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Elie Wiesel Research Project Essay, Research Paper


Elie Wiesel was born in the town of Sighet in northern Transylvania on September 30, 1928. His real name was Eliezer Wiesel. His family spoke Yiddish at home; they read newspapers and conducted their grocery business in German. Elie had begun religious studies in classical Hebrew almost as soon as he could speak. Elie s life centered entirely on his religious studies. He loved the mystical tradition and folk tales of the Hassidic sect of Judaism, to which him and his family belonged. His father encouraged Elie to study the modern Hebrew language and to concentrate on his secular studies. The first years of World War II left Sighet untouched. Although the village changed hands from different countries, the Wiesel family believed they were safe from the persecutions suffered by the Jews in Germany and Poland.

The secure world of Wiesel s childhood ended abruptly with the arrival of the Nazis in Sighet in 1944. The Jewish people in the village were deported to concentration camps in Poland. The 15-year-old boy was separated from his mother and sisters immediately when they arrived in Auschwitz. He never saw them again no matter how hard he tried. He managed to remain with his father for the next year as they were worked almost to death, starved, beaten, and shuttled from camp to camp on foot, or in open cattle cars, in driving snow, without food, proper shoes, or clothing. In the last months of the war, Wiesel’s father succumbed to dysentery, starvation, exhaustion and exposure. After the war, the teenaged Wiesel found asylum in France, where he learned for the first time that his two older sisters had survived the war. Wiesel mastered the French language and studied philosophy at the Sorbonne, while supporting himself as a choirmaster and teacher of Hebrew. He became a professional journalist, writing for newspapers in both France and Israel.

Elie Wiesel was now into many troubles inside more than outside. His heart was hurting more than ever knowing that his father had died and mother and thinking the same for his sisters. He was truly scarred inside for life. A man with such pain could not live no more, but this man kept his life going on by keeping the good memories in heart and that was what had kept Elie going on with his life. Around 1945, Elie moved to Paris, where he studied literature, philosophy, and psychology at the Sorbonne. With a strong desire to write, Elie worked as a journalist in Paris before coming to the United States in 1956. He became an American citizen almost by accident. After coming to New York city on assignment, he was hit by a taxicab, and was put into a wheelchair for about a year or less. His good friend convinced Elie to apply for U.S. citizenship, and then Elie eventually decided to remain in America.

As many knew that Jewish people were high believers and mainly focused on religion. However, Elie Wiesel thought of God before, during, and after the Holocaust as both the protector and punisher of the Jews. Whatever had happened before he had faith that it was for their good, or one of God s greater plans. Either way Elie accepted God s will without questioning because he considered God as his master. Other people thought differently, such as the younger ones, they felt it would be better to die fighting than to go like lambs to the slaughter.

It was not easy for Elie to doubt in God, or he would not have held on to his faith with such tenacity. But sooner or later, the seeming meaninglessness of the suffering his people endured had to burst into the consciousness of his seemingly indomitable Jewish faith. Looking around Wiesel found that people were losing their faith in God because he would not let it go this far. God would have saved them by now. He was getting confused and many stories and words were running around in his mind. Elie Wiesel went on during the Holocaust keeping hope and faith no matter how hard it was and kept in mind that God one day will do him good. In a world of absurdity, we must invent reason, we must create beauty out of nothingless. And because there is murder in the world and we know how helpless our battle may appear, we have to fight murder and absurdity. Elie Wiesel

He made some very strong words with deep thoughts to get people to think about racism and how cruel each individual could be.

Near 1978, President Jimmy Carter appointed Elie Wiesel Chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. Then, in 1985, he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Freedom and, in 1986, the Noble Prize for Peace. The English translation of his memories appeared in 1995 as All Rivers Run to the Sea. Since 1976, he has been Andrew Mellon Professor of Humanities at Boston University. He makes his home in New York City with his wife and their son, Elisha.

Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my Faith forever. Never shall I forget that 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 as long as God Himself. Never.

-Elie Wiesel, Night.

After reading some important information on Elie Wiesel, I thank God today for giving me all he has. Elie has also influenced me to keep faith in God no matter what the situation because he was in a very bad situation and soon came out alive. God is not easy to figure out, and I don t think he ever will be. With all our knowledge, we cannot guess his reasons for doing anything, but live on and hope for the best. I believe the Holocaust showed God s power and a sign to the people of a call to God. God does not answer questions unless they suit His purposes. This is what we have learned from Elie Wiesel. Another thing Elie has taught me from this research is how his family and life during the Holocaust influenced him to become a writer and go on living his life. He started off with a lot. Then lost everything, but his struggle got him everything he needs and now he is living his life in style and teaching the world that we shall never again have another scene like the Holocaust.


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