“’And why do you pray?’ I asked him. ‘I pray to the God within me that He will give me the strength to ask Him the right questions.’”

“I told him that I did not believe that they could burn people in our age, that humanity would never tolerate it.”

“We were the only men on earth.”

“Did I write it so as not to go mad or, on the contrary, to go mad in order to understand the nature of madness?” 

“Never shall I forget that night,

the first night

[…] that smoke

[…] the small faces

[…] those flames

[…] the nocturnal silence

[…] those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes.”



“The look in his eyes as he gazed at me has never left me.”

“And I, the former mystic, was thinking: Yes, man is stronger, greater than God.”

“Every question possessed a power that did not lie in the answer.” 

“Action is the only remedy to indifference, the most insidious danger of all.” 

This series of quotes is almost like a timeline depicting the evolution of Wiesel’s/Eliezer’s mindset from the time before the Holocaust to the time after. Before his imprisonment, Eliezer wholeheartedly believed in God and religion. But the time and effort he spent in his early days of the Holocaust were soon realized to have been wasted trying to reach the divine powers in order to pray for relief. It seems as if Eliezer’s abandonment of faith was caused by God’s lack of response to his cries. He became indifferent to the rest of the world, even feeling scorn against his father.

Night was a fascinating read and I highly recommend it to everyone.



Traumatized by the Night

Have you ever sat outside, alone, during the night? Don’t you feel the shivers travel throughout your body, raising every strand of hair on your body?

Well with me, as I read the book Night by Elie Wiesel, I couldn’t help but feel as if I was sitting alone in the middle of the dark. The thought of the prisoners and the well made descriptions, it just made me feel as if I was watching a horrifically real documentary. In 3-D. There were a couple of sections that impacted me the most.

A crowd of workmen and curious passersby had formed along the train…pieces of bread were falling into the wagon from all sides. And the spectators observed these emaciated creatures ready to kill for a crust of bed.

“Meir, my little Meir! Don’t you recognize me…You’re killing your father…”

The old man mumbled something, groaned, and died. Nobody cared. His son searched him, took the crust of bread, and began devour it.

Two men had been watching him. They jumped him. Others joined in. When they withdrew, there were two dead bodies next to me, the father and the son.

The thought of the son killing his own father for a bite of bread so small it wouldn’t last, is just shocking. There are many people now a days, who hate their families so much they think of killing them, but how could they? Their parents are the ones that caused them to be born, and to kill your own parents are the same thing as killing yourself. The irony is that it actually happened to the son here in this book.

Suddenly a cry rose in the wagon, the cry of a wounded animal. Someone had just died.

Others, close to death, imitated his cry. And their cries seemed to come from beyond the grave. Soon everybody was crying. Groaning. Moaning. Cries of distress hurled into the wind and the snow.

The lament spread from wagon to wagon. It was contagious. And now hundreds of cries rose at once. The death rattle of an entire convoy with the end approaching. All boundaries had been crossed. Nobody had any strength left. And the night seemed endless.

This made me imagine all the dogs just howling. When there is going to be a huge earthquake, all the dogs start howling at the same time. This is their death cry. A warning. To the prisoners, their cry was a signal of their end, of their death. They couldn’t take it anymore. Just the thought of hundreds of people cry out loud, in distress, probably gave the worst chills through the Germans’ bones ever in history. These people were now not human. They were abused animals, shrunk to the bones.

We had a hundred or so in this wagon. Twelve of us left it.

Have you ever thought how it would feel to spend hours, days, months, in an enclosed wagon with open roof, suffocated, piled on top, stuck sandwiched between alive and dead people, using the dead as beds, pillows, and blankets? I haven’t, until now. I had thought that going to a grave is scary, as if you’re disturbing the peace of the environment, the thought of dead bodies mixed with dirt and insects giving me shivers and an uncomfortable feeling, but the thought of spending a good part of your life among the dead? Sickening. Scary. It made me queasy and nauseous.

…I heard the sound of a violin. A violin in a dark barrack where the dead were piled on top of the living? Who was this madman who played the violin here, at the edge of his own grave? Or was it hallucination?

It must have been Juliek.

He was playing a fragment of a Beethoven concerto. Never before had I heard such a beautiful sound. In such silence.

All I could hear was the violin, and it was as if Juliek’s soul had become his bow. He was playing his life. His whole being was gliding over the strings. His unfulfilled hopes. His charred past, his extinguished future. He played that which he would never play again.

When I awoke at daybreak, I saw Juliek facing me, hunched over, dead. Next to him lay his violin, trampled, an eerily poignant little corpse.

For a Jew to play German music was like rubbing dung on famous German musicians according to the Germans’ eyes. To the Jewish musicians like Juliek himself, to play German music was a lifelong dream. Germans were famous for their music. It was beautiful. Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Brahms, and so much more were all German. Juliek knew he was going to die. And he wanted to die fulfilling his one dream- to be able to play Beethoven. And he did.

I can imagine the music, in the silent night, encircling the prisoners with the soft, smooth music, blanketing them with the pain Juliek went through, his life story told in one music. His limelight was then, the spotlight was the moon, the dead and almost dying was his audience. His concert was big. It engraved a memory not one of the survivors could forget.

I shall never forget Juliek. How could I forget this concert given before an audience of the dead and dying? Even today, when I hear that particular piece by Beethoven, my eyes close and out of the darkness emerges the pale and melancholy face of my Polish comrade bidding farewell to an audience of dying men.

To be able to survive this period of horror and trauma was a tattoo not erasable no matter how many times you try to scrub clean, no matter how many surgeries you try to get to suck off the ink from your body. It was a horrible scar. And I feel these people should be respected as much as the veterans of our country. They deserve more than what we give them now.

-Raining Chocolate

Night: Humans Or Aliens?


Hello Chickeneers, I’ve got a little discussion about a really great book today. It’s a fairly small novel, only 115 pages, but its message is so powerful. The book Night was written by Elie Wiesel and contained a lot of significant and impactful scenes about the Holocaust. The story is told from a Jew’s point of view, which allows the reader to understand the events of the Holocaust from the victim’s eyes. I noticed a repeating theme of violence and repression throughout the book. Although there were many scenes that carved depressing images (in a good way) in my head, one scene from the book really stood out for me.

            Starting from the bottom page 56, Eliezer begins to fill us in with some background information, saying that it was quite odd that their group was forced to go to the depot that day, even though they weren’t required to work. While everyone was walking around, Eliezer heard some noises coming from the back. Being just a tad curious, he went closer to the sounds and saw Idek, his Kapo, in a small room with a girl. And like how curiosity killed the cat, he was soon punished for it. He received twenty five whip lashes and briefly fainted afterwards. Then, he was called to stand up and look at Idek. However, no matter how hard he tried, he found no energy left to support himself.

            “If only I could answer him, if only I could tell him that I could not move. But my mouth would not open.” – Eliezer

            I found this scene especially terrifying and cruel, because not only was Eliezer punished harshly for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but also because his Kapo, Idek, wasn’t  punished for his own mistakes. Eliezer caught Idek doing something that was definitely inappropriate on the job, yet Idek punished Eliezer for catching him in the process of it. This shows how much power the Nazis had over all the Jews, and how lowly they thought of the Jews. Just a little bit of background information – the Kapos were essentially prisoners that carried out the orders and commands of the Nazi guards. It’s ironic that they’re prisoners themselves, yet they’re able to carry out orders from the Nazis and bring pain and agony other prisoners as if they were aliens. However, there’s also the fact that they’re just doing their job; if they fail to perform their duties, there would be severe punishments and possible even death. And yet again, this still shows how horrible the Nazis were towards the majority of the prisoners and the Jews.

            When I first read this scene, I couldn’t help but associate it with Uncle Tom’s Cabin, written by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Uncle Tom, like Eliezer, was also whipped senselessness near the end of the novel. They both were punished inhumanely and judged immediately by their ethnicity and religion. In fact, one of the reasons why Uncle Tom was whipped to death was because he refused to give up his belief in God.


            All of these reasons are part of why I believe this scene of the story is one that I both love and hate. It’s a really great story, chickeneers. If you guys haven’t read it yet, I completely recommend it. It’ll touch your heart while revealing horrible events of the holocaust. If you want more information on the holocaust, here’s a pretty informative link about Jewish life during that time period.

-Cinnamon Roll.