Quotes from Night

Elie Wiesel ·  120 pages

Rating: (772.7K votes)


“Human suffering anywhere concerns men and women everywhere.”
― Elie Wiesel, quote from Night


“To forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.”
― Elie Wiesel, quote from Night


“Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed....Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never.”
― Elie Wiesel, quote from Night


“I pray to the God within me that He will give me the strength to ask Him the right questions.”
― Elie Wiesel, quote from Night


“Then came the march past the victims. The two men were no longer alive. Their tongues were hanging out,
swollen and bluish. But the third rope was still moving: the child, too light, was still breathing...
And so he remained for more than half an hour, lingering between life and death, writhing before our eyes.
And we were forced to look at him at close range. He was still alive when I passed him. His tongue was still
red, his eyes not yet extinguished.

Behind me, I heard the same man asking:
"For God's sake, where is God?"
And from within me, I heard a voice answer:
"Where He is? This is where--hanging here from this gallows..."

That night, the soup tasted of corpses.”
― Elie Wiesel, quote from Night


“For in the end, it is all about memory, its sources and its magnitude, and, of course, its consequences.”
― Elie Wiesel, quote from Night


“For the survivor who chooses to testify, it is clear: his duty is to bear witness for the dead and for the living. He has no right to deprive future generations of a past that belongs to our collective memory. To forget would be not only dangerous but offensive; to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.”
― Elie Wiesel, quote from Night


“I shall always remember that smile. From what world did it come from?”
― Elie Wiesel, quote from Night


“One more stab to the heart, one more reason to hate. One less reason to live.”
― Elie Wiesel, quote from Night


“His cold eyes stared at me. At last, he said wearily: "I have more faith in Hitler than in anyone else. He alone has kept his promises, all his promises, to the Jewish people.”
― Elie Wiesel, quote from Night


“They are committing the greatest indignity human beings can inflict on one another: telling people who have suffered excruciating pain and loss that their pain and loss were illusions. (v)”
― Elie Wiesel, quote from Night


“There's a long road of suffering ahead of you. But don't lose courage. You've already escaped the gravest danger: selection. So now, muster your strength, and don't lose heart. We shall all see the day of liberation. Have faith in life. Above all else, have faith. Drive out despair, and you will keep death away from yourselves. Hell is not for eternity. And now, a prayer - or rather, a piece of advice: let there be comradeship among you. We are all brothers, and we are all suffering the same fate. The same smoke floats over all our heads. Help one another. It is the only way to survive.”
― Elie Wiesel, quote from Night


“One day when I was able to get up, I decided to look at myself in the mirror on the opposite wall. I had not seen myself since the ghetto. From the depths of the mirror, a corpse was contemplating me. The look in his eyes as he gazed at me has never left me.”
― Elie Wiesel, quote from Night


“He explained to me with great insistence that every question posessed a power that did not lie in the answer.”
― Elie Wiesel, quote from Night


“I told him that I did not believe that they could burn people in our age, that humanity would never tolerate it…”
― Elie Wiesel, quote from Night


“...I believe it important to emphasize how strongly I feel that books, just like people, have a destiny. Some invite sorrow, others joy, some both.”
― Elie Wiesel, quote from Night


“It was pitch dark. I could hear only the violin, and it was as though Juliek's soul were the bow. He was playing his life. The whole of his life was gliding on the strings--his last hopes, his charred past, his extinguished future. He played as he would never play again...When I awoke, in the daylight, I could see Juliek, opposite me, slumped over, dead. Near him lay his violin, smashed, trampled, a strange overwhelming little corpse.”
― Elie Wiesel, quote from Night


“Did I write it so as not to go mad or, on the contrary, to go mad in order to understand the nature of madness?”
― Elie Wiesel, quote from Night


“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 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.
Never.”
― Elie Wiesel, quote from Night


“Those who kept silent yesterday will remain silent tomorrow.”
― Elie Wiesel, quote from Night


“Blessed be God's name? Why, but why would I bless Him? Every fiber in me rebelled. Because He caused thousands of children to burn in His mass graves? Because he kept six crematoria working day and night, including Sabbath and the Holy Days? Because in His great might, He had created Auschwitz, Birkenau, Buna, and so many other factories of death? How could I say to Him: Blessed be Thou, Almighty, Master of the Universe, who chose us among all nations to be tortured day and night, to watch as our fathers, our mothers, our brothers, end up in the furnaces? Praised be Thy Holy Name, for having chosen us to be slaughtered on Thine altar?”
― Elie Wiesel, quote from Night


“In the beginning there was faith - which is childish; trust - which is vain; and illusion - which is dangerous.”
― Elie Wiesel, quote from Night


“I am not so naïve as to believe that this slim volume will change the course of history or shake the conscience of the world. Books no longer have the power they once did. Those who kept silent yesterday will remain silent tomorrow.”
― Elie Wiesel, quote from Night


“But because of his telling, many who did not believe have come to believe, and some who did not care have come to care. He tells the story, out of infinite pain, partly to honor the dead, but also to warn the living - to warn the living that it could happen again and that it must never happen again. Better than one heart be broken a thousand times in the retelling, he has decided, if it means that a thousand other hearts need not be broken at all. (vi)”
― Elie Wiesel, quote from Night


“We cannot indefinitely avoid depressing subject matter, particularly it it is true, and in the subsequent quarter century the world has had to hear a story it would have preferred not to hear - the story of how a cultured people turned to genocide, and how the rest of the world, also composed of cultured people, remained silent in the face of genocide. (v)”
― Elie Wiesel, quote from Night


“[Moishe] explained to me, with great emphasis, that every question possessed a power that was lost in the answer....
And why do you pray, Moishe?' I asked him.
I pray to the God within me for the strength to ask Him the real questions.”
― Elie Wiesel, quote from Night


“Bread, soup - these were my whole life. I was a body. Perhaps less than that even: a starved stomach. The stomach alone was aware of the passage of time.”
― Elie Wiesel, quote from Night


“We were masters of nature, masters of the world. We had forgotten everything--death, fatigue, our natural needs. Stronger than cold or hunger, stronger than the shots and the desire to die, condemned and wandering, mere numbers, we were the only men on earth.”
― Elie Wiesel, quote from Night


“Why do you pray?" he asked me, after a moment.

Why did I pray? A strange question. Why did I live? Why did I breathe?

"I don't know why," I said, even more disturbed and ill at ease. "I don't know why."

After that day I saw him often. He explained to me with great insistence that every question possessed a power that did not lie in the answer. "Man raises himself toward God by the questions he asks Him," he was fond of repeating. "That is the true dialogue. Man questions God and God answers. But we don't understand His answers. We can't understand them. Because they come from the depths of the soul, and they stay there until death. You will find the true answers, Eliezer, only within yourself!"

"And why do you pray, Moshe?" I asked him. "I pray to the God within me that He will give me the strength to ask Him the right questions.”
― Elie Wiesel, quote from Night


About the author

Elie Wiesel
Born place: in Sighet, Romania
Born date September 30, 1928
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Popular quotes

“Can I ask a stupid question?"
"Sure. Ask away."
"It's sort of more than one question. But... Look, um... Why do we hurt? Why do we die? Why isn't life good all the time? Why isn't it fair?"
"Those aren't stupid questions, Hazel. For some people they're the only questions that matter."
"Does that mean you won't answer them?"
"Sure, I'll answer. But it's kind of a big subject, and it's got lots of answers, and the answers don't really mean anything-- They aren't stupid questions but they could just as well be 'When is purple?' or 'Why does Thursday?', if you see what I mean..."
"Not really."
"Well, I think some of it is probably contrasts. Light and Shadow. If you never had the bad times, how would you know you had the good times? But some of it is just: If you're going to be Human, then there are a whole load of things that come with it. Eyes, a Heart, Days and Life.
It's the moments that illuminate it, though. The times you don't see when you're having them... They make the rest of it matter.”
― Neil Gaiman, quote from Death: The Time of Your Life


“The most important factor in every function is: ‘Is it under our control or not?’ So when imagination is under our control we do not even call it imagination; we call it by various names—visualization, creative thinking, inventive thinking—you can find a name for each special case. But when it comes by itself and controls us so that we are in its power, then we call it imagination. Again, there is another side of imagination which we miss in ordinary understanding. This is that we imagine non-existent things—non-existent capacities, for instance. We ascribe to ourselves powers which we do not have; we imagine ourselves to be self-conscious although we are not. We have imaginary powers and imaginary self-consciousness and we imagine ourselves to be one, when really we are many different ‘I’s. There are many such things that we imagine about ourselves and other people. For instance, we imagine that we can ‘do’, that we have choice; we have no choice, we cannot ‘do’, things just happen to us.”
― P.D. Ouspensky, quote from The Fourth Way


“Franklin’s inquisitive mind craved stimulation, consistently gravitating toward whatever community of intellects asked the most intriguing questions; his expansive temperament sought souls that resonated with his own generosity and sense of virtue. In five years in England he had found more of both than in a lifetime in America. “Of all the enviable things England has,” he told Polly Stevenson, “I envy most its people. Why should that petty island, which compared to America is but like a stepping stone in a brook, scarce enough of it above water to keep one’s shoes dry; why, I say, should that little island enjoy in almost every neighbourhood more sensible, virtuous and elegant minds than we can collect in ranging 100 leagues of our vast forests?” He left such people reluctantly and, he trusted, temporarily.”
― H.W. Brands, quote from The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin


“that kid’s nothing but a little hoodlum.”
― James Patterson, quote from Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life


“As the interpretation of reality by the power structure, ideology is always subordinated ultimately to the interests of the structure. Therefore, it has a natural tendency to disengage itself from reality, to create a world of appearances, to become ritual... Increasingly, the virtuosity of the ritual becomes more important than the reality hidden behind it.”
― Václav Havel, quote from The Power of the Powerless


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