Even as the first attendees were gathering downtown Sunday afternoon for a marathon reading of “Night,” Elie Wiesel’s terse, haunting account of his experience as a teenager in a Nazi death camp, the drama was building for a singularly poignant encounter — between history and current events, between politics and principle and between fathers and sons, as Elisha Wiesel continued a family tradition of speaking truth to power.

The “community reading,” as the press release described it, featured more than 70 “notable New Yorkers” — I was honored to be among them — each reading at least a page from the book; it lasted five hours in all. The event was timed to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day (Jan. 27) and to mark the death of Wiesel, the Nobel Peace Laureate and the Shoah’s most famous survivor, who died last summer.

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