Elie Wiesel

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Wiesel, Elie,

1928–2016, American writer, writing in French, b. Sighet, Romania. In 1944 the Nazis imprisoned him and his family at Auschwitz, an extermination camp, where his mother and sister were killed, and then at Buchenwald, a concentration campconcentration camp,
a detention site outside the normal prison system created for military or political purposes to confine, terrorize, and, in some cases, kill civilians.
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, where his father died; he alone survived. After the war, he studied at the Sorbonne. In the 1950s he was a correspondent for Israeli, American, and French newspapers. After living in France and Israel, he settled in the United States in 1956 and became a citizen in 1963.

Wiesel's dozens of novels, plays, retellings of biblical stories, and collections of Hasidic tales have focused on the importance of keeping the memory of the HolocaustHolocaust
, name given to the period of persecution and extermination of European Jews by Nazi Germany. Romani (Gypsies), homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, the disabled, and others were also victims of the Holocaust.
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 alive. The autobiographical novel Night (1958) recounts the horrors he witnessed as a death camp inmate; it and two subsequent novels about concentration camp survivors, Dawn (1960) and The Accident (1961), comprise the Night Trilogy. Later works include A Jew Today (1978), The Fifth Son (1985), and The Judges (2002). For his efforts on behalf of oppressed peoples, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.

Bibliography

See his memoirs All Rivers Run to the Sea (1995) and And the Sea Is Never Full (1999); his Memoir in Two Voices (with F. Mitterrand, 1996); studies by R. M. Brown (1984) and M. Berenbaum (1987).

Wiesel, (Eliezer) Elie

(1928–  ) writer; born in Sighet, Romania. When he was 16, the Jews of his town were taken to Nazi concentration camps. The rest of his family died at Auschwitz and Buchenwald, but he managed to survive. After the war he studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and worked for Israeli, American, and French newspapers. He settled in the U.S.A. in 1956. He taught at City College of New York and became professor of humanities at Boston University (1976). His life was devoted to writing and speaking about the Holocaust, with the aim of making sure that it is never forgotten; he was one of the principal forces behind establishing the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. His first novel, Night (1956), was first published in Yiddish, and is based on his experiences in the death camps. Other novels include Dawn (1961) and Jews of Silence (1967). He also wrote plays, retellings of biblical stories, and Hasidic tales. In 1986 he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work as a "messenger to mankind."