I first heard of Elie Wiesel in college when I read his Holocaust memoir Night. It moved me deeply at the age of 18, but it brings me to tears as I read it again 20 years later. I am newly horrified by the brutality these millions of people endured and I am angered at the indifference shown by the rest of the world and I commit myself once again to do whatever I can to not be indifferent today.
Elie Wiesel said in his 1996 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech: “Wherever there is indifference in the world, that place must at once become the center of the universe.”
My husband taught high school English for a time early in our marriage and he had his students read Night each year. After each class finished the book, he gave his students the option of sending Mr. Wiesel a personal letter to share their thoughts and ask questions. Each year, several students opted to send their letter and each year Mr. Wiesel took the time to write back to the students, thanking them for their thoughtfulness and answering their questions with hope and encouragement — evidence as strong as any that Mr. Wiesel remains committed to changing the world for the better.
This month, 50% of the profits from this blog are being donated to The Elie Wiesel Foundation. The foundation’s mission, rooted in the memory of the Holocaust, is to combat indifference, intolerance and injustice through international dialogue and youth-focused programs that promote acceptance, understanding and equality.