Elie Wiesel (1928)
Elie Wiesel was born in 1928 in the town of Sighet, now part of Romania.
During World War II, he, with his family and other Jews from the area, were
deported to the German concentration and extermination camps, where his parents
and little sister perished. Wiesel and his two older sisters survived. Liberated
from Buchenwald in 1945 by advancing Allied troops, he was taken to Paris where
he studied at the Sorbonne and worked as a journalist.
In 1958, he published his first book, La Nuit, a memoir of his experiences in
the concentration camps. He has since authored nearly thirty1 books some of
which use these events as their basic material. In his many lectures, Wiesel has
concerned himself with the situation of the Jews and other groups who have
suffered persecution and death because of their religion, race or national
origin. He has been outspoken on the plight of Soviet Jewry, on Ethiopian Jewry
and on behalf of the State of Israel today2.
Wiesel has made his home in New York City, and is now a United States citizen.
He has been a visiting scholar at Yale University, a Distinguished Professor of
Judaic Studies at the City College of New York, and since 1976 has been Andrew
W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University where he teaches "Literature
of Memory." Chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council from 1980 -
1986, Wiesel serves on numerous boards of trustees and advisors.