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Night by Elie Wiesel
The Guardian ^ | December 19 2009 | Phil Mongredien

Posted on 12/21/2012 12:53:41 PM PST by ConservativeDude

Elie Wiesel was 15 when the Nazis came for the 15,000 Jews of his hometown of Sighet, Transylvania, in May 1944. Upon arrival at Auschwitz-Birkenau, his mother and sister were murdered within hours, while he was put to work as a slave labourer. Eight months later, the Germans evacuated the camp and forced the survivors on a death march that ended at Buchenwald. Wiesel was one of the few still alive when the Americans arrived in April 1945.

(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Evangelical Christian; Judaism; Mainline Protestant; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: eliewiesel
An old review of a still older book. Words escape me.
1 posted on 12/21/2012 12:53:44 PM PST by ConservativeDude
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To: ConservativeDude

Indeed frightening.

Once again, the sins of collectivism on display.


2 posted on 12/21/2012 1:00:57 PM PST by PGR88
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To: PGR88

Just precisely so. It is all incremental. The aggressor knows that we will always try to cope, to see the bright side, as it were, to continue with life. Then all of a sudden it’s too late.


3 posted on 12/21/2012 1:04:00 PM PST by ConservativeDude
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To: ConservativeDude

I just can’t figure out why Elie Wiesel would be such a gun control nut after experiencing what happens when a government is out of control.


4 posted on 12/21/2012 1:12:04 PM PST by carolinablonde
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To: carolinablonde

It is amazing.

Some lessons are impossible to learn, I guess.


5 posted on 12/21/2012 1:13:53 PM PST by ConservativeDude
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To: carolinablonde

I agree, it is puzzling.

The main point to his book (that I got out of it) was that people have the capacity, if put in various situations, to degenerate completely.

I recall that one of the most powerful and depressing parts of that book was him wishing for his father, who was becoming a burden and attracting unwanted attention, to die, so he could live.

That is what can happen to us in a bad spot.


6 posted on 12/21/2012 1:26:16 PM PST by rlmorel (1793 French Jacobins and 2012 American Liberals have a lot in common.)
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To: ConservativeDude
I read the book in Junior High School and it chilled me to the bones.
Later other readings of Holocaust literature made his accounts seem a bit tame in comparison if that is possible.

All through it in my sheltered Southern youth I could somewhat comprehend (not accept) in my segregated ignorance the local racist hate against the blacks because of their obvious physical differences from whites, (if lobsters looked like kittens they would not be boiled to death was the hypothesis) but Jews?

The South has overcome the ancient hates rooted in race but the world may never overcome the even more ancient hates rooted in the religious bigotry eternally directed at Jews.

7 posted on 12/21/2012 1:27:06 PM PST by Happy Rain ("Gun free zones are baited fields.")
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To: ConservativeDude
I had Raul Hilberg as a professor in college. As I sat in his class I had to wonder, if things went to hell for us, which of the students around me would be the prison guards or gestapo or whatever. I'm not sure we all have it in us but I think most of us do.
8 posted on 12/21/2012 1:35:47 PM PST by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: Straight Vermonter
Leftist Fascists have yet to encounter a 2nd Amendment...

...with Obama the showdown is coming and we will soon see if the Founders knew what the Hell they were doing.

9 posted on 12/21/2012 1:54:53 PM PST by Happy Rain ("Gun free zones are baited fields.")
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To: Happy Rain

I think there are reasons beyond our control, as it were, which are at work in anti-Semitism.


10 posted on 12/21/2012 2:02:39 PM PST by ConservativeDude
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To: ConservativeDude

“Night” is a very good book and I recommend it.

On the other hand, Wiesel is referred to in Hollywood as “there’s no business like Shoah business,” which is as funny as it is cynical.

Wiesel’s organization (I forget its name) was taken to the cleaners by that bastard Madoff.


11 posted on 12/21/2012 2:03:39 PM PST by miss marmelstein ( Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: Happy Rain

Unless my memory proves me wrong, what I remember from “Night” is that babies were being thrown on a bonfire when Wiesel arrived at the concentration camp. I don’t remember which one it was - probably Auschwitz.


12 posted on 12/21/2012 2:06:12 PM PST by miss marmelstein ( Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: Straight Vermonter

Thanks for the link to Hilberg. Fascinating man, for sure. I was unaware of his work.


13 posted on 12/21/2012 2:07:30 PM PST by ConservativeDude
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To: rlmorel

The worst part for me was reading his description of seeing his mother & little blonde six year old sister walking away hand in hand, presumably straight to the gas chambers. My (blonde)granddaughter was the same age when I read that.


14 posted on 12/21/2012 2:08:02 PM PST by 1066AD
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To: miss marmelstein
The backyards of Birkenau, the extermination annex of Auschwitz where the crematoria were so overwhelmed by the mass influx of hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews in the Summer of 1944 (the Hungarian Government, their armies decimated on the Eastern Front,no longer had the power to keep Eichmann's SS out) the Sondercommando had to toss victims, living and dead, into vast open pits of flame...

...the word had already come down from Himmler to not slow the pace of mass murder but to accelerate the pace of covering up the mass murders since they were losing the war at the time and knew war criminal nooses awaited them.

15 posted on 12/21/2012 2:21:19 PM PST by Happy Rain ("Gun free zones are baited fields.")
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To: Happy Rain

Ah, I remembered it pretty accurately. There was a time when I thought that this could never happen in the USA - and maybe it can’t - but I’m not so sure now...

Another thing I remember about “Night” was that a madman showed up in Wiesel’s village several years prior to the Holocaust exclaiming that a fire would consume them all. No one, of course, listened to him.

Thanks for the info.


16 posted on 12/21/2012 2:26:54 PM PST by miss marmelstein ( Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: miss marmelstein
The first lesson of a fascist is to be hard—in fact the ultimate fascist patriot is so hard that the worse atrocities that a man can imagine is a challenge, one that must be overcome if the greater good of the state is to be accomplished.

Himmler was Hitler's second in command because he was excellent at rationalizing mass murder—made shooting naked unarmed Jews in the back of the neck the same as heroic combat on the battlefield.

17 posted on 12/21/2012 3:01:43 PM PST by Happy Rain ("Gun free zones are baited fields.")
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To: Straight Vermonter

“I’m not sure we all have it in us but I think most of us do.”

Yes, I’m afraid you may be right.

I read an excerpt from a memoir of a Jewish man who actually survived the whole war in Germany (in The New Yorker magazine if anyone wants to try and find it). He was already very old and somehow prominent, I think he might have been a big professor of music or something like that. So, his life became truly hellish, but he never went to a concentration camp and he did live past the end of the war.

He said when Nazism was just getting started the really awful people weren’t the soldiers, they were mostly just young fellows and almost seemed embarrassed about everything. It was the people he was already acquainted with who were power mad and gleeful - like the librarian at his local library who was more than pleased to tell him Jews couldn’t use the library anymore.

Those little tin pot dictators are everywhere, all the time. Look at Michael Bloomberg for just one example, and he’s even Jewish, he should really know better.

I’m sorry I can’t remember the man’s name or anything. My recollection is that this diary was published long after his death and caused quite a stir.

To me the worst part was when they said Jewish people couldn’t have their pets any more. What would you do if that happened to you? What would you do if you were really old and it happened?

But you know what, stuff like this happens regularly - Rawanda, Cambodia, Nazi Europe, there doesn’t even have to be an ethnic or religious difference.

It’s original sin, that is what I believe.

PS - I love your tag line, it reminds me of the Junot Diaz book where he talks about the “sugar cane curtain” of the Dominican Republic


18 posted on 12/21/2012 5:32:14 PM PST by jocon307
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To: 1066AD

That book is one, very powerful statement.


19 posted on 12/21/2012 7:30:34 PM PST by rlmorel (1793 French Jacobins and 2012 American Liberals have a lot in common.)
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To: ConservativeDude
I recommend another horrifying book: “The Theory and Practice of Hell: The German Concentration Camps and the System Behind Them” by Eugen Kogon. I read this book in paperback as a teen and its images of the monsters that ran these extermination camps is just as vivid to me today as it was them. How many Americans on the Left would become the equivalent to the SS of the concentration camps? There are many who would do as the SS did to achieve their “utopia”.

“All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing,” — Edmund Burke

20 posted on 12/21/2012 7:34:25 PM PST by MasterGunner01
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To: Straight Vermonter
Thank you for the link. I found this quote to be particularly interesting.

Yehuda Bauer, a lifelong adversary and friend of Hilberg, who often clashed polemically with the man he considered 'without fault' over what Bauer saw as the latter's failure to deal with the complex dilemmas of Jews caught up in this machinery, recalls often prodding Hilberg on his exclusive focus on the how of the Holocaust rather than the why. According to Bauer, Hilberg "did not ask the big questions for fear that the answers would be too little."[38] or, as Hilberg himself says interviewed in Lanzmann's film, "I have never begun by asking the big questions, because I was always afraid that I would come up with small answers."

I believe this dovetails very well with Wiesel's work.
21 posted on 12/21/2012 11:19:12 PM PST by PA Engineer (Liberate America from the Occupation Media.)
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