cover image From the Kingdom of Memory: Reminiscences

From the Kingdom of Memory: Reminiscences

Elie Wiesel. Summit Books, $19.45 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-52332-9

In these moving essays and speeches, Wiesel swings between outbursts of eloquence and the quiet, insightful conversations one might share with an old friend. His searing account of a trip to Auschwitz, Treblinka and Birkenau, many years after the war, encapsulates the enormity of the Holocaust. In another essay he castigates ``revisionist'' scholars who would explain away Hitler's crimes by lumping them with Stalin's. Included are his plea to former president Reagan not to visit Bitburg cemetery, his testimony at the trial of Nazi murderer Klaus Barbie and his 1986 Nobel lecture in Oslo, a dark meditation on the fanaticism, racism and political repression rampant in the world. On a more personal note, Wiesel revisits the Transylvanian town where he grew up, poignantly recalling his simple, unquestioning boyhood faith. Other pieces deal with friendship, Jewish rituals, Hitler's perversion of language, and the modern predicament--``knowledge has replaced love, machines have killed imagination.'' (Aug.)