Jewish writer and political activist Elie Wiesel has received an honorary doctorate in recognition of his academic achievements and activities to safeguard peace and defend human dignity.
The award was given by the John Paul II Papal University in Kraków.
Jewish writer and political activist Elie Wiesel has received an honorary doctorate from the John Paul II Papal University in Kraków in recognition of his academic achievements and activities to safeguard peace and defend human dignity.
The ceremony was held on Tuesday at the Park East Synagogue in New York. In a citation, Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek stressed Elie Wiesel’s role of a witness of the Holocaust, recalling his remarks in a press interview three decades ago: “Why do I write? In order to save the victims from oblivion. To help the dead conquer death”.
Who has not read and reread “The Diary of Anne Frank?” Who has not been moved by the mischievous and innocent look that this unforgettable young Jewish girl gave to a beaten and ridiculed humanity desperately searching for reasons to hope?
Why has this book, above and beyond all others, had such an impact on the world? Because one finds in it purity and sadness, the purity and sadness that only a child was perhaps able to express before dying?
We love Anne. We cannot not love her. Of all the people who inhabited her closed universe still open to dreams, it is she who fascinates and touches us the most. One might say she is a guide who invites us to discover a dark, gloomy work. We follow her, we listen to her, we laugh with her, we cry also, we cry even when she laughs, perhaps especially when she wants to make us believe that she is only a young romantic girl who likes to amuse herself as she can.
How can one amuse oneself while Death watches with a thousand hateful eyes? How can one lead a normal existence — no, not normal but regular — for two years, in an attic cramped and cluttered where the prisoners knew they were condemned to silence? How can one, in doubt and anguish — if I may paraphrase Camus — imagine oneself happy?
Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Wiesel participated in a roundtable discussion on “The Meaning of Never Again: Guarding Against a Nuclear Iran” in Washington D.C.
A play written by Elie Wiesel soon after he was freed from Auschwitz will be performed for the first time at Harvard on April 12. Called “The Choice,” the play will debut at Sanders Theatre, directed by Guila Clara Kessous. Why now? 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and the founding of UNESCO, the UN agency designed to promote international collaboration through education, science, and culture. Now 86, Wiesel has written dozens of books, including “Night,” which is based on his experiences as a prisoner at Auschwitz, Buna, and Buchenwald concentration camps. When he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, Wiesel was called a “messenger to mankind.”
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach announced today that the writer, political activist and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, will attend Prime Minister Netanyahu’s congressional speech regarding Iran on March 3. A full-page advertisement declaring Mr. Wiesel’s intention to attend the controversial speech will appear in The New York Times on February 14th to be followed by The Washington Post.
Signifying the urgent threat that a nuclear Iran portends for Israel and the rest of the world, Mr. Wiesel, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, directly addresses President Obama, Vice President Biden and distinguished members of Congress, and asks them to support Mr. Netanyahu’s right to call attention to the crisis. In the advertisement, Mr. Wiesel states, “As one who has seen the enemies of the Jewish people make good on threats to exterminate us, how can I remain silent?”
SIGHET, Romania – Two days before Passover in 1944, on the night before he and his family were rounded up and forced into ghettos and later deported to Auschwitz, 15-year-old Elie Wiesel dug a hole in the garden of his home and buried a gold watch his beloved grandfather had given him.
Two decades later, after surviving the Holocaust, Wiesel returned to Sighet by himself and, under the cover of darkness, crept into the garden to see if the watch was still there.
A week ago Sunday, I sat in the house in Sighet in which he was born in 1928, and moderated an interview with him via Skype in New York. As he sat in New York, smiling with his jaw resting in his hand, I asked him where he had buried the famous watch. He laughed. “Twenty years later, when I came back to Sighet, I found where I buried my gold watch under a tree, and I put it back,” he said. “I don’t want anyone to find it.”
Elie Wiesel, world-renowned author, intellectual and Nobel laureate, received the Presidential Medal of Distinction from President Shimon Peres Monday in a ceremony in New York, for his work commemorating the Holocaust and promoting tolerance in the world.
“The Holocaust taught us that killing isn’t done just with guns and weapons, but also with apathy, and you, Elie, are saving the world from that apathy,” Peres told Wiesel during the award presentation.
“You are waving the flag of humanity, preventing bloodshed and challenging racism and anti-Semitism, as well as preventing war,” he said. “You personally went through the most atrocious horrors of humanity, and as a Holocaust survivor you chose to dedicate your life to deliver the message — never again.”
Wiesel thanked the president, and responded, “Israel is in the center of my life, and even though I don’t live in Israel, Israel lives within me. I now see myself as an honorary Israeli. Life is composed of moments, not only years, and this moment is worth an entire life.”
Presenting the two honorees of the evening with the WJC award, Rodham Clinton said Elie and Marion Wiesel “played a pivotal part in bringing the Shoah into public consciousness.” She added: “Elie’s own story of survival and those of others he’s helped tell, and has steeled the world’s resolve that such an atrocity can never be repeated. The Wiesels have worked to overcome indifference toward the suffering of oppressed and marginalized populations around the world: Soviet Jews, Miskito Indians, refugees from Cambodia, prisoners from the former Yugoslavia, victims of the genocide in Darfur. Looking toward the future, Elie and Marion have filled us with hope and optimism for a freer, more just world.”
Rodham Clinton also praised the work of the World Jewish Congress: “For nearly 80 years, the World Jewish Congress has helped protect Jewish communities around the world, worked to stamp out anti-Semitism wherever it still exists and promoted understanding and friendship among people of all faiths.”
For 20 years, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has reminded visitors of atrocity, grief and survival.
On Monday, nearly 4,000 supporters joined 843 Holocaust survivors and 130 veterans to celebrate its 20 th anniversary and hear speeches from President Bill Clinton and museum founding chairman Elie Wiesel. Under a large tent outside the museum, just south of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., survivors talked with American soldiers who liberated concentration camps, sharing their stories.
Ernest Gross, who survived the Dachau concentration camp, searched for years to find a camp liberator. He found one in Don Greenbaum of Philadelphia. The two traveled to Washington to attend the ceremony together.
“I was transported from Camp 7 to Dachau to be gassed and to go into the ovens,” Gross told ABC News just before the ceremony, from his seat next to Greenbaum.
“I was standing in line, and I was close enough that I was able to see the ovens, and all of a sudden I see the German soldiers are throwing their weapons down,” Gross said. “I didn’t know why I turned around, and I saw the American Army liberating the camp, and for 67 years I looked for somebody who liberated me to thank him.”
Editor’s Note: Today marks the 20th anniversary of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. It was Elie Wiesel’s idea to make this an institution of learning rather than a simple memorial. Michael Schulder, host of the “CNN Profiles” radio show, sat down with Wiesel to talk about a range of issues, including how a sense of humor survives in so many survivors. This story, though, is about faith.
By Michael Schulder, CNN
In early March, when flare-ups of hate speech and anti-Semitism at Oberlin College made the news and The New York Times ran a story raising the number of concentration camps to a startling five figures, Elie Wiesel expressed mild surprise. But not shock.
He was merely curious about Oberlin, where odious messages and graffiti targeting minority groups roiled the campus, saying he thought Oberlin was a music school. And as for the Times story, “There is a certain surprise, on one level,” he said by telephone March 4 from Florida. “So many. Where were they? How come we don’t know the names when we should know the names? But the fact that they didn’t know was no surprise.” A March 1 Times story said researchers cataloged some 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps.
“The more I know, the less I know,” said Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor, 1984 Congressional Medal of Honor recipient and 1986 Nobel Peace Prize winner, who will speak Thursday, April 11 at Kent State University. Despite those honors and many more, Wiesel, in a sense, is a study in humility.