Elie Wiesel: Remembering horror in order to end it

Whether you return from war or elsewhere
when it’s an elsewhere
unimaginable to others
it is hard to come back.  Delbo, 256
I was a new teacher when I pulled Night off a bookshelf in my classroom.  It’s Elie Wiesel’s account of his concentration camp experiences as a teenager during the Holocaust. When I’d finished, it took me three days to feel normal again.
Years later, I had to read the book again in preparation for a grad level course in Holocaust Literature–a class I had accidentally signed into. After all, who would sign up for Holocaust Literature on purpose? Holocaust Literature would be depressing.
By the time I realized what I’d done, it was too late. The only other class that would fit my degree would have been filled by then. So I bought my own copy of Night and girded my heart.
The professor said the book would prepare us for the class. It did. The teacher was a Jewish woman. Her mother had survived Auschwitz. All she taught became so real. Continue reading “Elie Wiesel: Remembering horror in order to end it”

Civility: The First Step Toward Love

David Tuck was a Jewish boy in Poland when the Nazis invaded his homeland. He moved to the Lodz Ghetto and sandwiched two years in Auschwitz between other camps before American soldiers liberated him.
David survived five and a half years of Nazi occupation. He somehow convinced his captors that he was 15, not 10, and that he was a mechanic. He could speak German and got to work in an office where he could dig through the trash “like an animal” to retrieve his German coworker’s discarded food. Continue reading “Civility: The First Step Toward Love”