Elie Wiesel (30 September 1928 – 2 July 2016) was a Romanian-born American writer, professor, political activist, Nobel laureate, and Holocaust survivor.
Life and Career
Elie Wiesel was born on 30 September 1928, in Romania. He grew up in a Jewish family and had a relatively normal childhood until the outbreak of World War II.
In 1944, when he was just 15 years old, Wiesel and his family were deported to Auschwitz, one of the most infamous Nazi concentration camps. They were later transferred to Buchenwald.
Wiesel endured the horrors of the Holocaust, witnessing the atrocities committed by the Nazis and the suffering of fellow prisoners. He was one of the few survivors from his family, as most of them perished in the concentration camps.
After the war, Elie Wiesel moved to France, where he studied at the Sorbonne and began working as a journalist.
In 1955, he published his memoir, “Night” (originally titled “La Nuit” in French), which recounted his experiences during the Holocaust. The book is a powerful and haunting account of his time in the concentration camps and has since become a classic of Holocaust literature. Wiesel’s writings often focused on themes of memory, loss, and the moral responsibility to prevent such atrocities from happening again.
Throughout his career, he became a respected author, lecturer, and advocate for human rights and the prevention of genocide.
Elie Wiesel passed away on 2 July 2016, in Manhattan, New York, United States.
Award and Legacy
Elie Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in speaking out against oppression, injustice, and violence. The Nobel Committee praised him for being a “messenger to mankind” and for his efforts to ensure that the world never forgets the Holocaust and its lessons.
In 1992, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George H.W. Bush, one of the highest civilian honors in the United States.
Elie Wiesel’s most significant legacy is his tireless efforts to ensure that the Holocaust is never forgotten. His writings, particularly “Night,” have become essential texts for understanding the Holocaust, and he played a crucial role in educating the world about the horrors of genocide.
Wiesel’s commitment to human rights extended beyond Holocaust remembrance. He was an outspoken advocate for the prevention of genocide, the fight against indifference to suffering, and the promotion of peace and tolerance.
He established this foundation to continue his work and promote the values he held dear, including human rights, education, and combating hatred and intolerance.
Elie Wiesel’s life story and writings continue to inspire individuals and organizations worldwide to work towards a more just and compassionate world. His message of bearing witness to injustice and standing up against it remains influential.