Elie Wiesel

Born in Sighet, Romania, Elie Wiesel was the son of a grocer. In 1944 he and his family were deported, along with other Jews, to the Nazi death camps. His father died in Buchenwald and his mother and his younger sisters at Auschwitz. (Wiesel did not learn until after the war that his older sisters had also survived.) Upon liberation from the camps, Wiesel boarded a train for Western Europe with other orphans. The train arrived in France, where he chose to remain. He settled first in Normandy and later in Paris, where he completed his education at the Sorbonne (from 1948 to 1951). To support himself, he did whatever he could, including tutoring, directing a choir, and translating. Eventually he began working as a reporter for various French and Jewish publications. Emotionally unable at first to write about his experience of the Holocaust, in the mid-1950s the novelist Francois Mauriac urged him to speak out and tell the world of his experiences. The result was La Nuit (1958), later Read More chevron_right