“Those who kept silent yesterday will remain silent tomorrow.”
So wrote Elie Wiesel in his Holocaust novel, Night. And last Sunday evening, his words rang across a dimmed, crowded auditorium in lower Manhattan during a star-studded reading of Wiesel’s magnum opus. The five-hour public reading, which was also live-streamed online, was part of the Museum of Jewish Heritage’s tribute to Wiesel for International Holocaust Remembrance Day. (Wiesel was an honorary chairman of the board of the museum until his death last summer.) The date was also the 72nd anniversary of the death of Wiesel’s father, Shlomo, whose murder at Buchenwald is recounted in Night.
“The concept was to read Night all night,” said Abe Foxman, the former national director of the Anti-Defamation League and the director of The Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism at the museum, who dreamed up the concept for the event. “To pay tribute to someone by reading their words—there is no higher tribute.”