10 October 2008

To forget would…

“Why did I write it?

Did I write it so as not to go mad or, on the contrary, to go mad in order to understand the nature of madness, the immense, terrifying madness that had erupted in history and in the conscience of mankind?

Was it to leave behind a legacy of words, of memories, to help prevent history from repeating itself?

Or was it simply to preserve a record of the ordeal I endured as an adolescent, at an age when one’s knowledge of death and evil should be limited to what one discovers in literature?”

***

“For the survivor who chooses to testify, it is clear: his duty is to bear witness for the dead and for the living. He has no right to deprive future generations of a past that belongs to our collective memory. To forget would not only be dangerous but offensive; to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.”


[Quoted from Night by Elie Wiesel, survivor of Auschwitz and Buchenwald, author, winner of The Nobel Peace Prize (1986); from the Preface to the new 2006 translation (from the French) by his wife Marion Wiesel.]

2 comments:

d gypsy! said...

guess, that answers me for now, but i may come up with a question to this as well...

runawaysun said...

I, too, have many questions about this. Read on...