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Elie Wiesel

(b. 1928) Romanian-born American human rights campaigner, novelist, and academic

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(1928– )

Romanian-born US chronicler of the Holocaust, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.

Born at Sighet in Romania, Wiesel managed to survive both Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps. Having moved to Paris in 1945, he studied at the Sorbonne, before emigrating to the USA in 1956, and became a naturalized American citizen in 1963. Since 1976 he has been a professor at the University of Boston. Celebrated as a Jewish religious scholar, Wiesel is the author of over forty books, including ten novels, two plays, and two cantatas.

His testimonies to the unspeakable horrors of the Holocaust include Night (1960), The Jews of Silence (1966), and From the Kingdom of Memory (1990) as well as two volumes of memoirs. Wiesel's writings, charitable work, and lifelong campaign against racism have been recognized by the award of the Congressional Gold Medal and his appointment as Grand Officier de la Légion d'honneur. He has also received over eighty honorary degrees throughout the world as well as honours and prizes from governments, universities, and learned societies in Israel, Italy, Belgium, Brazil, and Norway. The 1986 Nobel Peace Prize was a fitting tribute to a human-rights activist who has devoted his life since the end of the war to recording the crimes committed by the Germans during the Holocaust.

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