My edition of Night was printed in 2006 as a new translation of the original book, with a newly written preface by Elie Wiesel. In that preface, he says the ultimate explanation for the writing of the book was his need to serve as
a witness who believes he has a moral obligation to try to prevent the enemy from enjoying one last victory by allowing his crimes to be erased from human memory.
Within the book itself, Wiesel takes pains to point out how the Jews turned a blind eye to the implications of the Nazis increasing power and influence. It started with the deportation of Moishe the Beadle, as a foreign Jew, from Sighet, followed by his return and the story he told about how they were treated - the story that the people did not believe.
As more restrictions are imposed, the Jews are concerned at first, but then come to believe that everything will be alright. The creation of the ghettos in Sighet meant
the barbed wire that encircled us like a wall did not fill us with real fear. In fact, we felt this was not a bad thing; we were entirely among ourselves.
When Elie and his family were moved to the small ghetto, after the first residents were transported away from Sighet, again there was hope amidst the crowding and confusion and fear.
As for us, chances were that we would be allowed to go on with our miserable little lives until the end of the war.
Wiesel wrote the book to record the atrocities committed against the Jews, to document the actions of the German military during the Holocaust, and to urge people now and in the future to never again allow indifference to prevent action in a time of need. In his speech of acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize, Wiesel stated
I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation....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.
Thank you very much