This book startles the reader with the proclamation that disputes the myth that education/learning will save humanity from itself. That schooling and intelligence will prevent human atrocity. The Elie poses this question relating to the holocaust. How could supposedly intelligent Germans allow themselves to participate in the decimation-genocide of Jews. It seems that moral education struggles to find a home in the university—even religious communities. This is the only way a student can become a witness.
The explanation of wounded faith is startling. Weisel tells a story of a father whose younger child has died. He says “God, I know you want to test me. You want to see if I will lose my faith, if I will despair. I will not! In spite of you and for you I will not.” And then the father said kaddish. Faith is a form of protest—thus the term wounded faith.
The book loses some of its uniqueness and power in the last 1/3 but it still is an immensely important work. This should be at the top of must read books.