In the preface to a new edition of his memoir of life in the concentration camps, Elie Wiesel offers a telling glimpse into the ways in which his experiences shaped his perceptions of the world in which he lived. Describing the experience of watching his father beaten mercilessly and fatally by SS guards, too frightened to intervene, Wiesel is emotionally scarred for life. More than just the shame with which he has lived since that awful day, Wiesel expresses his view of humanity for creating the conditions under which a young boy would be placed in that situation in the first place:
“I shall never forgive myself. Nor shall I ever forgive the world for having pushed me against the wall, for having turned me into a stranger, for having awakened in me the basest, most primitive instincts.
"His last word had been my name. A summons. And I had not responded.”
Night is a harrowing account of Wiesel’s time as a Jewish youngster imprisoned in a death camp, his family taken from him and...
(The entire section contains 641 words.)