Farewell Elie Wiesel
Elie Wiesel was born in Sighet, Transylvania, on September 30, 1928. The third of four children and the only son, Wiesel was educated in sacred Jewish texts. When he was 15, Wiesel was taken off with his family to the concentration camps at Birkenau and Auschwitz, where he remained until January 1945 when, along with thousands of other Jewish prisoners, he was moved to Buchenwald in a forced death march. Buchenwald was liberated on April 11, 1945, by the United States army, but neither Wiesel's parents nor his younger sister survived. After the war Wiesel went to France where he completed secondary school, studied at the Sorbonne, and began working as a journalist for an Israeli newspaper. In 1956 he moved to New York to cover the United Nations and became a U.S. citizen in 1963. He was the Andrew Mellon Professor of Humanities at Boston University in the mid-1980s.
Wiesel's writings bear witness to his year-long ordeal and to the Jewish tragedy. In 1956 Wiesel's first book, a Yiddish memoir titled And the World Was Silent, was published in Argentina. Two years later a much abbreviated version of the work was published in France as La Nuit. After the 1960 English language publication of Night, Wiesel wrote more than 40 books: novels, collections of short stories and essays, plays, and a cantata. His works established him as the most widely known and admired Holocaust writer. Wiesel received many honors including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.
(Source: Encyclopedia of World Biography, December 12, 1998).
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