We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must - at that moment - become the center of the universe. — Elie Wiesel (via accidentalism)
I no longer was afraid. I was over­come by fa­tigue. The ab­sent no longer en­tered our thoughts. One spoke of them—who knows what hap­pened to them?—but their fate was not on our minds. We were in­ca­pable of think­ing. Our sens­es were numbed, ev­ery­thing was fad­ing in­to a fog. We no longer clung to any­thing. The in­stincts of self-​preser­va­tion, of self- de­fense, of pride, had all de­sert­ed us. In one ter­ri­fy­ing mo­ment of lu­cid­ity, I thought of us as damned souls wan­der­ing through the void, souls con­demned to wan­der through space un­til the end of time, seek­ing re­demp­tion, seek­ing obliv­ion, with­out any hope of find­ing ei­ther. — Elie Wiesel, Night (via black-forests)
And I, the for­mer mys­tic, was think­ing: Yes, man is stronger, greater than God. When Adam and Eve de­ceived You, You chased them from par­adise. When You were dis­pleased by Noah’s generation, You brought down the Flood. When Sodom lost Your fa­vour, You caused the heav­ens to rain down fire and damna­tion. But look at these men whom You have be­trayed, al­low­ing them to be tortured, slaugh­tered, gassed, and burned, what do they do? They pray be­fore You! They praise Your name! — Elie Wiesel, Night (via black-forests)
The darkness enveloped us. All I could hear was the violin, and it was as if Juliek’s soul had become his bow. He was playing his life. His whole being was gliding over the strings. His unfulfilled hopes. His charred past, his extinguished future. He played that which he could never play again. — Night by Elie Wiesel (via whotheheckissinging)

In a way, to be indifferent to suffering is what makes the human being inhuman. Indifference, after all, is more dangerous than anger and hatred. Anger can, at times, be creative. One writes a great poem, a great symphony, one does something special for the sake of humanity because one is angry at the injustice that one witnesses. But indifference is never creative. Even hatred at times, may elicit a response. You fight it. You denounce it, you disarm it. Indifference elicits no response. Indifference is not a response.

Indifference is not a beginning, it is an end. And, therefore, indifference is always the friend of the enemy, for it benefits the aggressor — never his victim, whose pain is magnified when he or she feels forgotten. The political prisoner in his cell, the hungry children, the homeless refugees- not to respond to their plight, not to relieve their solitude by offering them a spark of hope is to exile them from human memory. And in denying their humanity, we betray our own.

Indifference, then, is not only a sin, it is a punishment. And this is one of the most important lessons of this outgoing century’s wide ranging experiments in good and evil.

“‘The Perils of Indifference” by Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor

East Room, White House, April 12, 1999