“Elie Wiesel was one of the great moral voices of our time, and in many ways, the conscience of the world”. – Barack Obama
July 2 – The day that Elie Wiesel, World War two death camp survivor and Noble Piece Prize winner, passed away. Wiesel – the writer, activist, philosopher, speaker and professor fought for the human rights of the oppressed and was a life-long voice for over two million Holocaust victims.
Wiesel, age 15, together with his family were sent to a concentration camp. He was sent to a sub-camp of Auschwitz where he and his father were forced to work under inhumane conditions. Both his father, mother, and younger sister died in the concentration camp. Only him and his older sisters, Beatrice and Hilda survived. Wiesel later wrote about his experiences in his acclaimed best-selling memoir, Night:
“Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky. Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever. Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live long as God himself. Never.”
When he was asked how he survived the concentration camps, he responded by saying “To This day that is a mystery to me”
Despite his death, his message and what he stood for will never be forgotten, just like the tattoo given to him by the Nazis. The tattoo, A-7713, his identification number, remains on his wrist as a reminder of how cruel humans can be. And that such acts should never be repeated. He will forever be remembered.
In memory of Wiesel and to continue to spread his messages of love, dignity, equality and humanity and to serve as a reminder that the Holocaust and similar atrocities should never be repeated, here are a few quotes:
Photo credit: Alexander Voronzoe and others via Wikimedia Commons.
Photo Credit: U.S. Army soldier or employee via Wikimedia Commons.
Featured photo credit: David Shankbone via commons.wikimedia.org