Growing up in a homeschooling environment can be the best and the worst thing for your education. I learned of the holocaust, but not in great detail. I knew that it happened, and I knew people died, but I had no idea the extremes that some of these people saw.
This book is the first of 3, told from the perspective of a teenage boy who’s been taken from his home in Sighet, Transylvania and moved to Auschwitz, then to Buchenwald. He lost all of his family to the Nazi army, as well as his faith in god.
NEVER SHALL I FORGET that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed.
Never shall I forget that smoke.
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.
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.
This paragraph sums up this book in ways that I never could, but I fear that I will still never be able to grasp what this man went through. In this book, he talks of his devotion to God before his family was kidnapped. He talks of the denial in his community once news of the treatment of other Jews reached them.
He talks of being pulled away from his mother and sister’s, of watching babies being burned alive, of watching son’s attack their fathers over food, and of watching his father die. This story has no bright side to it at all. There are a few sorrowful moments of joy, but they are all just attempts to find light from the darkest pits of despair.
This is not a happy book, nor an easy read. However, it is essential to understand our past and to prevent this from happening to others in the future. With the current camps our country has been putting irregular immigrants and refugees from Mexico into, it’s more important than ever to learn of what happened in the past and to prevent any chance of further genocide.
If you can handle it, please give this book a read. If you can not, try to find some “child-friendly” education or youtube videos that explain in less detail what happened. We must learn from our past and grow together to create a better world for everyone.