“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.”
Those words were written by Elie Wiesel in what is perhaps the defining 20th century work on the horrors of the Holocaust, Night , published in 1958. Wiesel was imprisoned first in the Nazi death camps of Auschwitz and later in Buchenwald. He lost his mother, father and sister during that time. He immigrated to America and continued to speak about his experiences as a professor, lecturer and writer. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 and with his wife founded the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity to combat indifference, intolerance and injustice and to promote peace.
At the age of 78 Wiesel shows no signs of slowing down, and this Sunday he will deliver the commencement address for graduating students at Dartmouth College. He spoke with Mitch Wertlieb about his life’s work, the threats posed today by international terrorism, and why he waited more than a decade after the end of World War II to speak about his experiences during the Holocaust.