Elie Wiesel was a Romanian-born American Jewish writer, professor of the humanities at Boston University (which created the Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies in his honor), political activist, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor.
At age 15 Elie Wiesel with his family, along with the rest of the town’s Jewish population, were placed in one of the two confinement ghettos set up in Máramarossziget.
Immediately after they were sent to Auschwitz, Elie Wiesel mother and younger sister were murdered.
Elie Wiesel and his father were selected to perform labor so long as they remained able-bodied, after which they were to be killed in the gas chambers.
Elie Wiesel and his father were later deported to the concentration camp at Buchenwald.
My primary motivation for trying to survive Auschwitz was knowing that my father was still alive, I knew that if I died, he would die.
After we were taken to Buchenwald, my father died before the camp was liberated.
I recall the shame I felt when I heard that my father was being beaten and I was unable to help.
A ‘messenger to mankind,’ stating that through his struggle he had come to terms with ‘his own personal experience of total humiliation and of the utter contempt for humanity shown in the death camps’, as well as his ‘practical work in the cause of peace’, he had delivered a message ‘of peace, atonement and Human dignity’ to humanity.