On Wednesday, Oct. 30, UR will play host to one of the most celebrated survivors of the holocaust, a man whom the Norwegian Nobel Committee referred to as “a convincing spokesman for the view of mankind and for the unlimited humanitarianism which are at all times necessary for a lasting and just peace.” Elie Wiesel, survivor of the German concentration camps, and winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize for Peace, will be speaking on “Reconciliation. Is it possible? Is it desirable?”
Born in 1928 in Sighet ? now in Romania ? Wiesel and his family were deported to the Buchenwald concentration camp. He and his older sisters survived and were liberated by advancing allied troops in 1945. Wiesel was taken to Paris where he studied at the Sorbonne while working as a journalist.
He wrote his first book, “Night,” in 1958 ? a memoir of his experiences during the Holocaust. He has since authored nearly 30 books, including “Dawn” and “Accident,” which form a trilogy with “Night” and “A Beggar in Jerusalem.” His latest book, “Elie Wiesel: Conversations,” co-authored by Robert Franciosi, will be released this December.
Outspoken on issues of Judaism and the state of Israel, he has concerned himself with the situation of various groups who have suffered persecution and death on the basis of religion, race or nationality.
Since 1976, Wiesel has held a Professorship at Boston University where he teaches “Literature of Memory.” He also served as Chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council from 1980 to 1986.
“It’s an honor to have him at UR,” senior Katherine Kaminski said. Kaminski is External Chairperson of the Outside Speakers Committee, the group co-sponsoring the event along with Hillel of Rochester Area Colleges. “It has been an ongoing project to bring [Wiesel] since last year.”
The talk starts at 8 p.m. in Strong Auditorium. Tickets are available at the Common Market and are free for UR undergraduates, $5 for other members of the UR community and $10 for the general public. There will be a question-and-answer session that will follow Mr. Wiesel’s speech.
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