Elie Wiesel Holocaust Survivor

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Elie Wiesel Holocaust Survivor

As war broke out in Europe during 1939, no one could either imagine or believe the terror that Adolf Hitler would soon bring to the lives of Jewish people. Drawing from his paranoia and a drive for a world Nazi power, Hitler singled out the Jews as the cause for problems in Germany and began to carry out his plan for the destruction of a part of humanity. Hitler not only persecuted the Jews of Germany, but he also targeted the Jews in Poland and other parts of Europe, such as Transylvania, which was the home of Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel.

Breaking his self-imposed vow of silence in 1958, Elie Wiesel published Night which details his horrific experiences at the Auschwitz, Buna, and Buchenwald concentration camps during World War II. Deported from his home in Sighet, Transylvania when just a teenager, Wiesel along with many others struggled through bitter cold, inadequate meals, excruciating labor, and long journeys in overcrowded, filthy train cars. In Night, Wiesel not only details his horrific experiences, but also shows how the Jews first denied the Holocaust, next rejected God, and finally how fathers and sons struggled against each other for survival.

Wiesel begins his story in 1944 with memories of his idol, Moesh the Beadle. Moesh talked for long hours with Wiesel about prayer, God, and Jewish books. Suddenly, one day all foreign Jews were removed from Sighet and since Moesh was a foreigner, he was crammed into the overcrowded trains by the Hungarian police. As the train pulled away one Jew said,"What can we expect? It's war."1 This comment displays the beginning of the denial by the Jews.

The community of Sighet talked of how well the deportees were doing as workers i...

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.... Frangsmyr, 1

23. Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. Grolier Electronic Publishing Inc., Danbury, CT.


- Arad, Yitzhak, Yisrael Gutman, and Abraham Margaliot. Documents on The Holocaust.

Jerusalem, Israel: Ahva Cooperative Press, 1981.

- Frangsmyr, Tore. Biography of Elie Wiesel-Nobel Peace Prize-1986. Les Prix Nobel.

http://nobel.sdsc.edu/laureates/peace-1986-1-bio.html (25 October 1998)

- Grace, Richard A. Elie Wiesel Ellis Island Medals of Honor.

http://www.neco.org/e.wiesel.html (25 October 1998)

- Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. Grolier Electronic Publishing Inc. , Danbury, CT.

- Holmstrom, David. conversations with Outstanding Americans: Elie Wiesel The Christian

Science Monitor. http://www.csmonitor.com (15 October 1998)

- Wiesel, Elie. Night. New York: Hill & Wang Publishing, 1982.
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