Elie Wiesel, born Sept 30, 1928 - died July 2, 2016
July 2, 2016 1:11 PM   Subscribe

Israel news website Haaretz.com reports on the death of Elie Wiesel Elie Wiesel, who survived the Holocaust and went on to become an influential author and Nobel Peace Prize winner, has died, Israel's Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem said on Saturday. Born in 1928, Wiesel wrote extensively of his imprisonment in Nazi camps and in 1986 won the Nobel Prize for peace.

"The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference.
And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference." ~Elie Wiesel

The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity

Elie Wiesel Nobel Peace Prize 1986

Oprah Winfrey and Elie Wiesel in Auschwitz

Night is one of the masterpieces of Holocaust literature. First published in 1958, it is the autobiographical account of an adolescent boy and his father in Auschwitz. Elie Wiesel writes of their battle for survival and of his battle with God for a way to understand the wanton cruelty he witnesses each day. In the short novel Dawn (1960), a young man who has survived World War II and settled in Palestine joins a Jewish underground movement and is commanded to execute a British officer who has been taken hostage. In Day (previously titled The Accident, 1961), Wiesel questions the limits of conscience: Can Holocaust survivors forge a new life despite their memories? Wiesel's trilogy offers insights on mankind's attraction to violence and on the temptation of self-destruction.
posted by pjsky (136 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
 
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posted by inconsequentialist at 1:11 PM on July 2, 2016


There are no words to express...
May he rest in peace.
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posted by BigHeartedGuy at 1:13 PM on July 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


He blessed all of humanity with his memories. May his memory be a blessing.

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posted by sallybrown at 1:15 PM on July 2, 2016 [8 favorites]


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posted by Thorzdad at 1:15 PM on July 2, 2016


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posted by get off of my cloud at 1:18 PM on July 2, 2016


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He lived so that we could listen and learn.
posted by infini at 1:19 PM on July 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


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posted by dismas at 1:22 PM on July 2, 2016


New York Times Obit
posted by pjsky at 1:24 PM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think he played a tremendous role in keeping me in touch with my Jewish heritage, and I'm forever grateful for that.

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posted by obfuscation at 1:25 PM on July 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


A true mensch.

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posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:25 PM on July 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


“There is divine beauty in learning... To learn means to accept the postulate that life did not begin at my birth. Others have been here before me, and I walk in their footsteps. The books I have read were composed by generations of fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, teachers and disciples. I am the sum total of their experiences, their quests. And so are you.” - Elie Wiesel

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posted by fraula at 1:26 PM on July 2, 2016 [27 favorites]


It is painful -- although perhaps just the cyclical nature of life -- that we are losing this generation just as we seem to need them most. Wiesel said that those who had not been to Auschwitz would never know, but they could understand. For how much longer?
posted by sallybrown at 1:27 PM on July 2, 2016 [18 favorites]


Paragon.

My whole household cried. I never thought about sitting shiva for a stranger before.
posted by syncope at 1:27 PM on July 2, 2016 [19 favorites]


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posted by dr_dank at 1:31 PM on July 2, 2016


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posted by cazoo at 1:34 PM on July 2, 2016


transcript of his speech at the opening of the US Holocaust Memorial. I can't find it now, but it's worth seeking out the footage to watch Mr. Wiesel implore the then-new President Clinton to not turn a blind eye towards atrocities in Yugoslavia.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 1:34 PM on July 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


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posted by jeanmari at 1:35 PM on July 2, 2016


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A life truly well lived.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:38 PM on July 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


My 15 yr old son just read the book "Night" for his English class, parallel to the WW2 unit he was doing in his history class. Lead to lots of good conversation over dinner. Very sad indeed.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 1:40 PM on July 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


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posted by Fizz at 1:43 PM on July 2, 2016


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posted by dinty_moore at 1:43 PM on July 2, 2016


He was the very best of us.

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posted by Pardon Our Dust at 1:43 PM on July 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


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posted by Small Dollar at 1:45 PM on July 2, 2016


Barukh attah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha-olam, dayan ha-emet.
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posted by Halloween Jack at 1:48 PM on July 2, 2016 [22 favorites]


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posted by Cash4Lead at 1:49 PM on July 2, 2016


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posted by tommasz at 1:50 PM on July 2, 2016


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posted by peripathetic at 1:51 PM on July 2, 2016


The Oprah link above in the main post is very good.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 1:53 PM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


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posted by brevator at 2:06 PM on July 2, 2016


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posted by dialMforMara at 2:07 PM on July 2, 2016


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posted by languagehat at 2:10 PM on July 2, 2016


Let's all be a little less indifferent.

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posted by zachlipton at 2:10 PM on July 2, 2016 [10 favorites]


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posted by but no cigar at 2:20 PM on July 2, 2016


Probably the wisest person I've ever met, and one of the most compassionate. On top of that he was funnier than you'd expect, and on top of all that he somehow still had the patience to actually Socratically teach a bunch of college sophomores. What a great loss.

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posted by mstokes650 at 2:23 PM on July 2, 2016 [18 favorites]


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posted by homunculus at 2:25 PM on July 2, 2016


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He lost assets in the Madoff scheme; I hope he was able to recover them.
posted by brujita at 2:26 PM on July 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


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posted by JoeXIII007 at 2:27 PM on July 2, 2016


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An amazing life and an amazing man - let us give thanks for his life.
posted by mumimor at 2:27 PM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


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posted by jokeefe at 2:28 PM on July 2, 2016


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I find it staggering, each time a Holocaust survivor passes away, to think about the scope of their lives - the things they did, the families they made, the legacy they built, the good they did in the world. And then to imagine the capacity for creation and life and legacy that 11 million more men and women like Elie Wiesel had - how much more the world could have done if they hadn't been murdered.
posted by ChuraChura at 2:30 PM on July 2, 2016 [32 favorites]




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posted by gingerbeer at 2:32 PM on July 2, 2016


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posted by little onion at 2:33 PM on July 2, 2016


Another Titan has passed, and the world seems smaller. Maybe every generation feels this way, but I feel like we are losing great men and women in a torrent lately. He was a voice for millions who had their voices ripped away.

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posted by GenjiandProust at 2:35 PM on July 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


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posted by drezdn at 2:40 PM on July 2, 2016


So it goes. . .
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 2:43 PM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


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posted by tzikeh at 2:57 PM on July 2, 2016


RIP.
posted by jonmc at 2:57 PM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


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posted by Joey Michaels at 3:38 PM on July 2, 2016


I saw him speak at the U of MN when I was 18 or 19. Really influenced the way I look at the world and how I treat people. What an amazing person.

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posted by Bacon Bit at 3:47 PM on July 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


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posted by newdaddy at 4:07 PM on July 2, 2016


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posted by danabanana at 4:09 PM on July 2, 2016


When I die
If you need to weep
Cry for someone
Walking the street beside you.
You can love me most by letting
Hands touch hands, and Souls touch souls.
You can love me most by
Sharing your Simchas (goodness) and
Multiplying your Mitzvot (acts of kindness).
You can love me most by
Letting me live in your eyes
And not on your mind.
And when you say Kaddish for me
Remember what our
Torah teaches,
Love doesn’t die People do.
So when all that’s left of me is love
Give me away.

"When All That's Left Is Love" by Rabbi Allen S. Maller

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posted by 4ster at 4:14 PM on July 2, 2016 [23 favorites]


He was a true humanitarian, in that he gave of the Knowledge and greatly of himself. R.I.P.

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posted by Seekerofsplendor at 4:20 PM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


"Man, as long as he lives, is immortal. One minute before his death he shall be immortal. But one minute later, God wins. "


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posted by anastasiav at 4:48 PM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


May his memory be a blessing.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 5:04 PM on July 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


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I feel pretty sad about this. I was one of those high school students who barely read any of the assigned reading because I hated it all, but when we were assigned to read "Night", I read it all the first day I got my hands on it, because I couldn't put it down. It was the first time I really learned about WWII and the Holocaust. RIP.
posted by FireFountain at 5:08 PM on July 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


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posted by droplet at 5:18 PM on July 2, 2016


He was the best of us: proof that sometimes we can be as good as we ought to be.

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posted by wenestvedt at 5:28 PM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


He spoke at my middle school. I remember being blown away by both the tragedy of his experience and the generosity of his knowledge.

Rest in power.
posted by pxe2000 at 5:29 PM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


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posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 5:47 PM on July 2, 2016


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posted by Melismata at 5:59 PM on July 2, 2016


We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. ~ From Nobel Peace Prize Speech, December 10, 1986
posted by pjsky at 6:19 PM on July 2, 2016 [13 favorites]


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posted by tuesdayschild at 6:31 PM on July 2, 2016


Rest well, sir. And please, let us not forget.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:31 PM on July 2, 2016


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posted by kinnakeet at 6:46 PM on July 2, 2016


Being Jewish, I've heard about the Holocaust ever since I was a little kid. But reading Night in the early 80's is what made me really understand what it was, and what it means to be Jewish. I've been lucky enough to know several Survivors personally, and I'm always a little overwhelmed with emotions when I talk to them.
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posted by MexicanYenta at 7:14 PM on July 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Oh boy, this one hurts.

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posted by Rumple at 7:25 PM on July 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


We will never forget, Elie. RIP

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posted by dbiedny at 7:29 PM on July 2, 2016


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posted by killy willy at 7:39 PM on July 2, 2016


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If he were the only Great Man to die in 2016, it would still be a sad year. That he is one of many makes it so much sadder.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:08 PM on July 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


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posted by hollyholly at 8:22 PM on July 2, 2016


I had to read and study one of his books before I started University. Then he spoke during our orientation. I didn't have a clue who he was. Thankfully after four years at said University I do.

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posted by MarvinTheCat at 8:28 PM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


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posted by bryon at 12:07 AM on July 3, 2016


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It's been an emotional day for other reasons, but even after losing Bowie and so many others this year, I'm reading through the tributes and have tears streaming down my face that I can't quite explain.

This guy mattered. May we all be as impactful, if more fortunate.

Ouch.
posted by iffthen at 12:09 AM on July 3, 2016 [1 favorite]




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posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:30 AM on July 3, 2016


The Rwandans are mourning.
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posted by Faint of Butt at 5:06 AM on July 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


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I first heard of Wiesel when I read Night for a class in college. Until then the only parts of WWII I knew about were the heroic American victories. I lost a lot of sleep over that one.

For those interested, the 92nd Street Y channel on Youtube has over 70 lectures, interviews, and conversations with Wiesel.
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posted by Chichibio at 6:38 AM on July 4, 2016


I lost my faith after reading Night. I will never forget you, Mr. Wiesel.

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