Night: One Book, One Chicago Spring 2002

In 1944, 15-year-old Elie Wiesel and his family were deported from Hungary to the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, the first of four he would experience. Upon release from the camps in April 1945, Mr. Wiesel initially vowed not to write about his ordeal for at least 10 years. By 1958 he had been convinced that by bearing witness to such atrocities and surviving he had a responsibility to tell his story. As he wrote: “…to remain silent and indifferent is the greatest sin of all.” In 1956, Mr. Wiesel published a version of the work in Yiddish. Shortened and published in French, La Nuit was translated into English in 1960 as Night.

In April 2002, the Chicago Public Library selected Night as its second title for the One Book program. Elie Wiesel appeared at the Chicago Public Library at a free public program attended by over 600 people. As part of the public programming for Night, the Library worked with Facing History and Ourselves to present a discussion entitled “What Is Our Universe of Obligation?” featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning author Samantha Power. We also hosted a discussion with Dr. Michael Berenbaum and a screening of HBO Films’ Conspiracy, as well as a screening of the documentary film Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport.

Further Reading


The Spring 2002 One Book, One Chicago was presented by the City of Chicago, Chicago Public Library, and the Chicago Public Library Foundation. Additional partners included Starbucks, Chicago Tribune, CTA, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Rockefeller Memorial Chapel at University of Chicago, WTTW and Bantam Dell Publishers.

Content last updated: April 30, 2002

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