Day 11: Who is your favorite spiritual author, besides the author of your book of faith, (Bible, Torah, Q’uran, etc.)?
Elie Wiesel is a Jewish author and Nobel laureate who has written extensively of his experiences in Auschwitz, Buchenwald, and Buna. A good biography of him can be found at the link above. My first experience of him was reading his book, Night, while in seminary. Wiesel claims that Night was based on real events which he witnessed in the camps; scholars are divided on whether or not the story is autobiographical. Night was an account of a Jewish boy who loses his faith as a result of his experiences of the Holocaust; this was doubly tragic in that Wiesel had been brought up in a devout Jewish community.
Wiesel lost his parents and his younger sister in the extermination camps. He has since written 30 novels, many of which bear witness to the horror that the Jews, and others as well, experienced at the hands of the Germans. Over the years, he was appointed head of the President’s Commission on the Holocaust, and was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal of Achievement. (http://xroads.virginia.edu/~cap/holo/eliebio.htm) He has spent his life pursuing the truth of the Holocaust, and ensuring through his writings and lectures that no one forgets what happened during World War II.
I have drawn heavily on the website in the previous paragraph for this post. There exist literally thousands, or millions, of references to Mr. Wiesel online. He embodies the best a person can do to guarantee that the Holocaust is never repeated. This is a quote from Night, also found on the link above:
Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky.
Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever.
Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never.