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Profile of the Day: Elie Wiesel

Today we remember Holocaust survivor, human rights activist, and Nobel Peace-prize winner Elie Wiesel, who was born on this day in 1928.

Profile of the Day: Elie Wiesel

Image: Elie Wiesel / Library of Congress

Wiesel was born on September 30, 1928 in Sighet, Romania and grew up in a close-knit Jewish community. At the age of 15, Wiesel and his family were sent to Auschwitz, where his mother and sister were killed. He and his father were later sent to Buchenwald, where his father died a few months before the camp was liberated in 1945. Of his family, only Wiesel and his two older sisters survived the atrocities of the Holocaust.

Ten year after the end of World War II, Wiesel wrote a 900-page memoire about his experiences in the Nazi concentration camps. In 1960, the book was shortened and published as Night. The powerful book became an international best-seller and is now considered to be one of the most important works in Holocaust literature.

An activist for human rights, Wiesel devoted much of his life campaigning for victims of oppression. In 1986, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work speaking out against violence, racisms, and repression.

Wiesel died on July 2, 2016 at the age of 87.

View Elie Wiesel’s Geni Profile


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