Remembering the HOLOCAUST
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 the small faces of the children whose bodies I saw transformed into smoke under a silent sky.
Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith for ever.
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.
Source of the image : https://pixabay.com/it/auschwitz-birkenau-540526/
On 2nd July 2016 Elie Wiesel died. We have listened to the sad story of his life while reading his books and could learn about how he lost his family because of the Nazis who hated the Jews. He wrote about the sad experience he had had because he was a survivor and wanted us to remember and to think about the atrocities that happened and might happen today too.
In an interesting article on line we have been reminded that today many of those who survived the atrocities of the concentration camps are still alive but they are getting older and we need to remember what happened to them after they leave this world. http://time.com/4392413/elie-wiesel-holocaust-survivors-remaining/?xid=tcoshare
I cannot but agree with the ideas expressed in the article online :
“The loss of Elie Wiesel represents a loss not only to Jewish Nazi victims, whom Elie tirelessly advocated for over the course of his lifetime, but to humanity as a whole,”
Some speeches or ideas can be found online to remind us of the man and his attitude to human beings and his past history: the XX century was the century of the Holocaust.
"No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them. "
These words are important for us now as in the name of God and religion people are killed and suffer all over the world.
I have been to Auschwitz and Buchenwald, I have learnt about what happened there and I am still wondering why and how this happened. It is important for our students to study history and see how men can destroy other people's life if they do not respect them as human beings.
Wiesel was an great supporter of the ideas about the importance of remembering but he must have sufferred a lot as he shared his thoughts about his little sister who was killed only in the last years of his life .
Remembering his sister
This is a touching video and shows us how the man had sufferred when he was a young man and was left alone after his beloved had died:
He also visited Auschwichtz- from which we was able to escape death and could tell us about his feelings when he was imprisoned there and what had happened to his family:
In his work Night we can find the meaning of what had happened to him and the symbol of the Night has links with the inner thoughts of the man who had to see the death of many people he had met and those who disappeared from his life.
I think that we should continue reading about the man and his works and as teachers of foreign languages we can develop our students' critical thinking and thoughts.
It is a sad day to know that the man and great Nobel peace prize winner has died but we can still rely on the important message which he has left us in his works. We can continue reading his texts and discuss them with our students. It is a great lesson which we can teach and share and will continue for us in the XXI century.
Introducing Wiesel's work into our syllabus as ESL teachers
An interesting guide about this text can be found online https://www.cliffsnotes.com/literature/n/night/critical-essays/the-focus-on-night-as-a-symbol
Some ideas about teaching Night can be found online :
For students of English with a good level of English we could read some pages from the book: here is an interesting link online for reading which is worth sharing