"He was playing a fragment of a Beethoven concerto. Never before had I heard such a beautiful sound. In such silence...
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 would never play again. I shall never forget Juliek. How could I forget this concert given before an audience of the dead and dying?"
This section of Night made me cry the first time I read it. Even today, when I read it out loud in class (twice, for that matter), I teared up a little. A few of my students caught my voice cracking and turned to look at me so I managed to hold it in. I think the juxtaposition of ugliness and beauty in this passage is so moving and incredible--how people could find and create beauty and wonder in such incredibly dark circumstances moves me to really remember what I have, and how lucky I am to have been born into such a privileged life--I have food to eat, I have water to drink, I have people in my life who care about me and love me. Juliek is so worried about his violin because it is the only thing that he has left in the world--I have so much in comparison. Sometimes, because I'm inside my own life, it's easy to see its flaws instead of its wonders. Reading helps remind me.