Friday, April 20, 2012

Book Challenge Day 7: A book that is hard to read

Wiesel's autobiographical description of the inhuman treatment he and the Auschwitz's prisoners undergo is always difficult to read. I have read and taught this book several times, but it still has moments that horrify  me. This novel retains it's power, because it simplistically describes the realities of the  world's largest concentration camp and the genocidal depravity that was fostered and celebrated in the Nazi regime. Wiesel shows his readers the ugliest side of humanity. The side of us we pray goes away and doesn't return, Reading this books requires paying attention to the plight of others, no matter how uncomfortable that may make us.

“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must - at that moment - become the center of the universe.” 
― Elie Wiesel

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