What does wiesel say about memory in his speech

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what does wiesel say about memory in his speech

From the Kingdom of Memory: Reminiscences by Elie Wiesel

As is the case with the authors writings in general, there are some very good parts and some more problematic parts to the authors writings. Yet even where the book is less immediately enjoyable, as in the authors efforts to politically influence President Reagan regarding the honoring of German war dead at Bitburg, the book is at least instructive. In this book, and in Wiesels body of work as a whole, one sees the massive influence of trauma and its aftermath in the writing of the survivor. The horrors suffered by the author and by other Jews serve as a black whole at the center of the authors writings. Some of those writings are about the black hole, a few of them seek to delicately probe into it without being overwhelmed, and many of them concern the orbit around that black hole and the destructive wreckage left behind by that black hole, and so is the case here. To be sure, the author writes about other aspects of faith and history and memory here, but all of them are informed by his experiences, and by his desire that memory, including the memory of so many Jewish dead, triumph over oblivion and destruction.

This book is a short one of about 250 pages and it is filled with smaller essays and other writings (including some chilling dialogues) that are centered around the authors own fragments of memory. In these pages, the author comments on why he writes, whether it is better to believe or not, what it feels like to be inside a library, the portrayal and language used of the stranger in the Bible, a celebration of friendship, and gives a biographical essay on Peretz Markish. After the first set of dialogues the author talks about his own travels to the concentration camps, his returns to his hometown, gives a moving portrayal of saying kaddish for the victims of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, tries to make the ghosts of memory speak, talks about Passover and gives the text for a speech on meeting again regarding the liberation of the concentration camps. A few of the essays that follow are more political in nature, like one on trivializing memory and an appeal for President Reagan to not go to Bitburg where some SS are buried, as well as the authors testimony at the Barbie trial. The author talks about memory bringing people together, gives some more dialogues, talks about freedom and our fear of peace, and then closes the book with his Nobel address and lecture.

In reading this book one gets a sense of the burden that the author feels as a Jew. For example, the author feels a strong solidarity with other victims as a result of his own personal experience, which was strongly connected to his own identity. He struggles to provide the dead with a fitting memory that serves to dignify them and counteract both the hatred and violence and the sheer indifference and apathy their lives and deaths have made in the world. Wiesel feels as if the horrors of the Holocaust should have been sufficient to permanently ennoble human behavior and put it on a more peaceful and less destructive bent, but this has clearly not happened, and the author finds himself affected by this futility, wondering about the purpose of all of this suffering either at the command or with the permission of a God that he simply cannot understand. Over and over again Wiesel finds himself obsessed with the question of memory and with the fact that life for the survivor is haunted with the ghosts of the past, and with the fact that so many of the places where that past was experienced have become museums or tourist attractions or are inhabited by people who have little interest in what has come before.
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Published 21.12.2018

Elie Wiesel: A Legacy In Quotes

Elie Wiesel Acceptance Speech

As we talk, the bright yellow cover blinks up from the coffee table, louder than the thousands of books in his office; louder than his voice, which is soft with a strong French accent and something else. Wiesel is He is modestly dressed in a blue blazer, gray pants and black shoes. His manner is a gentle combination of elegance and humility. He is not frail, but I suspect I am not the first to feel the instinct to protect him, to speak quietly, not to move suddenly, to live up to the sophistication and humanity he deserves. Knopf: pp.

Story and Silence: Transcendence in the Work of Elie Wiesel By Gary Henry Elie Wiesel's literary work prompted one reviewer to recall Isaac Bashevis Singer's definition of Jews as "a people who can't sleep themselves and let nobody else sleep," and to predict, "While Elie Wiesel lives and writes, there will be no rest for the wicked, the uncaring or anyone else. Since the publication of Night in , Wiesel, a Jewish survivor of the Nazi death camps, has borne a persistent, excruciating literary witness to the Holocaust. His works of fiction and non-fiction, his speeches and stories have each had the same intent: to hold the conscience of Jew and non-Jew and, he would say, even the conscience of God in a relentless focus on the horror of the Holocaust and to make this, the worst of all evils, impossible to forget. Wiesel refuses to allow himself or his readers to forget the Holocaust because, as a survivor, he has assumed the role of messenger. It is his duty to witness as a "messenger of the dead among the living," [ 2 ] and to prevent the evil of the victims' destruction from being increased by being forgotten. But he does not continue to retell the tales of the dead only to make life miserable for the living, or even to insure that such an atrocity will not happen again. Rather, Elie Wiesel is motivated by a need to wrestle theologically with the Holocaust.

It is with a profound sense of humility that I accept the honor you have chosen to bestow upon me.
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Elie Wiesel didn't need Holocaust deniers to lend immediacy to his discussion about the importance of learning and memory, but there they were anyway, three men standing outside the Symphony Center Sunday morning holding an anti-Semitic banner and barking such nonsense as, "There never was a Holocaust. Elie Wiesel does not want to forget the Holocaust, but to confront it or its memory ,. Elie Wiesel gave his speech because it was a reason for him to come and visit his father's grave even though his father didn't have a grave.

All rights reserved. Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor, writer, and Nobel laureate who died Saturday at age 87 , not only shaped how the world remembers the Holocaust, but how the memory of atrocity can help prevent future tragedies. Born in Romania in , Wiesel was taken along with his family to the Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Wiesel was freed when Buchenwald was liberated in Ten years later, he wrote about his experience in his book Night. It was a memory that Wiesel infused with lessons on the dangers of indifference.


  1. Aggieb says:

    Nobel Lecture

  2. Cuyen A. says:

    Wiesel on the Power of Memory: Elie Wiesel was a Holocaust survivor who became a Nobel Prize winner. His book Night is a deeply personal account of what.

  3. Antenor O. says:

    Hope, despair and memory

  4. Armand E. says:

    A Hasidic legend tells us that the great Rabbi Baal-Shem-Tov, Master of the Good Name, also known as the Besht, undertook an urgent and perilous mission: to hasten the coming of the Messiah.

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