Posted on June 9, 2012 at 7:30 am
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“Never shall I forget that first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, ... 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.” Elie Wiesel, Night (original edition)
“Not far from us, flames, huge flames, were rising from a ditch. Something was being burned there. A truck drew close and unloaded its hold: small children. Babies! Yes, I did see this, with my own eyes ... children thrown into the flames.” Elie Wiesel, Night, p. 32
“The thousands of people who died daily in Auschwitz and Birkenau, in the crematoria, no longer troubled me.” Elie Wiesel, Night, p. 62
“Dr. Mengele was holding a list: our numbers. [...] I had but one thought: not to have my number taken down and not to show my left arm.” Elie Wiesel, Night, p. 72
Primo Levi, on page 27 of his highly-quoted book Survival in Auschwitz, writes that every prisoner had to have a tattoo. “It seems that this is the real, true initiation: only by showing one's number can one get bread and soup.” Without a tattoo, how did Wiesel survive?
“...most of the memoirs and reports [of 'Holocaust survivors'] are full of preposterous verbosity, graphomanic exaggeration, dramatic effects, overestimated self-inflation, dilettante philosophizing, would-be lyricism, unchecked rumors, bias, partisan attacks...”
—Samuel Gringauz, "Jewish Social Studies" (New York), January 1950, Vol. 12, p. 65.
Theater J (for Jewish) "caved" to the Nobel laureate when he FedExed a letter to the playwright that his lawyers would make sure her play, Imagining Madoff, featuring Bernie Madoff, Elie Wiesel and a secretary, never reached the stage. According to the Washington Post, Wiesel used the words "obscene" and "defamatory" and added, "Nothing of me is in your script!" The story, written by Ted Scheinman and Jonathan L. Fischer, is here.
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