The book chronicles the teenager and his family as they first denied the possibility of transport, then were herded into cattle cars and sent to concentration camps and work camps. Wiesel's father, mother and sister died in the camps.
No person can remain unmoved listening or reading this account. It reemphasizes the critical need for tolerance in our society, so that such atrocities will not happen again. It is said that Freedom is not free, and constant vigilance is its price.
Wiesel has written:
Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Whenever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.
Constant vigilance against intolerance is our duty as Masons.