Saturday, July 2, 2016

Elie Wiesel 1928-2016

Elie Wiesel, who survived the Holocaust and became an author, journalist, and activist, has passed away at 87, in his home in New York City.  He had received the Nobel Peace Prize, along with many other notable awards.

Eliezer Wiesel was born in Sighet, Romania, in the region of Transylvania.  In 1940, although both countries were allied to Germany during World War II, the area was transferred from Romania to Hungary.  Four years later, Hungary started to deport Jews to Nazi concentration camps.  Wiesel's family was taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where he and his father were separated from his mother and three sisters.  Wiesel and his father were later marched to Buchenwald.  Wiesel and two of his sisters survived.

After the war, Wiesel taught Hebrew, learned French, and started to write.  In 1955, he moved to Washington, DC and became an American citizen.  He married Marion Erster Rose, herself also a Holocaust survivor, with whom he would have one son, named Elisha.  As a political activist, he spoke out on behalf of Soviet and Ethiopian Jews, victims of South African apartheid, Bosnian victims of genocide, the Miskito Indians of Nicaragua, and the Kurds, among others.  He is survived by his wife, his son, a stepdaughter, and two grandchildren.

Read more at Haaretz, Reuters, BBC News, Russia Today and The Jerusalem Post.

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