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Elie Wiesel, co-founder of Aurora Prize, has died

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Elie Wiesel, co-founder of Aurora Prize, has died

Post by party animal - not! on Sat Jul 02 2016, 22:27

Aged 87, survivor of Auschwitz, author and humanitarian , Elie Weisel , died today

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Re: Elie Wiesel, co-founder of Aurora Prize, has died

Post by melbert on Sat Jul 02 2016, 22:28

So sad.
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[size=48]Elie Wiesel dies at 87; Nobel Peace Prize laureate and renowned Holocaust survivor [/size]

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Elie Wiesel
Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Elie Wiesel, seen April 17, 2013, at the Holocaust Memorial Library at Chapman University, died Saturday. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Mary Rourke and Valerie J. Nelson

Elie Wiesel, the Nazi concentration camp survivor, Nobel Peace Prize winner and author whose seminal work “Night” is regarded as one of the most powerful achievements in Holocaust literature, has died, Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial said. He was 87.
Based on his experiences and those of other Holocaust survivors, Wiesel wrote dozens of semi-autobiographical books, memoirs and plays. His message “of peace, atonement and human dignity” earned him the Nobel in 1986.

For a decade, he had remained silent about the horrors he witnessed after being transported by train to Auschwitz with his parents and three sisters when he was 15.
After a year, he was liberated at the end of World War II with other prisoners from the German camp Buchenwald — and soon learned that his mother and younger sister had been murdered in the gas chambers. He already had seen his captive father die a brutal death.




First penned in Yiddish, the harrowing yet unsentimental account based on Wiesel’s year in the death camps was published in French in 1958 and eventually printed in more than 30 languages.
“Elie Wiesel opened the eyes of the world to the Holocaust with his penetrating books,” Rabbi Marvin Hier, who founded the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, told The Times in 2004. “The memories were so terrible and frightful that at first, few survivors spoke about the events.
“The book illuminated the hidden darkness of Auschwitz,” Hier said. “It opened the floodgates of personal testimonies by other survivors.”
The first version of “Night” — originally called “And the World Remained Silent” — ran 800 pages, but it had been drastically shortened by the time it debuted in the U.S. in 1960 to positive reviews and lukewarm sales.


Elie Wiesel opened the eyes of the world to the Holocaust with his penetrating books.— Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center


The Nation called it “the single most powerful literary relic of the Holocaust,” while the New York Times said it was “a slim volume of terrifying power.” It also was recognized as one of the first books to raise a haunting question for people of faith: Where was God at Auschwitz?
Wiesel later theorized that the public wasn’t ready for such a graphic account of the Holocaust. “The Diary of Anne Frank” had sold well when it was published in the U.S. in 1952, but the diary of the Jewish teenager’s life in hiding from the Nazis did not extend to the concentration camp where she died.
When Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann went on trial in 1961, it brought the Holocaust renewed attention in mainstream America and heightened the visibility of Wiesel and other survivors who were writing their stories. Wiesel’s books were largely well-reviewed, but over time, some critics questioned his role as a self-appointed witness to history.

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Elie Wiesel's own words: A testament to survival
Los Angeles Times Staff

Here are excerpts from the words of Elie Wiesel, who last week was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Considered the literary conscience of the Holocaust, Wiesel, 58, a professor of humanities at Boston College, dedicated his prize to all those who survived the Nazi horrors. He called them "an example...

Here are excerpts from the words of Elie Wiesel, who last week was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Considered the literary conscience of the Holocaust, Wiesel, 58, a professor of humanities at Boston College, dedicated his prize to all those who survived the Nazi horrors. He called them "an example... (Los Angeles Times Staff)


In 1985, Wiesel received one of the highest U.S. civilian honors, the Congressional Gold Medal. The controversy caused by his acceptance speech inadvertently brought greater attention to “Night,” he later said. The speech urged President Reagan to forgo a trip to West Germany that included Bitburg Military Cemetery, where many Nazi SS soldiers who deported Jews and ran concentration camps are buried.
“That place is not your place, Mr. President,” Wiesel said. “Your place is with the victims of the SS. The issue here is not politics, but good and evil. And we must never confuse them.” Reagan went to Bitburg but added a stop at a concentration camp.
By the 1990s, “Night” was a standard high school and college text, selling an estimated 400,000 copies a year. When Oprah Winfrey selected an updated version of the book for her television book club in 2006, it became a bestseller but reignited a debate over whether it was a novelized memoir. Wiesel maintained that it was a true account.
Using his personal story as both a testimonial and departure point for his writing, he earned a reputation as the leading spiritual archivist of the Nazi persecution of the Jews.
He never put to rest a question that had haunted him since the war: Why did those who knew about the Nazis’ effort to exterminate the Jews not do more to prevent it? “The free world, including Jewish leaders in America and Palestine, had known since 1942, but we knew nothing,” he wrote in his 1995 memoir, “All Rivers Run to the Sea.” “Why didn't they warn us?”

Wiesel has taken the Jew as his metaphor — and as his reality — in order to unite a moral and aesthetic vision in terms of all men.— The Washington Post, 1968


Small in stature with a melancholy nature, he explored the themes of guilt, psychic trauma, endurance and the necessity to remain hopeful about the future despite the worst injustices. Questions about justice, human dignity and ethnic hatred that Wiesel repeatedly returned to soon were recognized as issues common to every race, ethnicity and culture.
“Wiesel has taken the Jew as his metaphor — and as his reality — in order to unite a moral and aesthetic vision in terms of all men,” the Washington Post said in 1968.
When Wiesel received the Nobel Peace Prize, the committee called him “a messenger to mankind” who had come to speak for “all oppressed people and races,” emerging as a spiritual leader and guide “in an age when violence, repression and racism continue to characterize the world.”
On a humanitarian trip to a Cambodian refugee camp in 1980, Wiesel explained his empathy for the oppressed: “I came here because nobody came when I was there. One thing that is worse for the victim than hunger, fear, torture, even humiliation, is the feeling of abandonment, that nobody cares, the feeling that you don’t count.”





The Norwegian Nobel Committee praised the naturalized American author as a spiritual leader in an age of violence and...
 Elie Wiesel, who survived the Nazi Holocaust to become the voice of its victims and a champion of dignity for all people, was named winner of the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize today.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee praised the naturalized American author as a spiritual leader in an age of violence and...
(Associated Press)

Eliezer Wiesel was born Sept. 30, 1928, in Sighet in what is now Romania, a remote farming community where his father, Shlomo Wiesel, was a grocer. Many relatives of his mother, Sarah, were rabbis, and he was raised an Orthodox Jew in the Hasidic tradition.
He had planned a career writing about religion and “the great eternal subjects: love and happiness.” Instead, near the beginning of “Night,” he describes the cattle car packed with Jews that took his family to Auschwitz:
“On the third night, while we slept, some of us sitting one against the other and some standing, a piercing cry split the silence: ‘Fire! I can see a fire!’ ... There was a moment’s panic. Who was it who had cried out? It was Madame Schachter….
“She continued to scream, breathless, her voice broken by sobs. ‘Jews, listen to me! I can see a fire! There are huge flames! It's a furnace!’…
“Our terror was about to burst the sides of the train. ... It was as though madness were taking possession of us all. ... Some of the young men forced her to sit down, tied her up, and put a gag in her mouth.”
Within hours of arriving in Poland at Auschwitz, Wiesel and his father were transferred to Buna in Germany, where they spent most of their imprisonment. “Logically, I shouldn’t have survived,” Wiesel wrote in his 1995 memoir. “Sickly, timid, fearful, and lacking all resourcefulness, I never did anything to stay alive.”

In January 1945, Wiesel and his father were forced to undergo a 10-day “death march” with other prisoners from Buna to Buchenwald in Germany. Upon arriving, his father died of dysentery, starvation and exhaustion.

Our terror was about to burst the sides of the train. ... It was as though madness were taking possession of us all.— Elie Wiesel in "Night"


Three months later, the Nazis fled the camp as Allied Forces were about to break through the gates. Among 400 children taken to a Normandy youth home, Wiesel soon was reunited with his two older sisters, Hilda and Batya.
“It was a miracle,” he told UPI in 1987. Hilda had seen his picture with a newspaper article about child survivors.
From 1948 to 1951, Wiesel studied literature and philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris. Fluent in French, he worked as a journalist in France for Yiddish and French publications, which led to an interview with novelist Francois Mauriac, who encouraged him to write about his experiences and helped him find a French publisher.
Wiesel turned to novel writing to explore the psychological turmoil of Holocaust survivors. In “Dawn” (1961), he wrote of a young death camp survivor who joins Palestine’s freedom fighters and is horrified when he realizes that he has become a killer. Wiesel had been a freedom fighter but never saw combat.
In “The Accident” (1961), a journalist and death-camp survivor struggles with the idea that he may have attempted suicide when he was struck by car. Wiesel said he had wondered these same thoughts after being seriously injured in 1956 by a New York City taxi.







Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, an American writer and human rights advocate, received the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize on Wednesday and said the honor belongs to all survivors of the Nazi death camps and their children.
Norwegian Nobel Committee Chairman Egil Aarvik gave Wiesel the gold medal and diploma...
Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, an American writer and human rights advocate, received the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize on Wednesday and said the honor belongs to all survivors of the Nazi death camps and their children.
Norwegian Nobel Committee Chairman Egil Aarvik gave Wiesel the gold medal and diploma...
(Associated Press)

A series of articles about the life of Jews in communist Russia soon followed. Collected into a 1966 book, “The Jews of Silence,” they established Wiesel as a leading voice against anti-Semitism.
At 40, Wiesel married Marion Erster Rose in 1969. A Vienna native, she was a survivor of death camps and had a daughter, Jennifer, from a previous marriage. The couple had one son, Shlomo Elisha, and two grandchildren.
His wife was also his translator, turning most of his books from their original French — the language in which he usually wrote — to English. They included 2012’s “Open Heart,” a reflection on his heart surgery and life in the face of death.
Wiesel joined the faculty of City University of New York in 1972 and taught Jewish studies. Four years later, he moved to the humanities department at Boston University, commuting from his home in Manhattan. He had been a U.S. citizen since 1963.
In 1978, President Carter appointed him to a commission that eventually created the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.
Elie Wiesel: Embracing memory and madness »
Wiesel realized his childhood goal to write about religion beginning in the 1970s and co-authored several books with religious and world leaders, including “A Journey of Faith” (1990) with New York Cardinal John O’Connor and “Memoir in Two Voices” (1996) with former French President Francois Mitterrand.
The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity — established with his Nobel Prize money — announced in 2008 that it had lost more than $15 million through investments with Wall Street financier Bernard L. Madoff, whose Ponzi scheme defrauded thousands of individuals and charities of billions.
Wiesel and his wife lost their life savings. “This was a personal tragedy where we discovered all of a sudden what we had done in 40 years — my books, my lectures, everything — was gone,” Wiesel said in a public discussion of the Madoff case. He called Madoff a “sociopath” and “scoundrel” but told the AP, with a wry grin: “I’ve seen worse.”
Rourke and Nelson are former Times staff writers.






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Re: Elie Wiesel, co-founder of Aurora Prize, has died

Post by it's me on Sat Jul 02 2016, 23:17

RIP Mr Wiesel

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Re: Elie Wiesel, co-founder of Aurora Prize, has died

Post by LizzyNY on Sat Jul 02 2016, 23:34

Melbert - Thanks for the post. Losing this man breaks my heart. He spoke from a place of understanding to, and for, every oppressed person on the planet. He could honestly say he understood because he had been there himself. There are too few men with his compassion, dignity and integrity in the world.

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Re: Elie Wiesel, co-founder of Aurora Prize, has died

Post by Donnamarie on Sun Jul 03 2016, 00:41

It is so sad. But I'm grateful for Eli Wiesel. He took an absolutely horrible event in his life and turned it into a cause to make sure that we never forget what happened .... the Holocaust. His stories will live on and his humanity. I hope others will be inspired by his strength, vision and his good heart.

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Re: Elie Wiesel, co-founder of Aurora Prize, has died

Post by LornaDoone on Sun Jul 03 2016, 02:55

RIP

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Re: Elie Wiesel, co-founder of Aurora Prize, has died

Post by melbert on Sun Jul 03 2016, 05:17

Nice words George.

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Elie Wiesel Remembered by Barack Obama, George Clooney and More

Media | By Linda Ge on July 2, 2016 @ 5:24 pm  

[url=http://twitter.com/share?text=Elie Wiesel Remembered by Barack Obama, George Clooney and][/url]


The Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate died Saturday at age of 87

Hollywood and the world’s leaders have come out to pay tribute to Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, who died Saturday at the age of 87.
“Elie Wiesel was a great moral voice of our time and a conscience for our world,” said President Barack Obama on Twitter. “He was also a dear friend. We will miss him deeply.”

The sentiments were echoed by other high-profile individuals from the world of politics, literature and entertainment.
Actor-director George Clooney offered his own testimonial in a statement: “Unless you’re 88 years old most of us have not lived in a world without Elie Wiesel. We had a champion who carried our pain, our guilt and our responsibility on his shoulders for generations. Now he’s gone. It’s hard to fathom. So I guess it’s up to us now. To fight for the disenfranchised. To speak truth to power and to never forget how cruel man can be to man. In memory of Elie it’s the least we can do. Rest in peace my friend. You brought us this far. We’ll take it from here.”




“Thank you Elie Wiesel,” said Tony-winning “Hamilton” composer-star Lin-Manuel Miranda. “The world is profoundly better because you were here.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday that Wiesel “gave expression to the victory of the human spirit over cruelty and evil, through his extraordinary personality and his fascinating books.”
The Romanian-born Wiesel wrote dozens of books, including the 1955 best-seller “Night” chronicling his experience as a teenage boy at Nazi concentration camps in Auschwitz and Buchenwald during World War II.
In both his written words and in charismatic speeches he delivered worldwide, Wiesel has acted as a moral conscience for decades about the scope and horror of the German efforts to eradicate Jews like himself, and became an outspoken voice on human rights.

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Re: Elie Wiesel, co-founder of Aurora Prize, has died

Post by it's me on Sun Jul 03 2016, 06:41

Sweeeet !!!

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Re: Elie Wiesel, co-founder of Aurora Prize, has died

Post by carolhathaway on Sun Jul 03 2016, 10:19

It's really sad that he passed away.
He was our conscience, George's right that most of us don't know a world without Elie Wiesel. A few weeks ago I read an article in our local newspaper about an Auschwitz survivor who visits one of our local schools regularly to talk to the pupils. He's 96, and I thought: "When he's gone, who's going to tell us about that?" We need people who remind us...

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Re: Elie Wiesel, co-founder of Aurora Prize, has died

Post by Jenn on Sun Jul 03 2016, 10:22

George Clooney's blog on the huffington post
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Re: Elie Wiesel, co-founder of Aurora Prize, has died

Post by Donnamarie on Sun Jul 03 2016, 15:19

A wonderful sentiment from George.

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Re: Elie Wiesel, co-founder of Aurora Prize, has died

Post by Way2Old4Dis on Sun Jul 03 2016, 19:49

The world is running out of true heroes and worthy icons.

When I was in my formative years, I looked to Nelson Mandela, Muhammed Ali, Mother Theresa, and Steve Biko. My granddaughter needed a sit-down session to learn about any of them. The best she can name as her heroes, in my book, are the Obamas. After that, her list goes to soccer stars who visit children's hospitals.

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Re: Elie Wiesel, co-founder of Aurora Prize, has died

Post by carolhathaway on Sun Jul 03 2016, 23:11

Way2,
you're right about ideals. When Nelson Mandela died, we told our kids - we had talked a lot about him and Biko in 2010, when the soccer World Championships took place in South Africa. I always admired them, also Gandhi and Martin Luther King. 

Don't these people exist anymore? They do - most of them for a very short time, and then they either destroy themselves (alcohol and drugs or with a behaviour which is just so horrible that we don't love them anymore), or we as the public and also the press destroy them. You need a lot of strength to survive as an ideal...

If you think about people like JFK - famous people with weaknesses and secrets the public didn't know about while they were alive. Do you think he could have done what he did IN THESE TIMES? Being watched 24/7? People posting pics and tweeds: "Hey, JFK is sitting just a few tables away from mine. And he's not with Jackie, but with Marilyn!" "I just saw ..., and she's really drunk! Look at the pic I just posted!"

I also think that many people were glorified after they'd finished their jobs - and I'm not talking about people like the ones we named. I'm also not sure about whistleblowers - are they heroes or traitors? Time will tell, but at the moment I'm not sure about that.


Last edited by carolhathaway on Sun Jul 03 2016, 23:13; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Spelling - f***ing tablet!)

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Re: Elie Wiesel, co-founder of Aurora Prize, has died

Post by LizzyNY on Mon Jul 04 2016, 01:54

Carolhathaway - People used to be allowed to have a private life even if they worked in the public arena. We looked at things with, perhaps, more maturity, realising that everyone has flaws and if their public work wasn't affected then it probably wasn't any of our business. These were people whose accomplishments we respected and if their private lives weren't perfect, well, whose life was?

Those days are gone. We've raised a generation of entitled, thin-skinned moralizers who respect very little - often not themselves and certainly not the privacy of others. We handed them the tools to snoop where they will and pass judgment from the safety of their own anonymity. Anything is fair game. I don't know why anyone would willingly subject themselves to that.


I think whistle-blowers are a class apart. When it's a question of public safety such as a faulty product or pollution of some sort, then making things public is for the common good. When defense secrets are leaked - possibly putting lives in danger or creating international tensions - then I'm not so sure. It seems the motivation there might be more for attention and personal gratification.

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Re: Elie Wiesel, co-founder of Aurora Prize, has died

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