Writer, Professor, Political Activist, Holocaust Survivor, and Nobel Laureate. He authored 57 books, mostly written in French and English, including Night, a work based on his experiences as a prisoner in the concentration camps of Auschwitz, Buna, and Buchenwald. Wiesel was also the Andrew Mellon Professor of the Humanities at Boston University, in Boston, Massachusetts. He was born to Jewish parents Sarah Feig and Shlomo Wiesel in Sighetu (Marmației), located in the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvanian Romania. Wiesel has said his father represented reason, encouraging literature, while his mother Sarah promoted faith, encouraging Torah study. At age 15, his entire town was placed in ghettos; the family was subsequently deported to the concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau where his inmate number, "A-7713", was tattooed onto his left arm. He and a sister managed to endure the appalling inhumanity of the work camps, though his parents and younger sister perished before their camp liberation in April, 1945. Following World War II, he worked as a choirmaster and Hebrew teacher before becoming a professional journalist. He also learned French, which became the language he used most frequently in his writings. For a decade after the war, Wiesel refused to discuss or write about his experiences during the Holocaust. Before immigrating to the U.S. in 1956, he met French author François Mauriac, the 1952 Nobel Laureate in Literature who eventually became Wiesel's close friend. Mauriac persuaded him to write about his experiences, and the 900-page memoir And the World Remained Silent was published in Yiddish. Wiesel rewrote and published a shortened version in French, as the 127-page manuscript La Nuit, later translated into English as Night. Today, it has been translated into 30 languages. When Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, the Norwegian Nobel Committee called him a "messenger to mankind," 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 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. Other lifetime honors he received were the French Legion of Honor, U.S. Congressional Gold Medal, Medal of Liberty, Presidential Medal of Freedom, and 21 honorary Doctorate degrees. But Wiesel said his greatest role in life was as a witness, and he found great comfort among those like himself who witnessed the Holocaust. He said he worried who would be its last witness, who would have that burden. "But to listen to a witness is to become a witness and that consoles us," he said. And it consoled him, he said, to know that many have listened and there are many more generations of witnesses, ready to stand guard against tyranny and hate — long after he is gone. His message is one of peace, atonement and human dignity.
Bio by: RAy&Jay