Around 3:00 pm today, many media outlets were reporting that author Elie Wiesel had passed away at the age of 87 in New York City.
He was born on September 30, 1928 in Romania and was an American-Romanian Jewish writer, professor, and a Holocaust survivor. He is the author of 57 books including his famous Night, this was a book that chronicled his experiences in the concentration camps he was in due to the Nazis.
As it goes in his book, the camps he went to were Auschwitz, Bung, Gleinwitz, and Buchenwald. It is interesting with Buchenwald because he was sent to the cremation and was suppose to be killed, but ended up surviving due to the camp being liberated from the United States. He would end up staying in Europe for several years post World War 2 and would end up moving to Washington DC in 1955. Other things he did was he was a professor of humanities at Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.
As he went on to receive this award for speaking out against racism, repression, and violence he had remarks that went as follow, “stating 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 the death camps.” He would go on to become an significant author who continued to bring attention to the six million Jewish people who died at the hands of the Nazis.
I am writing about this because I also had a family member in the Holocaust. My grandfather was in the Holocaust and was towards the younger age group. One thing I felt everyone who was lucky enough to survive the camps was they had a ton of stubbornness and a ton of determination. I almost feel this was necessary to have because many of these individuals were facing death in the face.
Another thing I feel many of these holocaust survivors needed was the ability to try and not remember what they saw. I was reading Elie Wiesel’s story and one thing I remember from the stories I heard from my grandfather was that they saw family members getting killed right in front of them and I don’t care how strong you may think you are, if you see a family member get killed right in front of you it will do large amount of psychological damage to a person’s mindset.
As the years go on since the Holocaust happened, we are losing survivors very quickly and soon we will get to the point that there won’t be anyone around to tell future generations about what happened. So like I was fortunate to hear from someone who lived through it, if you ever get that opportunity to hear what happened, don’t take it lightly because it may never happen again. Unfortunately, there are many people who say the Holocaust never happened and deny it.
I am here to say it really did happen as I could have more family members, so it upsets me as a grandchild of a survivor that people still say in 2016 that the Holocaust is made up.