Eliezer “Elie” Wiesel KBE was a Romanian-born American Jewish writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor. He was the author of 57 books, written mostly in French and English, including Night, a work based on his experiences as a prisoner in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps. He had been described as “the most important Jew in America” by the Los Angeles Times. Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.
We Must Take Sides. Neutrality Helps The Oppressor, Never The Victim. Silence Encourages The Tormentor, Never The Tormented.
When A Person Doesn't Have Gratitude, Something Is Missing In His Or Her Humanity. A Person Can Almost Be Defined By His Or Her Attitude Toward Gratitude.
Most People Think That Shadows Follow, Precede Or Surround Beings Or Objects. The Truth Is That They Also Surround Words, Ideas, Desires, Deeds, Impulses And Memories.
Once You Bring Life Into The World, You Must Protect It. We Must Protect It By Changing The World.
That I Survived The Holocaust And Went On To Love Beautiful Girls, To Talk, To Write, To Have Toast And Tea And Live My Life - That Is What Is Abnormal.
When A Person Doesn't Have Gratitude, Something Is Missing In His Or Her Humanity.
Because I Remember, I Despair. Because I Remember, I Have The Duty To Reject Despair.
I Remember, May 1944: I Was 15-and-a-half, And I Was Thrown Into A Haunted Universe Where The Story Of The Human Adventure Seemed To Swing Irrevocably Between Horror And Malediction.
In My Tradition, One Must Wait Until One Has Learned A Lot Of Bible And Talmud And The Prophets To Handle Mysticism. This Isn't Instant Coffee. There Is No Instant Mysticism.
For Me, Every Hour Is Grace. And I Feel Gratitude In My Heart Each Time I Can Meet Someone And Look At His Or Her Smile.
Some Stories Are True That Never Happened.
Without Memory, There Is No Culture. Without Memory, There Would Be No Civilization, No Society, No Future.
Not To Transmit An Experience Is To Betray It.
A Destruction, An Annihilation That Only Man Can Provoke, Only Man Can Prevent.
There Are Victories Of The Soul And Spirit. Sometimes, Even If You Lose, You Win.
Because Of Indifference, One Dies Before One Actually Dies.
Friendship Marks A Life Even More Deeply Than Love. Love Risks Degenerating Into Obsession, Friendship Is Never Anything But Sharing.
No Human Race Is Superior; No Religious Faith Is Inferior. All Collective Judgments Are Wrong. Only Racists Make Them.
I Will Say, With Memoir, You Must Be Honest. You Must Be Truthful.
I've Given My Life To The Principle And The Ideal Of Memory, And Remembrance.
I Would Like To See Real Peace And A State Of Israel Living Peacefully Alongside A State Of Palestine.
Indifference, To Me, Is The Epitome Of Evil.
Words Can Sometimes, In Moments Of Grace, Attain The Quality Of Deeds.
There May Be Times When We Are Powerless To Prevent Injustice, But There Must Never Be A Time When We Fail To Protest.
Our Obligation Is To Give Meaning To Life And In Doing So To Overcome The Passive, Indifferent Life.
What Does Mysticism Really Mean? It Means The Way To Attain Knowledge. It's Close To Philosophy, Except In Philosophy You Go Horizontally While In Mysticism You Go Vertically.
For Me, Every Hour Is Grace.
Look, If I Were Alone In The World, I Would Have The Right To Choose Despair, Solitude And Self-fulfillment. But I Am Not Alone.
Someone Who Hates One Group Will End Up Hating Everyone - And, Ultimately, Hating Himself Or Herself.
In Any Society, Fanatics Who Hate Don't Hate Only Me - They Hate You, Too. They Hate Everybody.
I Write To Understand As Much As To Be Understood.
That Is My Major Preoccupation, Memory, The Kingdom Of Memory. I Want To Protect And Enrich That Kingdom, Glorify That Kingdom And Serve It.
In The Concentration Camps, We Discovered This Whole Universe Where Everyone Had His Place. The Killer Came To Kill, And The Victims Came To Die.
Wherever Men And Women Are Persecuted Because Of Their Race, Religion, Or Political Views, That Place Must - At That Moment - Become The Center Of The Universe.
Human Beings Should Be Held Accountable. Leave God Alone. He Has Enough Problems.
I'm A Teacher And A Writer; My Life Is Words. When I See The Denigration Of Language, It Hurts Me, And It's Easy To Denigrate A Word By Trivializing It.
I Have To Be Self-conscious Of What I'm Trying To Do With My Life.
We Have To Go Into The Despair And Go Beyond It, By Working And Doing For Somebody Else, By Using It For Something Else.
I'll Tell You What: I Believe Mysticism Is A Very Serious Endeavor. One Must Be Equipped For It.
I Wanted To Write A Commentary On The Bible, To Write About The Talmud, About Celebration, About The Great Eternal Subjects: Love And Happiness.
You Would Be Amazed At The Number Of Doors A Nobel Prize Opens.
The Bible Is Not Only Laws, It's Also Stories. It Begins, 'In The Beginning God Created Heaven.' If I Had Written These Words, I Wouldn't Have Written Anything Else; It's Just Enough.
Just As Despair Can Come To One Only From Other Human Beings, Hope, Too, Can Be Given To One Only By Other Human Beings.
The Opposite Of Love Is Not Hate, It's Indifference.
Now, When I Hear That Christians Are Getting Together In Order To Defend The People Of Israel, Of Course It Brings Joy To My Heart. And It Simply Says, Look, People Have Learned From History.
I Was Very, Very Religious. And Of Course I Wrote About It In 'Night.' I Questioned God's Silence. So I Questioned. I Don't Have An Answer For That. Does It Mean That I Stopped Having Faith? No. I Have Faith, But I Question It.
When I Was Young I Lost Everything.
Sometimes I Am Asked If I Know 'The Response To Auschwitz; I Answer That Not Only Do I Not Know It, But That I Don't Even Know If A Tragedy Of This Magnitude Has A Response.
When My Father Was Born, It Was Part Of The Austro-hungarian Empire. When I Was Born, It Was Lithuania. When I Left, It Was Hungary. It Is Difficult To Say Where I Come From.
Language Failed Me Very Often, But Then, The Substitute For Me Was Silence, But Not Violence.