal questions implicit in any serious consideration of the Holocaust.
In addition to tributes from President Obama and Samantha Powers, this memorial edition of Night includes the unpublished text of a speech that Wiesel delivered before the United Nations General Assembly on the sixtieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, entitled “Will the World Ever Know.” These remarks powerfully resonate with Night and with subsequent acts of genocide.