With due apologies, I might have posted this earlier but, now that Ellie is dead, felt like sharing it again.
Last week I had the opportunity to read three short novels by Ellie Wiesel, the holocaust survivor. It is believed that the term “holocaust’ was also coined by him to describe the life in those concentration camps of Hitler. By his own admission, he has not been able to forget those few months in the Nazi concentration camps where he lost his parents and a younger sister. He saw his father getting weak and dying in front of his eyes. The trilogy of the novels viz., “Night”, “Dawn” and “The Accident” was published in 1985 while they were individually published in 1960 (Night), 1961 (Dawn) and 1962 (The Accident ). Ellie Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. The Norwegian Peace Committee called him a “messenger to mankind”, stating that through his struggle to come to terms with his “own personal experiences 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.
It is indeed remarkable for a fifteen year old boy, who underwent those dehumanizing experiences , about which he says in “Night”, “I will never forget that first night in the camp which converted my life into a long night, when I died seven times and was saved seven times. I will never be able to forget that smoke. I will never be able to forget the little faces of the kids whose bodies I saw being converted into rings of smoke in the sky. I will never be able to forget those flames which consumed my faith forever”, to come out of their maddening impact and reach where he has. Indeed a tribute to LIFE AND HUMAN SPIRIT.