Eric Hunt wrote:Several changes, some have already been pointed out by Naomi Seidkind.
1) the Jews run off to loot and rape German shixaas, in the original, they run off to "sleep" with German girls.
2) in this original, Elie Wiesel punches the mirror in the hospital which shows his skeletal body. Pondering the will to live, he smashes the mirror. This is right after the passage about revenge. I take this to be that Elie's reason to live is revenge.
As his changes to the Western version of Night show, Wiesel has rightfully figured out that posing as an eternal victim with the weight of the world on his shoulders (cue his endless photographs of him with his head being propped up by his hand, literally the weight of what's in his brain can't be held up by his neck alone!) is the best way to get revenge on the Christianity-influenced West. Thanks Mauriac.
3) But one of the major things, I'm not sure this has ever been pointed out, is that Wiesel claims to have written the first draft of this original Yiddish version of Night IN BUCHENWALD, in his hospital bed. I'm not sure if there are any fleeting mentions to this anywhere. There may have been, I don't know. I'm wondering if he had the original manuscript on his possession as he claims to have been one of the children marching out in that photograph from Buchenwald?
Wiesel has maintained that he wrote this book while on a boat to South America roughly ten years after the war, after his ten year "vow of silence" was up.
It's also important to point out that there were already Holocaust deniers when this book was written.
I wonder if there were any big denier "events" or rumblings at the time, that Wiesel felt the need to respond with a work of fictional non-fiction. Sonderkomandos and other "survivors" claimed they felt the need to speak out (forty some odd years later) because of specific incidences of antisemitic events in their area.
Oh, and here's a bizarre photograph of Wiesel hiding his left arm from the camera, where his tattoo is supposed to be, even in a private moment with his sister -
This passage and the one about the Jewish boys running off to rape German girls have already been translated from the Yiddish by Naomi Siedman (not Siedkind) in her 1996 essay, and quoted in "The Shadowy Origins of Night
" at http://www.eliewieseltattoo.com
So the answer to your #3 is that it has.
I'm working right now on Shadowy Origins of Night III, which will include analysis of this major change in ending; as far as I know, Elie Wiesel always insists he didn't start any writing for 10 years, and has never referred to the original Yiddish passage wherein the protaganist writes the outline while in the hospital in Buchenwald.
I hope you can get the first chapter translated. I suspect it starts out differently, not with Moishe the Beadle.
I just figured it up that 617 pages were removed in the editing of the original manuscript to the published Yiddish. That's over 2/3 of what was supposedly written! What writer would allow that?
Further, 87 pages were removed from the published Un di Velt to La Nuit; almost 1/3 of the book! Can the difference be in the number of words per page - that kind of thing - rather than the actual content?
Thanks for the picture of Elie and his sister! Great. But where is the caption? Which sister, when; how do we document that it is indeed his sister? It looks like it would most likely be in the 1980's.