When a Christian boy disappears in a fictional Eastern European town in the 1920s, the local Jews are quickly accused of ritual murder. There is tension in the air. A pogrom threatens to erupt. Suddenly, an extraordinary man—Moshe the dreamer, a madman and mystic—steps forward & confesses to a crime he didn't commit, in a vain attempt to save his people from certain death. The community gathers to hear his last words—a plea for silence—& everyone present takes an oath: whoever survives the impending tragedy must never speak of the town’s last days & nights of terror. For fifty years the sole survivor keeps his oath—until he meets a man whose life depends on hearing the story, & one man’s loyalty to the dead confronts head-on another’s reason to go on living.
One of Wiesel’s strongest early novels, this timeless parable about the Jews & their enemies, about hate, family, friendship & silence, is as powerful, haunting & significant as it was when first published.