Thursday, June 6, 2013

Where is God Now?

    One day when we came back from work, we saw three gallows rearing up in the
assembly place, three black crows. Roll call. SS all round us, machine guns trained; the
traditional ceremony. Three victims in chairs – and one of them, the little servant, the
sad-eyed angel. The SS seemed more preoccupied, more disturbed than usual. To hang
a young boy in front of thousands of spectators was no light matter. The head of the
camp read the verdict. All eyes were on the child. He was lividly pale, almost calm,
biting his lips. The gallows threw its shadow over him…. 
    The three victims mounted together onto the chairs. The three necks were placed at the
same moment within the nooses. “Long live liberty!” cried the two adults. But the child
was silent! “Where is God? Where is He?” someone behind me asked. 
    At a sign from the head of the camp, the three chairs tipped over. Total silence
throughout the camp. On the horizon, the sun was setting. “Bare your heads!” yelled
the head of the camp. His voice was raucous. We were weeping. “Cover your heads!” 
    Then the march past began. The two adults were no longer alive. Their tongues
swollen, blue-tinged. But the third rope was still moving; being so light, the child was
still alive…. For more than half an hour he stayed there, struggling between life and
death, dying in slow agony under our eyes. And we had to look him full in the face. He
was still alive when I passed in front of him. His tongue was still red, his eyes were not
yet glazed. 
     Behind me, I head the same man asking: “Where is God now?” And I heard a voice
within me answer him: “Where is He? Here He is – He is hanging here on this
     -Elie Wiesel, Night
That's a true account, not fiction. The Nazis sent Elie Wiesel to Auschwitz in May 1944. He survived there until the US Third Army liberated the prison camp on April 11, 1945. It took the army nine months after D-Day, June 6, 1944 to get there.

No comments:

Post a Comment