Monday, September 15, 2008

Night by Elie Wiesel

I have been to the Holocost musuem in D.C. several times. The first time was sobering, as I saw the shoes piled high of those who faced the crematorium. A quote "Never shall I forget the flames that consumed my faith forever"...:Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes. Never shall I forget those things even were I condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never"....

Tonight, I finished a required reading of "Night" for a freshman course. I cried as I read about the woman in the cart that had been separated from her husband and two oldest sons. She had lost her mind. I cried when I read about how desparately Elie tried to "protect and save" his father. What causes people to be so callous? Political ideology? Religion?

Can you imagine someone coming along and suggesting that "forgiveness" could resolve all those "problems". Whiff, they are gone. ...memories etched on one's consciousness, forever. It is no easy task to try to forget, and yet, not want to. After all, these memories were the last memories he had of his father and his separation from his mother and sister. Family. How can you forget?

I wonder how these 18 year olds will view this book. It is reality. And this real world is not pretty and protected like some of these freshmen. How do I challenge them in understanding the drastic change that happens when a person goes through such an experience? Will they understand? Do they have such traumatic experiences, too?

How do you view the Holocost? What can you learn from it?

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