I will not review this as a book.
This is not a book. It may be published as a book. It has a title, an author. A cover with neat little blurbs on the back from Oprah Winfrey, from the New York Times. WINNER OF THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE written on the front. All of it seems garish compared to what is inside.
This is a witness.
“To forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.”
Wiesel describes his life before the concentration camp, the ghetto’s, being taken away, being assimilated into the daily life of the camp. The hunger, the fear, the submission, the alienation of himself.
It is unreal. It is unbearable. I read this and think, how could the world look away. Yet, as I read it, I know of all the places in the world where similar things happen. I read this and think I must do something for the world. I think I want to do something, but I don’t know how.
Wiesel knows this hypocrisy. He has lived through it, suffered its consequences. He chose to bear witness anyway.
“Books no longer have the power they once did.
Those who kept silent yesterday will remain silent tomorrow”