Listen to a Marathon Reading of Elie Wiesel’s Night

A cou­ple of weeks ago on Jan­u­ary 27, Inter­na­tion­al Holo­caust Remem­brance Day, a diverse group gath­ered for a marathon read­ing of Night, Nobel Prize win­ner, Elie Wiesel’s mem­oir of his youth­ful expe­ri­ences as a pris­on­er in Auschwitz and Buchen­wald.

The event was orga­nized in part by the Nation­al Yid­dish The­atre—fit­ting giv­en that Night was orig­i­nal­ly writ­ten in Yid­dish, though first pub­lished in French. The theater’s artis­tic direc­tor and sev­er­al actors from past pro­duc­tions claimed sev­er­al of the read­ing slots, but left more than six­ty to be filled by par­tic­i­pants from an inten­tion­al­ly broad pool.

There were rab­bis and Broad­way per­form­ers, a New York­er writer, the Con­sul Gen­er­al of Ger­many, and the Hun­gar­i­an Ambas­sador to the UN…

Stu­dents and edu­ca­tors…

A num­ber of Holo­caust sur­vivors…

Dr. Ruth Wes­t­heimer and Wiesel’s grown son, Elisha, who observed:

At a time when this coun­try is feel­ing so divid­ed, when so much neg­a­tiv­i­ty is cir­cu­lat­ing about those who are dif­fer­ent from our­selves — those who have dif­fer­ent eth­nic­i­ties, reli­gions or even dif­fer­ent polit­i­cal lean­ings — my father’s words are an impor­tant reminder of the dan­gers of the ‘us ver­sus them’ men­tal­i­ty.

It took the vol­un­teer read­ers a lit­tle over four hours to get through the slim vol­ume, which shows up on many Amer­i­can high schools’ required read­ing lists.

The free event was co-spon­sored by the Muse­um of Jew­ish Heritage—A Liv­ing Memo­r­i­al to the Holo­caust, whose loca­tion in low­er Man­hat­tan was quite con­ve­nient to anoth­er impor­tant event tak­ing place that day—an inter­faith ral­ly to protest Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s exec­u­tive order ban­ning immi­grants from 7 coun­tries, sus­pend­ing entry for all refugees for a peri­od of four months, and call­ing for “extreme vet­ting” screen­ings.

There may be times when we are pow­er­less to pre­vent injus­tice, but there must nev­er be a time when we fail to protest.

- Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize Accep­tance Speech, Decem­ber, 1986

h/t Jeff N.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Elie Wiesel (RIP) Talks About What Hap­pens When We Die

Mem­o­ry of the Camps (1985): The Holo­caust Doc­u­men­tary that Trau­ma­tized Alfred Hitch­cock, and Remained Unseen for 40 Years

Yes, the Holo­caust Hap­pened, Even If a Top Google Search Result Says It Didn’t

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine.  Her play Zam­boni Godot is open­ing in New York City in March 2017. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

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