When God Goes Silent

Jun 5, 2023 by

By Collin Hansen, TGC.

When you walk through Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, you’re emotionally exhausted by the time you reach the end. The pain. The suffering. The horror of 6 million Jews murdered, less than 100 years ago. Children. Grandmothers. Young. Old. Pregnant. Barren. Gassed and cremated with modern efficiency. In Yad Vashem, you see their faces. You learn their stories. The names. The memories. It breaks your heart.

Shortly before you leave, you see a large photo from the Buchenwald concentration camp. The photo from April 16, 1945, shows inmates sleeping three to a bed, with bunks stacked four high. The bodies are nothing more than skin stretched over skeletons.

Tucked away in the second row of bunks in the picture, seventh from the left, is a 16-year-old face. I didn’t recognize it at Yad Vashem. But the face would become famous around the world. It’s the face of Elie Wiesel, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. His book Night recounts his experience of the Shoah, or catastrophe.

The Holocaust.

It’s the story of his experience at Auschwitz and why he never slept soundly again. When he arrived in Auschwitz, he saw babies tossed in a flaming ditch. How was this possible? How could the world be silent when men, women, and children perished in fires? It’s the story of Wiesel hearing his father cry for help as SS guards beat him to death. Wiesel never forgave himself. He didn’t move to help him.

He too was silent.

Read here.

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