Elie Wiesel

(Eliezer Wiesel)

Elie Wiesel
Elie Wiesel
  • Born: September 30, 1928
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Novelist









Quote Topics Cited
Hate-racial, tribal, religious, ancestral, national, social, ethical, political, economic, ideological-in itself represents the inexorable defeat of mankind, its absolute defeat. If there is an area in which mankind cannot claim the slightest progress, this surely is it. It does not take much for human beings, collectively or individually, to suddenly one day pit themselves like wild beasts one against the other, their worst instincts laid bare, in a state of deleterious exaltation. One decision, one simple word, and a family or a community will drown in blood or perish in flames. Why is there so much violence, so much hate? How is it conceived, transmitted, fertilized, nurtured? As we face the disquieting, implacable rise of intolerance and fanaticism on more than one continent, it is our duty to expose the danger. By naming it. By confronting it. Human Nature
I don’t understand you. China is a large empire—the largest nation in the world—and Tibet is so small. Why should you care what is happening there? It’s irrational. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
You who are so-called “illegal aliens” must know that no human being is illegal. Immigration & Emigration
A destruction, an annihilation that only man can provoke, only man can prevent.
After all, God is God because he remembers. Religion & God
Because I remember, I despair. Because I remember, I have the duty to reject despair. Moving On
Because of indifference, one dies before one actually dies. Death
For in my tradition, as a Jew, I believe that whatever we receive we must share.
For me, every hour is grace.
For me, every hour is grace. And I feel gratitude in my heart each time I can meet someone and look at his or her smile. Time
Friendship marks a life even more deeply than love. Love risks degenerating into obsession, friendship is never anything but sharing. Life ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Friendship
Historically, I come from Jewish history. I had the classic upbringing in the Yeshiva, learning, learning, and more learning. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;History
Hope is like peace. It is not a gift from God. It is a gift only we can give one another. Hope ;Religion & God ;War & Peace
Human beings should be held accountable. Leave God alone. He has enough problems. Religion & God
I believe in superstitions. You don't talk about a child who hasn't been born.
I decided to devote my life to telling the story because I felt that having survived I owe something to the dead. and anyone who does not remember betrays them again. Life ;Death
I do not belong to this world. I continue to write everything in longhand. If I have to see something on the Internet, I ask my secretary or students. I am lucky, because I have people who do it for me.
I do not recall a Jewish home without a book on the table.
I don't know much about politics, and I don't want to know. That's why I rarely involve myself in politics. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I don't like docudramas. Documentaries should not go together with fiction, or half-fiction or quarter-fiction. The two should not go together. They cannot mix.
I have not lost faith in God. I have moments of anger and protest. Sometimes I've been closer to him for that reason. Religion & God
I have to be self-conscious of what I'm trying to do with my life. Life
I love teaching. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I marvel at the resilience of the Jewish people. Their best characteristic is their desire to remember. No other people has such an obsession with memory.
I never felt any attraction towards violence. I never tried to express myself through violence. Violence is a language.
I never teach the same course twice.
I remember, May 1944: I was 15-and-a-half, and I was thrown into a haunted universe where the story of the human adventure seemed to swing irrevocably between horror and malediction.
I wanted to write a commentary on the Bible, to write about the Talmud, about celebration, about the great eternal subjects: love and happiness. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Happiness & Unhappiness
I was very, very religious. And of course I wrote about it in 'Night.' I questioned God's silence. So I questioned. I don't have an answer for that. Does it mean that I stopped having faith? No. I have faith, but I question it. Religion & God
I will say, with memoir, you must be honest. You must be truthful.
I would like to see real peace and a state of Israel living peacefully alongside a state of Palestine. War & Peace
I write to understand as much as to be understood.
If I were immersed in constant melancholy, I would not be who I am.
If I were in the government, I would persuade the prime minister to see the beauty in the fact that people see Israel as a haven - from their sadness to their hope. Hope ;Government
I'll tell you what: I believe mysticism is a very serious endeavor. One must be equipped for it.
I'm a teacher and a writer; my life is words. When I see the denigration of language, it hurts me, and it's easy to denigrate a word by trivializing it. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Life
In any society, fanatics who hate don't hate only me - they hate you, too. They hate everybody. Society
In Jewish history there are no coincidences. History
In my tradition, one must wait until one has learned a lot of Bible and Talmud and the Prophets to handle mysticism. This isn't instant coffee. There is no instant mysticism.
In the concentration camps, we discovered this whole universe where everyone had his place. The killer came to kill, and the victims came to die.
Indifference, to me, is the epitome of evil.
It all happened so fast. The ghetto. The deportation. The sealed cattle car. The fiery altar upon which the history of our people and the future of mankind were meant to be sacrificed. Future ;History
It used to be said that when the Baal Shem Tov came into a town, his impact was so strong, he didn't have to speak. His disciples had to dance or to sing or to preach to have the same effect. I think a real messenger, myself or anyone, by the very fact that he is there as a person, as a symbol, could have the same impact.
It's clear to me that one can't be Jewish without Israel. Religious or non-religious, Zionist or non-Zionist, Ashkenazi or Sephardic - all these will not exist without Israel.
I've given my life to the principle and the ideal of memory, and remembrance. Life
Just as despair can come to one only from other human beings, hope, too, can be given to one only by other human beings. Hope
Language failed me very often, but then, the substitute for me was silence, but not violence.
Look, if I were alone in the world, I would have the right to choose despair, solitude and self-fulfillment. But I am not alone.
Man, as long as he lives, is immortal. One minute before his death he shall be immortal. But one minute later, God wins. Religion & God ;Death
Mankind must remember that peace is not God's gift to his creatures; peace is our gift to each other. Religion & God ;War & Peace
Moses was the greatest legislator and the commander in chief of perhaps the first liberation army.
Most people think that shadows follow, precede or surround beings or objects. The truth is that they also surround words, ideas, desires, deeds, impulses and memories. Truth
My greatest disappointment is that I believe that those of us who went through the war and tried to write about it, about their experience, became messengers. We have given the message, and nothing changed. War & Peace
No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them. Religion & God
No one may speak for the dead, no one may interpret their mutilated dreams and visions.
Not to transmit an experience is to betray it.
Now, when I hear that Christians are getting together in order to defend the people of Israel, of course it brings joy to my heart. And it simply says, look, people have learned from history. History
Once you bring life into the world, you must protect it. We must protect it by changing the world. Life
One always goes back to one's childhood in the beginning, and I come from a very religious family and surrounding. Very religious. Families, Children & Parenting
Our obligation is to give meaning to life and in doing so to overcome the passive, indifferent life. Life
Peace is our gift to each other. War & Peace
Religion is a very personal thing for me. Religion has its good moments and its poor moments. Religion & God
Religion is not man's relationship to God, it is man's relationship to man. Religion & God
Some stories are true that never happened.
Someone who hates one group will end up hating everyone - and, ultimately, hating himself or herself.
Sometimes I am asked if I know 'the response to Auschwitz; I answer that not only do I not know it, but that I don't even know if a tragedy of this magnitude has a response.
That I survived the Holocaust and went on to love beautiful girls, to talk, to write, to have toast and tea and live my life - that is what is abnormal. Life ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
That is my major preoccupation, memory, the kingdom of memory. I want to protect and enrich that kingdom, glorify that kingdom and serve it.
The Bible is not only laws, it's also stories.
The Bible is not only laws, it's also stories. It begins, 'In the beginning God created Heaven.' If I had written these words, I wouldn't have written anything else; it's just enough. Religion & God
The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
There are victories of the soul and spirit. Sometimes, even if you lose, you win.
There is a difference between a book of two hundred pages from the very beginning, and a book of two hundred pages which is the result of an original eight hundred pages. The six hundred are there. Only you don't see them.
There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. Time
We have to go into the despair and go beyond it, by working and doing for somebody else, by using it for something else.
We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
What does mysticism really mean? It means the way to attain knowledge. It's close to philosophy, except in philosophy you go horizontally while in mysticism you go vertically. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
When a person doesn't have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity.
When a person doesn't have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude.
When did I learn the Bible? When I was four or five years old. It's still the pull of my childhood, a fascination with the vanished world, and I can find everything except that world.
When I was young I lost everything.
When language fails, violence becomes a language; I never had that feeling.
When my father was born, it was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. When I was born, it was Lithuania. When I left, it was Hungary. It is difficult to say where I come from.
Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must - at that moment - become the center of the universe. Women ;Religion & God
Without memory, there is no culture. Without memory, there would be no civilization, no society, no future. Society ;Future
Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds.
You would be amazed at the number of doors a Nobel Prize opens.