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Elie Wiesel

  • Birthplace: Sighet, Transylvania, Romania
  • Birthday: September 30
Date of passing: 
July 02, 2016

Elie Wiesel was a writer, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor who wrote more than 40 books of fiction and nonfiction, including his first book, Night, an account of his World War II experience in the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz. The author wrote two follow-ups, Dawn and Day, chronicling his transition from the Holocaust into life as a survivor.

Night began in the mid-1950s as an 800-page story in Yiddish, and after multiple translations, was finally published in the U.S., in 1960, at just over 100 pages. Wiesel’s Dawn was turned into a movie in 2014. He also penned Zalmen: or, The Madness of God, which was turned into a play, and televised on PBS in 1975.

Additionally, Wiesel appeared in documentaries and on talk shows, perhaps most notably on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2006, when Winfrey invited the author to discuss Night, which she had chosen for her famed book club.

Wiesel also appeared on the television specials Facing Hate, in which he was interviewed by journalist Bill Moyers; The Holocaust: In Memory of Millions; A Sculpture of Love and Anguish: The Miami Beach Holocaust Memorial; and The Jewish People; as well as the programs 20/20 and Overheard.

Elie Wiesel was a writer, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor who wrote more than 40 books of fiction and nonfiction, including his first book, Night, an account of his World War II experience in the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz. The author wrote two follow-ups, Dawn and Day, chronicling his transition from the Holocaust into life as a survivor.

Night began in the mid-1950s as an 800-page story in Yiddish, and after multiple translations, was finally published in the U.S., in 1960, at just over 100 pages. Wiesel’s Dawn was turned into a movie in 2014. He also penned Zalmen: or, The Madness of God, which was turned into a play, and televised on PBS in 1975.

Additionally, Wiesel appeared in documentaries and on talk shows, perhaps most notably on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2006, when Winfrey invited the author to discuss Night, which she had chosen for her famed book club.

Wiesel also appeared on the television specials Facing Hate, in which he was interviewed by journalist Bill Moyers; The Holocaust: In Memory of Millions; A Sculpture of Love and Anguish: The Miami Beach Holocaust Memorial; and The Jewish People; as well as the programs 20/20 and Overheard.

As a young teenager, Wiesel was deported from Hungary, which had annexed his native Romanian town of Sighet, to Auschwitz. He was freed in 1945, but both of his parents and one sister had died in Nazi camps. Two other sisters survived. After his release, Wiesel spent a few years in a French orphanage, then went to Paris. He studied literature and philosophy at the Sorbonne, became a journalist, and wrote for French and Israeli newspapers.

In 1963, he became a U.S. citizen, and six years later married Marion Rose, a fellow Holocaust survivor. He taught in Boston University for nearly thirty years, as well as at Yale and the City University of New York.

In 1988, he established the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, which explores ethnic conflicts around the world.

Wiesel died July 2, 2016, in New York. He was 87.

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