Life or Something Like It

Night by Elie Wiesel

Night by Elie Wiesel

Night by Elie Wiesel

Gracious, this book, Night by Elie Wiesel is one that I struggle with reading but love.  It is a simple read and it is not very long.  But.  Just but.  It is packed with horror, devotion, beauty, fear, and survival.

Elie’s story is so heart wrenching.  The thought of my son, who is now at the age Elie was when he was taken to the concentration camp at Auschwitz, makes my heart sink.  You read about the ebbs and flows of his physical and mental state.  The devotion to his father and the yearning of his mother’s hands on his face.  He kept a picture of his sister, Tzipora, etched in his mind.

Trauma

The massive amounts of physical trauma that he endured, yet the parts that stand out to me are the prisoners who were hanged.  It wasn’t enough for the SS officers to shoot them, they had to hang them, as well.  Man, woman, child.  I cannot imagine the images that were burned in his head.

How Does One Survive?

Seriously, how did he survive?  Starvation.  Malnutrition.  Lice.  Issues with his feet.  The beatings.  Watching his beloved father be beaten.  Listening to his dad die and wondering what kind of God would allow this horror.  That is what the Holocaust was…a horror that occurred in this world.  All because someone is Jewish, they were hated.

Deep Hatred

How does one man, Hitler, have such a deep hatred for the Jews?  Honestly, how did he come to such power to have so much influence to create such chaos?  I will never know but I can certainly pray that it will never repeat itself.

Holocaust

We have been to the Holocaust Museum in DC and for as many people that were there, you could hear a pin drop.  No one spoke, at all.  People calmly and quietly filed through the room after room, just taking it all in.  We will never know the magnitude of the sites, smells, and events because we were not there.  Yet, this museum honors the people who suffered and died with walls upon walls of pictures.

Thoughts

This is a book that everyone should read.  Also, The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Hiding Place.  Anne Frank is a good book, though I have not read it in years.  That may be my next one!  By reading these books, you are supporting the authors and their families.  It also gives you a better understanding of racism and hates at its core.

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The Tattooist of Auschwitz

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

This book, The Tattooist of Auschwitz, is based on the love story of Lale Sokolov and Gita.  I was not sure I would like this book.  Honestly, I am not a fiction type of girl.  In saying that, I do have a deep desire to learn more about the Holocaust.  It is so heartbreaking.  Yet, there is so much determination in the stories of the people who lived through this tragic event in history.

Faith

The characters in this story are real.  Their story is real.  It quite literally tears at my heart.  I can close my eyes and remember visiting the Holocaust Museum in DC.  There were SO many people in that building…yet…you could hear a pin drop.  No one was making a sound.

The air is heavy in that museum and you just take it all in.  The “why, Lord?” question popped up in my head so many times.  Yet, I know He is sovereign.  The faith of these human beings who endured such devastation is astounding.

Could I be that strong?  I don’t know.  Seriously, I would like to think I would be.

Through the Chaos and Pain

Love persevered.  Two people found each other.  Lale was the protector and provider for many people.  He was gentle and kind.  Yet, Gita was always his main focus.  He could not and would not stop until they were reunited.

Such beauty from ashes.

Warnings

There are parts where there is some language in it.  I mean, if I were in the shoes of the Jewish people, I would swear too.  Just a small warning if you want a younger child to read this.

Clearly, there is violence described.  Horrific violence.  It does touch on what the Jewish people had to do to survive.  That being said, there are some sexually explicit parts but it is more “understood” as to the events rather than actual descriptions of events.  I hope that makes sense.

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