Oprah Winfrey was referring to Elie Wiesel’s book Night when she made this powerful statement.
Elie celebrates his 87th birthday today, September 30th. Born in what was then Romania, later Hungary, this Nobel Prize winning Jewish author survived the horrors of the Holocaust and later wrote about his experiences. His parents and youngest sister died in Nazi Death camps. Two other sisters survived.
When Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, the Norwegian Nobel Committee called him a “messenger to mankind,” stating that through his struggle to come to terms with “his own personal experience of total humiliation and of the utter contempt for humanity shown in Hitler’s death camps”, as well as his “practical work in the cause of peace”, Wiesel had delivered a powerful message “of peace, atonement and human dignity” to humanity.
Wiesel has never shied away from controversy and has been severely criticized for his stance on the bombing of Gaza. In light of recent events in Hungary vis-a-vis the Syrian refugee crisis, it is interesting to read his condemnation in 2012 of attempts to whitewash the Hungarian government’s acquiescence in the slaughter of Jews by Hitler.
No matter your opinions on Wiesel’s current political views, Night is a candid, horrific, and poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. In the 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 isn’t a long book, 148 pages in print, but has been described by the New York Times as “a slim volume of terrifying power.”
It’s available on Amazon.