Holocaust survivor and 1986 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel (1928-2016) was born on this day in Sighet, Transylvania (Romania). He electrified the world with Night (1958), a wrenching memoir of a Jewish teen's suffering hell in the death camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald.
"There are victories of the soul and spirit. Sometimes, even if you lose, you win," he said. After the war, he studied at the Sorbonne, then worked as a successful international journalist.
"God made man because he loves stories," Wiesel said.
He remained silent about his war experiences until novelist Francois Mauriac convinced Wiesel to tell the world his story. In 1963, the death camp survivor became an American citizen--a turning point, he said, because he ceased to be stateless.
"Because I survived, I must do everything possible to help others," he reflected. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter appointed Wiesel Chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.
"Amidst the ruins which surround us, we proclaim our passion to start over again," Wiesel said.
A humanitarian of peace and beacon of remembrance, the prolific Wiesel wrote over 40 books and dedicated his life to education, human rights, and documenting the atrocities of World War II.
"There is divine beauty in learning, just as there is human beauty in tolerance," he explained. "To learn means to accept the postulate that life did not begin at my birth. Others have been here before me, and I walk in their footsteps."
More Elie WIESEL Quotations
Banish indifference, live passionately!