Prisoners that the Buchenwald concentration camp inside their barracks, a few days ~ U.S. Troops liberated the camp near Weimar, Germany, April 16, 1945. The young male seventh native left in the center row bunk is Elie Wiesel, who would later become an author and also Nobel tranquility Prize laureate.

You are watching: Why was elie wiesel giving a speech at buchenwald concentration camp?


The late Elie Wiesel to be a Holocaust survivor and Nobel peace Prize winner who remained firm in his id that we merely cannot it is in indifferent to the experiencing of others.

Wiesel to be born in 1928 in a town in Transylvania. He to be 15 year old when he and also his household were deported by the Nazis to Auschwitz. His mother and younger sister passed away in that camp, his 2 older sisters survived.

Wiesel and his dad were later transported come Buchenwald, where his father died just months prior to the camp was liberated through U.S. Troops in April that 1945.

For part 10 years, Wiesel didn't speak around the Holocaust. However then he started to write around it; he also wrote around morality and intolerance. The wrote an ext than 40 books and also was vested the Nobel peace Prize in 1986.


In 2009 the accompanied chairman Barack Obama and also German Chancellor Angela Merkel together they toured Buchenwald, and when the returned, he gave the keynote speech at the Chautauqua Institution's Lecture series in brand-new York, whereby he to be asked to reflect on what renders us moral.

*

Elie Wiesel smiles throughout a 2009 news conference in Budapest, Hungary.
Bela Szandelszky | AP 2009

"What we believe was moral, Germany and the Soviet Union thought was immoral," the said. "They believed it was moral to death us."

Adolf Hitler and also his followers assumed they were killing Jews, homosexuals and also communists not just for Germany, yet for the betterment that humanity, "and the was, for him, morality."

When people think these destructive things v such tenacity, what we have the right to do come fight ago is stay ourselves, Wiesel said, "And speak 'whatever you say, we disagree with, and also you will never adjust us.'"

While the sees the army intervention against Hitler in human being War II together necessary, Wiesel claims he can not say the is because that war, because he to know the pain and destruction it brings, particularly to children.

"A moral society is the one that takes treatment of that children and of that elderly," that said. "Of those who need aid and protection and compassion."

Wiesel passed away last summer at the age of 87.

To hear to the speech, click the audio player above.

See more: Why Is A Trapezoid Not A Parallelogram ? Why Is A Kite Not A Parallelogram

He is the writer of "Night," a book based upon his experiences in the concentration and also death camps at Auschwitz and also Buchenwald. The book contains what might be the many widely recognized passage in Holocaust literature:

"Never shall ns forget the night, the an initial night in camp, which has actually turned my life right into one lengthy night, 7 times cursed and seven times sealed."


Further reading

MPR News Presents supplies speeches, documentaries and debates, airing weekdays from noon to 1 p.m.