by: Elie Wiesel

Section Three


Mother was stroking my sister’s blonde hair, as if to protect her. And I walked on with my father, with the men. And I didn’t know that this was the moment in time and the place where I was leaving my mother and Tzipora forever. I kept walking, my father holding my hand.


Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith forever. Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence that deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live.


“Not cry? We’re on the threshold of death. Soon we shall be inside… Do you understand? Inside. How could I not cry?”


In one terrifying moment of lucidity, I thought of us all as damned souls wandering through the void, souls condemned to wander through space until the end of time, seeking redemption, seeking oblivion, without any hope of finding either.


But no sooner had we taken a few more steps than we saw the barbed wire of another camp. This one had an iron gate with the overhead inscription: ARBEIT MACHT FREI. Work makes you free. Auschwitz.