Analysis Of Elie Wiesel's The Perils Of Indifference

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On 12 April 1999, Elie Wiesel gave a provocative and thought provoking speech, The Perils of Indifference, at the Millennium Lecture series that were held at the White House in Washington D.C. The goal of Wiesel’s speech was to open the audience’s eyes to the harmful effects of indifference to a suffering population, as well as to contemplate how not to let those types of atrocities happen in the new millennium. Wiesel’s dramatic account as a holocaust survivor aides in the success of his speech about indifference. “He was finally free, but there was no joy in his heart” (Wiesel, 1999). By utilizing Aristotle’s three appeals, Ethos, Logos, and Pathos, Wiesel created a successful argument against the dangers of indifference. Wiesel initially pulls the audience in by using the…show more content…
To further bolster his argument, Wiesel provides the definition of indifference, he defines it as the gray area between what is right and wrong. It supposes that there is no moral high ground to be gained, and therefore, there is neither a positive nor a negative outcome to inaction. Wiesel brought up additional events, some that he witnessed and others that are common knowledge, pertaining to World War Two and the effect that indifference had on Jews suffering from Nazism. The "Muselmanner” was one such group that was mentioned in his speech. This was a group who were so deep in despair that they no longer felt anything. Wiesel describes them as being, “dead and did not know it” (Wiesel, 1999). He goes on to mention the St. Louis, which was a vessel carrying over one thousand Jewish refugees to the United States. Even though this vessel was already in American waters, it ultimately was denied port and sent back to Nazi Germany (Wiesel, 1999). The indifference that was displayed against a group of suffering people may have cost them their

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