Memoir, Wiesel, Elie

Review of Open Heart by Elie Wiesel

What was it about?

While recovering from an emergency heart surgery, the Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel meditates on hope, death, family, and God. He asks yet again whether there is hope for a just and peaceful world. Wiesel has done much in his life to promote peace and reconciliation. Still, he wonders where God was at Auschwitz. At the end of a long life Wiesel wants to know that his fight has not been in vain.

What did I think of it?

On July 2, 2016 Elie Wiesel passed away. He did so much to make the world a better place for future generations. His harrowing memoir Night recounts his experience in German death camps during the Holocaust (1944-1945). His mother and youngest sister perished in the gas chambers. He and his father were preserved from the chambers, but his father eventually perished as well. At the age of 82 Wiesel continues to ask himself where God was during the Holocaust and during every other atrocity in history. Open Heart is short and probably not as profound as his other works, but it is still worth reading. He doesn’t say anything original, but the book is all the more powerful for being written by a Holocaust survivor. It is incredible how he can still have faith after all that he experienced. America has witnessed so much suffering in recent years. Wiesel gives me encouragement to work for a more just society. He gives me hope that ‘man’s inhumanity to man’ (to quote Robert Burns) can finally and permanently be overcome by love.