Elie Wiesel is Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
Eliezer "Elie" Wiesel KBE (born September 30, 1928) is a writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor.
He is the author of 57 books, the best known of which is Night, a memoir that describes his experiences during the Holocaust and his imprisonment in several concentration camps. His diverse range of other writings offer powerful and poetic contributions to literature, theology, and his own articulation of Jewish spirituality today.
When Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, the Norwegian Nobel Committee called him a "messenger to mankind," noting that through his struggle to come to terms with "his own personal experience of total humiliation and of the utter contempt for humanity shown in Hitler's death camps," as well as his "practical work in the cause of peace," Wiesel had delivered a powerful message "of peace, atonement and human dignity" to humanity.
Today, fifty years later, the Peace Prize is to be presented to one who survived. In 1945, on the ashes left behind after the sacrificial flames which annihilated six million Jews, sat the seventeen-year-old Elie Wiesel, an only son of Abraham, an Isaac who once again had escaped a sacrificial death on Mount Moriah at the last moment. He will receive the Nobel Peace Prize today because he, too, has become a witness for truth and justice. From the abyss of the death camps he has come as a messenger to mankind - not with a message of hate and revenge, but with one of brotherhood and atonement. He has become a powerful spokesman for the view of mankind and the unlimited humanity which is, at all times, the basis of a lasting peace. Elie Wiesel is not only the man who survived - he is also the spirit which has conquered. In him we see a man who has climbed from utter humiliation to become one of our most important spiritual leaders and guides.