Sunday, March 30, 2003

Lynchburg parents don't want middle schoolers to read death camp memoir

As reported here, parents in a Lynchburg school are challenging whether 12 year-old students should be assigned Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel's account of his survival of the concentration camps.

In the book, called Night, Wiesel wrote the following:

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 that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky.
Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever.
Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. 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.

The American Library Association's list of the 100 most-often challenged books for 1990-2000 appears here. (I can't say that I've read more than 20 of them.) Night is not on the list.

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