Oprah goes to Auschwitz
Night, an account of Elie Wiesel's experiences in Auschwitz during the Holocaust.
Given the usual sorts of books I generally see advertised on Oprah's Book Club, I was amazed and pleasantly surprised. In a single stroke, Oprah had guaranteed that hundreds of thousands of people, if not even more, will read Wiesel's account of his time at Auschwitz and the horrors of what occurred there. She even started Oprah's National High School Essay Contest, in which the topic is: "Why is Elie Wiesel's book Night relevant today?" The combination of these two actions will undoubtedly educate more people about Auschwitz than almost anything else I could think of.
Unfortunately, the next thing Oprah said made me a little bit skeptical of the whole enterprise. She announced that next month she is going to Auschwitz to do her show. Such a trip certainly has the potential to raise awareness of the Holocaust among an American public that is really not that knowledgeable about it, and Oprah does have a history of having interviewed Elie Wiesel before. On the other hand, on the rare times when I have seen her show, I've gotten the impression that the way Oprah does many of her segments strikes me as rather cheesy and hyperdramatic. The thought of Oprah at Auschwitz doing her Oprah thing by the infamous Auschwitz gate (the one inscribed with “Arbeit macht frei,” meaning “Work makes freedom”) and the remains of the Kremas makes me a little nervous.
Maybe I'm just being overly sensitive. Certainly it's a step up from having Tom Cruise jump all over her studio couch like a maniac proclaiming his love for Katie Holmes.