Approaches to Teaching Wiesel’s Night

  • Editor: Alan Rosen
  • Pages: vi & 169 pp.
  • Published: 2007
  • ISBN: 9780873525909 (Paperback)
  • ISBN: 9780873525893 (Cloth)
Approaches to Teaching Wiesel's Night Cover

“Rosen’s collection is a valuable source for teachers, providing multiple perspectives and insight into the many levels of interpretation of a seminal Holocaust memoir.”

—S. Lillian Kremer, author, Women’s Holocaust Writing: Memory and Imagination, and editor, Holocaust Literature: An Encyclopedia of Writers and Their Work

“All the articles are admirably concise, so that one can quickly—and profitably—read through several in the limited time one usually has for class preparation. A marvelously thought-provoking, useful collection.”


Elie Wiesel is an internationally known author, human rights advocate, and lecturer. Night, his first book (1956 in Yiddish, 1958 in French, 1960 in English; a new English translation appeared in 2006), has become a classic memoir of a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust.

The seventeen essays of this volume in the MLA series Approaches to Teaching World Literature examine the historical, cultural, and literary contexts of Wiesel’s book as well as strategies for teaching it in the classroom. Part 1, “Materials,” provides resources on the Jewish ghettos and concentration camps of World War II, on the Jewish faith and religious practices, on the genre of victims’ diaries, on the critical reception of Night, on Wiesel’s other work, and on available audiovisual materials. Part 2, “Approaches,” addresses many subjects—among them, Wiesel’s narrative techniques, the representation of Auschwitz, the use of different languages, the comparison of Wiesel with Primo Levi, the problems of memory and bearing witness, the Christian response to the Holocaust, and the challenge of teaching a grim and painful text to students.

Michael Berenbaum
Alan L. Berger
Michael Bernard-Donals
Jan Darsa
Jonathan Druker
Paul Eisenstein
Christopher J. Frost
Simone Gigliotti
Rita Horváth
Susanne Klingenstein
Phyllis Lassner
Kevin Lewis
David Patterson
Nehemia Polen
John K. Roth
Judith Clark Schaneman
Jan Schwarz