Night by Elie Wiesel, published in 1958, is a powerful, largely autobiographical work that recounts the experiences of a teenager in Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust. The narrative begins with Eliezer's life in the Transylvanian town of Sighet and follows his harrowing journey through Auschwitz, Buna, Buchenwald, and finally, liberation. The literary memoir not only serves as a personal account of survival, as Eliezer is a slightly fictionalized version of author Elie Wiesel, but also delves into profound questions about faith, humanity, and the consequences of unchecked hatred.

Night explores the darkest depths of human cruelty and the struggle for survival in the face of unimaginable horror. The work provides a firsthand perspective on the dehumanization of the Jewish people during the Holocaust and the emotional and psychological toll of such trauma. Elie Wiesel’s reflections on the loss of innocence, the fragility of life, and the search for meaning in the midst of profound suffering contribute to the story's enduring impact. Night has become a seminal work in Holocaust literature, offering readers a raw and unflinching look at the atrocities committed during this dark period in history.

The publishing history of Night is noteworthy. After observing a ten-year vow of silence about the Holocaust, Wiesel published Un di Velt Hot Geshvign (Yiddish for And the World Remained Silent), an 800-page account of his life during the Holocaust in 1956. In 1958, he condensed his work and translated it from its original Yiddish into French, publishing it under the title La Nuit. The work was translated into English and published in 1960 as Night. Some scholars have argued that significant differences exist between Un di Velt Hot Geshvign and the subsequent French/English publications, chiefly that in the Yiddish text, Wiesel expressed more anger toward the Nazis and adopted a more vengeful tone.

Read the full plot overview, an in-depth analysis of Eliezer, and explanations of important quotes from Night.

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