Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel will discuss "Reconciliation. Is it Possible? Is it Desirable?" at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, in Strong Auditorium on the University of Rochester's River Campus.
Born in 1928 in Romania, Wiesel was 15 years old when he and his family were sent to the concentration camps. His mother, younger sister, and father perished; Wiesel and two older sisters survived. After the war, Wiesel studied in Paris and became a journalist. In 1958, he published his first book, a memoir of his concentration camp experience titled La Nuit (Night).
Wiesel's personal experience has led him to use his talents as an author, teacher, and storyteller to defend human rights. He was chairman of the President's Commission on the Holocaust and was the founding chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. He has also defended the cause of Soviet Jews, Argentina's "disappeared," Cambodian refugees, the Kurds, South African apartheid victims, and other oppressed people.
After receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, he established the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity as a forum to advance the cause of human rights and peace. His efforts have also earned him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United Sates Congressional Gold Medal and the Medal of Liberty Award, and the rank of Grand Officer in the French Legion of Honor.
Elie Wiesel was Distinguished Professor of Judaic Studies at the City University of New York and the first Henry Luce Visiting Scholar in the Humanities and Social Thought at Yale University. Since 1976, he has been the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, where he also holds the title of University Professor. He has received more than 90 honorary degrees.
Tickets for Wiesel's talk are on sale in advance at the Common Market, located in Wilson Commons on the University's River Campus. Admission is $10 for the general public; $5 for University faculty, staff, and graduate students and students from other colleges with ID. Tickets will also be available at the door. For University of Rochester undergraduate students, tickets are free if obtained in advance and $2 at the door. Wiesel's talk is sponsored by the Outside Speakers Committee and Hillel of Rochester Area Colleges. For more information, contact Hillel at (585) 275-4323.